Tradeshow and Exhibit Thoughtleaders
Michael Flavin's Articles
One Of My Biggest Trade Show Mistakes
|Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with a
trade show manager, named Ashley, to ask her about her trade show experiences.
The most important takeaway from her story, which I’ve posted below, is that we
always need to be measuring or results to learn from our mistakes and find ways
to continually improve. That’s why baseball has so many statistics.
Here’s Ashley’s story.
I had about 3 months to plan for my first show and I had everything ready to go. This show will be better than last year and nothing could go wrong, or so I thought.
I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t nervous.
However, I was just ready to get the show started.
We failed. What did I do wrong?
1.) We did not announce our exhibiting presence. No pre-show marketing. No one knew we were coming. We did not create a trade show promotion. We sent no emails, made no phone calls, did not mail anything at all to tell people that we were exhibiting at the show. Our sales reps didn’t even send messages on LinkedIn to invite people. It doesn’t always take a lot of effort, however, every show needs some type of pre-show marketing.
2.) We had no plan. The sales team knew that we were exhibiting at the show, however, there was no agreement with marketing as to what our goals were for exhibiting, why we were exhibiting at what we needed to accomplish. Now, we create a set of agreed upon goals, we measure them and we report on them for each show.
3.) Our booth staffers were not trained. Sure, many had worked a trade show before and others, like me, had not. But, no one works a trade show every day. When attendees walked by our booth space, we didn’t know what to do. We didn’t make an effort to say hello and engage with them, thus lost many opportunities. Now, we practice, like a play rehearsal, before every show. We run through the best ways to start conversations, how to ask questions and how to respond to objections.
© 2017 by Michael Flavin