Prospecting Clients and Followup Worksheet

Document Sample
Prospecting Clients and Followup Worksheet Powered By Docstoc
					Tips for Trade Show Success
                                                  TIPS FOR TRADE SHOW SUCCESS Adler Display

Welcome to Tips for Trade Show Success from Adler Display. We have compiled information from our
e-newsletters and seminars into this comprehensive guide just for you. You’ll find helpful tips on budgeting and
planning, creating a winning display and things to do before, during and after the show. And as always, if you
need additional help with your next show, contact the display experts at Adler Display - 410-281-1200.

Trade Show Planning & Budgeting
Trade Show Checklist
Pens                              Light clamps
Markers                            Small tool kit
Paper                              Duct tape
Stapler and staples                Electrical tape
String                             Copies of all orders and contracts
Scissors                           Contact information for all vendors
Push pins / safety pins            Tracking numbers/bills of lading for all shipments
Scotch tape                        First aid kit
Business cards                     Band aids
Badge holders                      Aspirin
Tabletop Lucite displays           Mints
Cell phone                         Water
Extension cords                    Disposable / digital camera

Trade Show Budgeting
Budgeting for Success
If you've ever planned an exhibit at a trade show, you know first-hand how quickly your costs can skyrocket. It seems at
every turn, there is a new expense – bigger than the last – that is necessary to ensure your exhibit's success! While there
will always be those expenses you didn't plan for, you can get a good idea of your budget by working ahead of time to plan
for all of the details. And by starting a budget worksheet this year, you will be in a great position next year to fall within
budget next year.

Below is a sample budget breakdown and a worksheet detailing many of the items generally found when planning a trade
show. Your company's needs may vary.

How Most Trade Show Money Is Spent
To help you begin planning a budget for your trade shows, below is a breakdown of how most organizations spend their
trade show dollars (Source: The Trade Show Bureau).

                                      TIPS FOR TRADE SHOW SUCCESS Adler Display

Trade Show Budget Worksheet

                                       Budget              Actual                 Variance

1. Exhibit Space

Booth space                       $                  $                  $

Staff registration                $                  $                  $

2. Display

Design & manufacture              $                  $                  $

Graphics                          $                  $                  $

Shelves & containers              $                  $                  $

Lighting                          $                  $                  $

3. Freight Transportation

Shipping                          $                  $                  $

Drayage                           $                  $                  $

Storage                           $                  $                  $

Insurance                         $                  $                  $

4. Show Services

Install/dismantle                 $                  $                  $

Electrical                        $                  $                  $

Furniture rental                  $                  $                  $

Audiovisual                       $                  $                  $

                                          TIPS FOR TRADE SHOW SUCCESS Adler Display

Photography                           $                  $                  $

Telephone/Fax                         $                  $                  $

Computer rental / Internet access     $                  $                  $

Security                              $                  $                  $

Cleaning                              $                  $                  $

Other labor                           $                  $                  $

Utilities (water, power, gas & air)   $                  $                  $

5. Marketing

Pre-show promotion                    $                  $                  $

Direct mail                           $                  $                  $

Public relations – pre-show           $                  $                  $

Public relations – during show

Trade magazine ads                    $                  $                  $

Show literature                       $                  $                  $

On-site promotions                    $                  $                  $

Sales calls                           $                  $                  $

Giveaway items                        $                  $                  $

On-line marketing                     $                  $                  $

Post-show follow-up                   $                  $                  $

6. Personnel Costs

Travel                                $                  $                  $

Hotel accommodations                  $                  $                  $

Meals & out-of-pocket                 $                  $                  $

7. Miscellaneous

_                                     $                  $                  $

_                                     $                  $                  $

_                                     $                  $                  $

TOTAL TRADE SHOW COST                 $                  $                  $

                                            TIPS FOR TRADE SHOW SUCCESS Adler Display

Choosing the Right Show

Success with any display at a trade show, conference, or any public place starts with knowing your target
audience. If you will be exhibiting at a show, take the time to research the people attending the show and be sure
that they hit your target.

Do Your Research
Many organizations fall into the "same old routine" trap when it comes to trade shows and events. If someone
asks you why you do a particular show each year and your response is, "We've just always done it", you might
need to re-evaluate things! It may very well be the right show to attend, but your reasons for exhibiting should be
concrete and the results quantifiable.

If you haven't done so in a while, take a fresh look at the events that you do each year. Do they still hit your
target? Are they still financially feasible? Do you continue to see tangible results after the show is done? If the
answers to any of those questions is "no", you need to re-think your involvement there.

New trade shows, conferences, and events are being added annually. Take some time to do some research to
determine if there are other shows out there that hit your target. And when you find them, don't be afraid to call
some of the exhibitors from the previous year and ask them about the results of their involvement.

    Once you have determined a list of potential shows, give them a final litmus test…ask yourself:
    Does this show put us in front of our target audience?
    Does this show put us in front of decision makers?
    Is there any way for us to stand out from our competitors at this event?
    Is this show affordable when we include space, marketing, our display, travel, etc.?
    If they pass the test, you're on your way to determining the best shows for you to do!

Setting Trade Show Goals
Why Set Goals?
The first step in planning your next trade show is to take some time to think about WHY you are exhibiting and set
some realistic goals for the show's outcome.

Reasons for exhibiting will vary, but may include:

    Branding/Image Building
    New Product/Service Launch
    Product Sales/Orders
    Meet Existing Clients
    Prospecting/Lead Generation
    Evaluate Your Competition
    Write Down Your Goals

                                           TIPS FOR TRADE SHOW SUCCESS Adler Display

With these reasons for exhibiting in mind, sit down and write out your goals for the show. Your goals should be
realistic and quantifiable. If your goal is lead generation, for example, evaluate your expected attendee list and
develop a daily lead goal. Remember, however, that lead generation is generally more about quality than quantity.
You can scan name badges all day long, but if your "lead" is not a potential customer, you are most likely wasting
your time and money.

A True Team Effort
Trade show goals and objectives must be shared and agreed upon by your show staff and those that will be
following up after the show is done. When planning your exhibit marketing, logistics, display, staffing, and follow-
up, be sure that key people are involved and have input.

Trade Show Planning Calendar
Now that you know where you're going, why you're going, and what you intend to get out of your show, you're
ready to begin serious trade show planning.

A good start to the planning process is mapping out a calendar of activities. Planning for a trade show begins up
to a year ahead of time, so mapping out a one-year plan and giving it attention along the way is critical to trade
show success. Below is a sample of the activities that should be done to prepare for a trade show throughout the

9 Months - 1 Year in Advance

    Select your trade shows and gather the appropriate information (space availability, call for speakers info, list
    of previous exhibitors/attendees)
    Determine space needs
    Secure booth space with show promoters (you can often receive discounts for securing well in advance – not
    to mention prime real estate!)
    Sketch out a plan for space utilization including your display, signage, meeting areas, product areas, etc.
    Develop a marketing plan and budget for pre-show marketing activities, on-site marketing (at the show), and
    post-show follow-up activities

6 Months in Advance

    Begin working on your display – contact your display company and set up a meeting to discuss your needs,
    budget considerations, and time frame. They will be able to give you ideas on getting the most bang for your
    Begin working with your marketing people on show marketing items. Develop overall concept – if there is a
    theme to the display, that theme should be carried through.
    Review trade show materials to determine schedules for ordering rental items, electricity, equipment, etc.

                                          TIPS FOR TRADE SHOW SUCCESS Adler Display

3 Months in Advance

   Determine vendors for show items (printing, promotional items, equipment rental, etc.)
   Finalize marketing materials and display designs.
   Begin production on display.

2 Months in Advance

   Make booth staffing and travel decisions.
   Determine display and show supply logistical needs.
   Begin production on marketing materials.
   Review show goals with booth staff.

1 Month in Advance

   Preview your display. Learn how to assemble, disassemble, ship, etc. Train booth staff on booth
   Launch pre-show marketing activities (direct mail, e-mail, personal sales calls)
   Set on-site appointments with clients.
   Plan in-booth activities (give-aways, drawings, order forms, sign-up sheets, etc.)
   Gather products to be shown/sold at show.
   Finalize travel arrangements including air, hotel, transportation, group meals, etc.
   Check on marketing materials and promotional materials progress. Schedule shipping of booth materials.
   Research and develop contact list of on-site support services in case of emergency (find the closest Kinkos,
   equipment rental company, fast sign company, WalMart, etc.)
   Provide booth staff with overall booth theme, messages, product info, etc.

1 Week in Advance

   Pack and ship all booth materials (capture all tracking numbers on shipments).
   Pack and ship your Trade Show Tool Kit (see list below).
   Ship display or confirm display shipment with your display company.
   Determine and communicate booth staff dress code.
   Create booth staff name badges.
   Communicate travel and registration process to booth staff.
   Arrange for corporate checks or credit card for payment of exhibit, on-site rentals, etc.
   Make reservations for staff dinners or team building events.
   Meet with booth staff to review goals, develop script for greeting and speaking to clients, review product or
   service details (be sure booth staff is up to speed and ready for tough questions!).
   Create trade show experience evaluation forms to be conducted with booth staff post-show.

                                           TIPS FOR TRADE SHOW SUCCESS Adler Display

At the Show

    Confirm arrival of display, booth materials and equipment.
    Confirm arrival of booth staff.
    Conduct "dry run" with staff of overall theme, message and goals. Review process for collecting leads, taking
    orders, or selling product.
    During show, check in daily on progress, activity, and goals – adjust following day's activities accordingly.
    Take pictures of your display prior to and during the show.
    Meet with show promoters regarding following year's show. Discuss successes and challenges, ask what they
    can do for you next year.

Post Show

    Conduct post-show meeting with staff – discuss successes and challenges – capture as notes for next year.
    Develop list of ideas and considerations for next year's show.
    Organize show leads and distribute to proper persons for follow up.
    Launch post-show marketing activities (direct mail, e-mail, phone calls, etc.)
    Conduct trade show experience evaluations with staff.
    Follow-up with lead recipients on lead status one week post-show. Continue to follow leads for next few
    months. Keep leads in database for pre-show marketing activities next year.

Display Creation
Display Planning Checklist
So you’ve made it through the Trade Show Planning & Budgeting phase, and now you’re ready to Create a
Winning Display! So where do you start? Before you can determine what your booth should look like, you need to
think through all of the factors at play. The Display Planning Checklist below is a good way to get you started, and
can put you well ahead of the game when you sit down with your display designer.

Set Your Budget.
Before you can dream up all of the flash that will stop a trade show attendee in their tracks, you have to know
your budget. (Refer back to Budgeting for Trade Show Success from our last issue.) Once you know what you
can spend on the physical display and display design, you can move ahead with exploring your options. When
working with your display designer, be sure to communicate your budget and expectations.

Determine Booth Location.
Knowing your show and your booth location is important when laying out the strategy for booth design. Is your
location an island – meaning show attendees will be viewing it from all sides – or does it back up against pipe and
drape? Is your booth near an entrance, near a food court, or sandwiched in between a row of competitors? All of
these factors will help determine the direction of your booth layout and design. Be sure and let your display
designer know your location, and work with them on how people will move through your booth at the show.

                                            TIPS FOR TRADE SHOW SUCCESS Adler Display

Know Your Target Audience.
Because you’ve done your homework in choosing the right show, you know your target audience. So what will
make them respond to your booth positively? What will make them stop and speak with you? Consider things like
the overall theme of the show or conference, how much time show attendees will have on the show floor, and
what attendees want or need to take away from the show. When working with your display designer, be sure and
tell them who your target audience is so that they can design a display that appeals to them.

Do Your Product Research.
Now that you know what you want to spend, where your booth will be at the show, and who you want to "wow",
you’re ready to start exploring your options. The trade show industry is constantly developing new product
innovations. In fact, trade show giants like Nimlok and Nomadic introduce dozens of new products each year. So
before you set your mind on a particular type of display, explore new product innovations. Tell your display vendor
your budget and let them go to work.

Renting vs. Purchasing
In a “here-today-gone-tomorrow” marketplace, it
comes as no surprise that companies must
constantly seek new ways to reinvent
themselves. If you don’t adjust to the always
changing marketplace, as a company, you will
pay the price.

Advantages of Renting Trade Show Exhibits vs.
As opposed to custom made exhibit displays
that may get outdated over time, rentals offer
exhibitors the opportunity to reinvent
themselves year by year. They enable
exhibitors to adapt to the changing marketplace
with the ability to modify their messages
accordingly. Some of these advantages are
particularly beneficial for start-up companies,
who initially may require some time to stabilize
the focus of their marketing message.

Consider some advantages associated with
renting trade show exhibits vs. purchasing:
    Renting a trade show exhibit display allows exhibitors to change their look from show to show and to
    reinvent their brand as their product focus shifts.
    Good rentals allow exhibitors to maintain a cutting-edge appearance in the short term without making huge
    capital investments that may haunt them in the long term.
    Because of a lower one-time cash outlay and limited shelf-life, rentals allow exhibitors to feel more confident
    taking risks and thereby doing something different and innovative.
    Renting a trade show display also means exhibitors don’t have to store it, insure it, handle it, or refurbish it.

                                            TIPS FOR TRADE SHOW SUCCESS Adler Display

Disadvantages of Renting Trade Show Exhibits vs. Purchasing
While renting a trade show display certainly has some creative and economical advantages, renting is not the
right solution for every exhibitor. There are certain preventative measurements one must take in order to ensure
a good quality rental, because if you can tell it’s a rental, it’s not a good rental!
     If your company does several shows per year, the cost of renting is likely to be far greater than purchasing.
     Often used as a last resort and mistreated by previous renters, rentals can be tired and weary looking. You
     need to be sure that what you’ll be receiving is in good shape.
     Rental agreements vary from company to company so be sure you know what you are getting yourself into
     and any additional costs that you may incur, for instance in terms of set-up. Be sure to read the fine print.

Display Space Planning
Does Size Matter?
When it comes to trade show displays, size does matter, but bigger is not always better! The size of your display
depends on the amount of space you have committed to at the show, and whether it is an island space or an in-
line space. It also depends on your target audience and your trade show goals and budgets.

Show Flow
When laying out your booth design, carefully
examine your spot on the show floor plan.
Depending on your location (on an isle, near
an entrance, near food, etc.) you can
determine the ideal “flow” – that is how you
would like show attendees to move through
your booth. A good display takes foot traffic
from any direction, invites it in, and moves it
along in a comfortable way.

Comfortable Space
Be careful not to over-crowd your booth with
too much product, too much literature, or an
overwhelming display. Show goers have
limited time to take it all in, and most don’t like
to be weighed down with too much information
or too much “stuff”. Over-crowded booths
inhibit a good show flow, too, and will cause
people to skip your booth in favor of another that is less cramped.

Tabletop Displays
Some shows - particularly small venue shows, local shows and meetings, or single day shows call for a scaled
down version of a display. Tabletop displays as well as Banner Stands are ideal for these events. Many tabletop
displays are available as rental displays. Check with your display vendor to see what your options are for small
venue shows.

                                            TIPS FOR TRADE SHOW SUCCESS Adler Display

In-Line Displays
Displays that back up to a wall or to pipe-
and-drape are called in-line displays.
These displays are most commonly 10x10
or 10x20 displays. Configurations and
options for in-line displays are many and
include pop-up systems, truss systems
and even cabinet and countertop systems.
Given your booth size and budget, your
display vendor should be able to show you
many different options.

Island Displays
When it comes to making a big impression
at a trade show, nothing beats an island
display. Visible from all four sides, island
displays give exhibitors great options for inviting people into a booth in a comfortable way. Island displays come in
limitless configurations, shapes, sizes (and prices!). Your display vendor can tell you what type of display will best
fit your budget and trade show goals.

Display Product Innovations
Exploring New Product Innovations
Now more than ever, your options for trade show exhibiting are virtually endless. New products are being
introduced rapidly, and competition has driven display manufacturers and vendors to offer more flexibility such
as rentals and easily changeable displays. Trade show exhibitors’ needs, as well as union and exhibit hall
regulations, have also driven display companies to make displays lighter and easier to assemble. Even large
island displays have been revamped using lightweight truss systems to help ease the load of shipping and
assembly. A few of the latest new product innovations are listed below.

Fabric Panel Displays
In the last few years, companies have used recent advances in fabric printing
technologies to develop lightweight, pop-up fabric panel displays. One of the latest
products on the block is XPlus from Nomadic Display. XPlus offers 60 different
configurations ranging from tabletop pop-up displays to 10-foot in-line displays.
Nomadic’s Fabrimural Display, also comes in many configurations ranging from
tabletop to 10-foot pop-up displays. Both are lightweight, full-color, and can be
assembled (via a pop-up locking truss system) by one person – perfect for
exhibitors on the go.

                                          TIPS FOR TRADE SHOW SUCCESS Adler Display

Tension Fabric Accents & Signage
The same technology innovations that have allowed fabric panel displays have
spawned a new generation of tension fabric accents and signage. Lycra Spandex-
type fabrics stretched between poles, hoops and other innovative framing can
make for eye-catching messaging and design. Add back-lighting and motorized
movement and you can achieve that “Wow!” factor that will stop a show visitor in
their tracks!

Truss Systems
It used to be that having a large displays meant shipping and assembling heavy-
weight wooden panels and cabinetry that added thousands of dollars to your trade
show budget. Not so any more. Innovations in lightweight titanium and aluminum
truss systems have taken the trade show industry by storm over the last several
years, reducing costs of both shipping and assembly.

Retractable Banner Stands
For signage on-the-go, no trade show exhibitor should be without a couple of well-
designed roll-up banner stands. These stands come in a variety of styles and sizes
(some as high as 7 feet tall and 5 feet wide) and roll-up into their bases for
convenient portability. There is even a banner stand from Nimlok called the Future
Banner that features a changeable graphic cartridge.

                                            TIPS FOR TRADE SHOW SUCCESS Adler Display

Display Design Tips
Top 5 Display Design Tips

Now that you've figured out your budget, your booth location, your target audience and what products you're
interested in, it's time to start designing your booth! Here are our Top 5 Display Design Tips to get you started.
And as always, the pro's at Adler Display are here to help with all of your display needs.

1. Communicate. You've done a lot of up-front research to determine your target audience, your marketing
   message, and the products that you'd like to use. Now you need to communicate these with the designer!
   Event items that you might think insignificant can be helpful to your designer. Your designer should also be in
   close contact with your display vendor to be sure that what they design meets the appropriate graphic
   standards for the display products you are using.

2. Simplify. A common mistake among exhibitors is trying to cram too much information onto a display booth.
   Too many graphics, too many messages, or just too much "stuff" in general can be overwhelming and
   confusing to booth visitors. Booth visitors should be able to understand your products and services within the
   first few seconds of visiting your booth. Keeping visuals, messages and literature to a minimum will help
   visitors understand what you do quickly, which will help ensure that they remember you back at the office.

3. Use High Quality Graphic Elements. Nothing can be more disheartening to a trade show exhibitor than
   spending loads of time and money on a display, only to show up at the event and see a competitor using the
   same imaging in their booth! When choosing graphic elements, try to find unique photography, or have your
   designer develop elements that are one-of-a-kind for your booth. Make sure that the photos and graphics
   used are high resolution, clear and colorful so that when blown up to booth size, they hold up.

4. Use Signage to Attract, Direct. Not only can good signage capture the attention of passers by, but it can be
   used to help direct booth visitors to particular areas of interest as well. Banner stands and tabletop signage
   can mark areas of interest and can visually support your overall theme or message.

5. Stand Out from the Crowd. The show floor can often times seem like a sea of companies who all do the
   same thing. So how do you get people into your booth vs. Joe's booth across the isle? Your display design
   should be well laid out, have a clear message, and should attract show goers attention from a distance. The
   use of overhead signage, backlit graphics, or tall display elements such as trusses can all help you attract the
   attention of those walking the isles. Movement is another way to attract attention. Hands-on demonstrations,
   multimedia presentations, and moving signage are great ways to attract attention from far away. Your display
   vendor will be able to show you what options are available.

                                             TIPS FOR TRADE SHOW SUCCESS Adler Display

At The Show
Booth Set Up
Exhibit Booth Set-Up
So you’ve made it through the Trade Show Planning & Budgeting phase, you've learned how to Create a
Winning Display, and now you are ready for The Trade Show Experience! The key to successful exhibiting is
planning. From getting your booth there to booth staffing to the return trip home, we've got tips on planning for

Preparing to Go
You have no doubt done extensive planning and prep work before heading to the show including travel planning,
staff planning, materials and display set-up planning, and prepping all of the on-site materials from your Trade
Show Toolkit Checklist. And because there is so much to keep track of, we advise creating a Show Notebook that
you carry with you on the way that includes:
     Content lists and tracking numbers for all boxes being shipped
     Names and contact info for all booth items that you ordered (lead retrieval system, internet access, flowers,
     cleaning service, etc.)
     Travel itineraries and hotel information for booth staff
     Cell phone numbers for booth staff
     Names and contact info for on-site services

Upon Arrival
Have plan for booth staff to meet on show floor to help set up your display. When you arrive at the show, make
sure all items have arrived at your booth and/or at your hotel. If anything is missing, check with the event center
staff to locate missing items or track packages.

Booth Set-Up
Obey event center rules for set-up! Most convention centers have union staff and require that exhibits needing
tools for assembly be set-up by the union staff. If you have such a display, it's a good idea to be present during
the assembly to be sure that set-up is being done to your specifications.

Allow yourself plenty of time for set-up. You may find that you are missing an item or two or that a light bulb has
burned out. Allowing extra time to take care of those unexpected items will save you from running around the
morning of the show!

Booth Set-Up Tip
Whenever possible, when choosing to purchase or rent a display, explore your options for displays that do not
require tools for assembly. Display manufacturers have become masters of creating even large-scale displays
that do not require tools for assembly!

Have Back-Up Plans
Prior to traveling to the show, it's a good idea to locate key vendors in the vicinity of the event location just in case
you need them. Many common items such as photocopying are available through the event company managing
the show, but can be pricey. Key vendors may include quick printers, a source for fresh flowers and candy, and a
drug store for light bulbs, batteries, tape, aspirin and other essential booth supplies.

                                           TIPS FOR TRADE SHOW SUCCESS Adler Display

Booth Staffing
An important factor in making your time, efforts and expenses worthwhile at a trade show is proper selection and
training of your booth staff. Here are some tips for being well prepared to work your next trade show.

Choose a Leader
During the preparation and execution of a trade show engagement, there is usually a leader that emerges as
heading up the overall show management. However, this is not always clear-cut in all organizations. Before you
assign any staffing, determine who is leading the overall effort, and have that person positioned as such
throughout the planning and execution process. This person will be your go-to person at the show and should
have a major role in booth staffing, training, and follow-up after the show.

Determine Booth Staff
Several weeks prior to traveling to the show, you will have decided who is going to staff your exhibit booth at the
show. The number of people working your booth depends on how much space you have, whether you have
scheduled appointments with clients or prospects during the show, the number of expected attendees at the show
and other factors, but the following is a good rule of thumb: 2 booth staffers for the first 10' of booth space + 1
staffer for each additional 10' of space. That equation would work like this:

        10x10 space = 2 staff people

        10x20 space = 3 staff people

        20x20 space = 4 staff people

        20x30 space = 5 staff people

And so on. A common mistake is over-staffing your booth, which will intimidate visitors. People are more likely to
stop and explore your booth when they are free to look around without being "pounced on" by staff.

In addition to knowing who is working the show, you should create a booth staff schedule, giving equal time to all
staff people, allow for lunch breaks, appointments, etc.

Attracting Booth Visitors
Attracting Visitors to Your Booth
After you determine that you will be exhibiting at a show; get your killer display; scheduled and train staff; and
have everything set up on the show floor…now comes the hard part…getting people to visit your booth! There
seems to be a never-ending push for creativity and innovation in this area, and truly there is no magic answer, but
there are a few things that can help.

Be Important to Attendees
Be sure that you're exhibiting at a show where your product and service is highly relevant and needed by the
show attendees. It's also not a bad idea to choose shows where you're NOT one of a thousand companies that do

                                           TIPS FOR TRADE SHOW SUCCESS Adler Display

the exact same thing you do. Search for shows where your product or service is highly relevant, but where you
stand a chance of being one of only a few companies that do what you do.

Have an Eye-Catching Display
Your booth display must be well done, and tell an intriguing message quickly in order to catch a show attendee's
eye. A display company can show you thousands of options and provide valuable consulting about the types of
graphics to use, the size of your signage, etc. Another smart approach is to pay attention to the exhibitors at any
shows that you attend and determine which booths are being visited and why, then try to apply those principals to
your exhibit.

Offer Good Give-Aways
One sure-fire way to attract people to your booth is to give away something of value to that audience. We've all
seen the "collectors" at shows – the attendees who do nothing more than fill their free tote bags with free stuff –
but most companies are willing to endure that in exchange for finding some good prospects in the mix. Give-
aways need not be expensive. Companies on tight budgets can give away white papers or inexpensive give-
aways that are just as attractive as the pricey ones.

Give-Away Tip
When choosing a promotional item give-away, think about the end user and the item's longevity. Choose items
that can be used for an extended period of time. Some tried and true favorites are pens and pencils, post-it notes,
calendars, calculators, mouse pads, and computer screen cleaners.

Motivate Your Staff
Getting people to stop at your booth and talk to you is tricky – most people do not have time to stop and talk with
each exhibitor, and are apprehensive to stop. In addition to the items above, your booth staff must be friendly,
approachable, knowledgeable, and just a tiny bit aggressive. Greet visitors and passers-by, and whenever
possible inquire as to what need or business challenges bring them to the show. It's also a good idea to
acknowledge that they may be on a tight schedule, and ask their permission to follow up with them after the show.
After obtaining their contact information, make a note to follow up.

Lead Gathering
Lead Gathering at Trade Shows
The primary reason to exhibit in a trade show is to leads or contacts for your organization. So why is it that the
majority of trade show exhibitors say that lead gathering and follow up is the biggest area of improvement
needed? The reasons can vary greatly depending on the organizations; however some good up-front planning for
both lead generation and follow-up will help alleviate many of the problems that organizations face in making
trade show exhibiting successful.

Lead Generation Planning
The key to obtaining leads starts with a good Lead Retrieval System. Most trade shows make good lead retrieval
systems available to exhibitors at a very reasonable rate. These systems generally scan an attendee's badge or
card, log the information into a database, and print a hard copy. What they do not do, however, is electronically
log additional information that your booth staff may gain in a conversation. So how do you make it worthwhile? A
good way to make the electronic information valuable is to review the hard copy printout while your visitor is in the

                                            TIPS FOR TRADE SHOW SUCCESS Adler Display

booth, and use it to make any notes about your conversation that will be helpful in the follow-up phase. Be sure to
write legibly…back at the office you may not remember your conversation!

Another way to obtain contact names and numbers is the "fish bowl" approach. And although this provides
quantity in leads, it does not provide quality. Sales people have little motivation to follow-up on these leads, as
they do not contain details about the prospect or needs.

Tips on Obtaining High-Quality Leads

1. Have your booth staff review the list of registered attendees. If there are current clients or prospects on the
   list, set up an appointment at your booth during the show. This makes time productive, and creates activity in
   your booth – something that is a draw to others.

2. Use the list of registered attendees to send a pre-show mailer or e-mail encouraging them to stop by your
   booth. Use a giveaway – which can be a promotional item, a white paper or something else of value to that
   audience – to create activity at your booth and hopefully enable you to speak to prospects.

3. Train your booth staff to greet booth visitors in a friendly way – shaking their hand and greeting them by first
   name (if on their badge). Have your staff use open-ended questions that leads to specific needs that your
   company might be able to help with. "How are you doing today?" or "Are you enjoying the show so far?" is
   nice, but will not lead to a conversation about your goods or services. An opener such as, "So what
   challenges bring you to the XYZ Show?" is a much better way to get to the reasons that you're both there.

4. When gathering leads, be sure to write details about your conversation with the prospect, including your
   name, the prospect's name and when you spoke to them, their needs, time frame, familiarity with your
   product/service, location, etc.

5. Be sure your sales staff is in a position to follow up with prospects immediately after the show. That may
   mean faxing or overnighting leads back to the office for input into a database, or organizing the leads at the
   end of each day at the show in a notebook or folders for the sales staff that will be following up. Put them in a
   safe place for the return trip home. It's a good idea to take them with you instead of packing them in one of
   your booth return boxes. They can be reviewed on the trip back, or will at least be in hand the following
   business day for follow-up.

6. Have a plan for following up with the sales staff after the show to be sure that they are following up on the
   leads. Whenever possible, offer extra incentive for closing new business from the show. Trade shows are a
   large investment, and your company should be able to show real ROI from them.

                                           TIPS FOR TRADE SHOW SUCCESS Adler Display

After the Show
Lead Follow-Up
The Dreaded PBH
If you're like most exhibitors, your first day back in the office after a trade show contains a myriad of competing
priorities. Messages from current clients who need you beckon, the list of daily to-do's has piled up for several
days, and business-as-usual marches on. Now's the time NOT to let the trade show leads that you worked so
hard to get (not to mention spent so much money getting!) fall into the infamous PBH – the Prospect Black Hole.

What is the Prospect Black Hole? It's where 80% of all trade show sales leads end up…it's the no-follow-up-
zone… it's lost trade show investment…it's a crying shame! But it's a hard, cold fact. Why? Because most
companies don't make as much of a post-show commitment as they did a pre-show commitment. The first step in
avoiding the PBH is to Organize & Prioritize.

Organize & Prioritize
Ok – so you have competing priorities on day one back at the office. Take a few minutes to evaluate those
priorities, and organize them for follow-up. Take care of emergencies and current client urgent requests first –
your current clients should always come before prospects.

Once that is done, your next order of business should be to sort your trade show leads, and follow-up with your
"hot" or "A" leads right away. Your hot leads should be followed up within one or two days of show close. Any
more time, and you risk that lead forgetting they even met you! These follow-ups should be by phone (unless
they have requested otherwise).

How to Follow-Up
Hot Leads - During the show, you no doubt took copious notes on those lead forms – your handwriting is legible,
and you know exactly what this hot lead needs (right?). If you did, you will know exactly how to follow up – your
notes may say "Call on Tuesday – needs immediate help with X", or "Send new product brochure and pricing." If
you didn't, shame on you because the probability of a sale just went down, but all is not completely lost. For all of
those sketchily detailed hot leads, your best bet is to re-connect by phone. Re-qualify the lead, gauge the interest
level, and rank the probability of a sale. Then take those copious notes you forgot to take at the show, and follow
up accordingly.

Warm and Cold Leads - After you make your way through the hot leads, don't forget about your other leads –
those not-so-hot leads – they are still potential clients! Follow-up with them within one week of the show, either by
phone, mail or e-mail. Keep them in your system and stay in touch with them throughout the year. You never
know when a circumstance will quickly move a cold lead to a hot one!

Follow-Up Your Follow-Up
Your sales team is generally the first line of follow-up post-show. They may partner with marketing
communications to send materials, but the initial contact should be personal, and with the intent of an
appointment, a presentation or placing an order. This may be the first time this hot lead hears from you, but it
should by no means be the last.

                                            TIPS FOR TRADE SHOW SUCCESS Adler Display

Any contact that results in an appointment, a presentation or an order will remain with the sales team, but for
those that don't, for heaven's sake, don't throw them away! If your sales team has the time to continue to work
these leads, great, but often times they do not, and that's ok. These leads should then be handed off to your
marketing team for continued follow up. Add them to your mailing list, your e-mail list, your holiday cards list –
whatever means of consistent communication your company does. Even though these prospects have not
purchased yet, they should still be considered good potential clients – they know about your company, your
products, and they have had some sort of face-to-face contact with you.

Lead Tracking

Enter Your Leads – Your ROI Depends on It!
If your company is asking what your trade show ROI is (and if they haven't been already – they will be!), you need
to have a system in place for lead tracking. Most companies have some type of sales database in place – ACT,
Goldmine and Sales Voodoo are a few of the more widely used programs that provide many great ways to track
leads. If you don't have a system like this in place, get one! Manual tracking can be inaccurate to say the least,
and is only as good as its keeper. Keepers may come and go, but a computer-based sales lead database
program should be around for a long time to come.

For all of your show leads, try to get these into your system as soon as possible, and tag them with the show
name and date. This will make it easier to run a report later showing how many sales came as a result of the
show. If your sales team doesn't do this data entry, assign an administrative assistant to help get it done – your
ROI simply can't be tracked without it!

Lead Tracking Tips

Keep It Clean
Be sure to change addresses, phone numbers and points of contact in your database when you become aware of
the change. Your marketing communication efforts cannot be effective with outdated data – not to mention you
might as well be throwing the money you spent on the effort right into the trash! Help this process along by
sending out at least two first-class, return-address requested mailings each year. They are a bit more expensive,
but using the ones that you get back to clean up your database will make it worthwhile.

More Data = More Sales
By entering in extra information into your database, your marketing team can more accurately target
communications to your prospects. For instance, if your database is properly tagged with attendees of the XYZ
Show, a marketing piece specific to that show's audience can be sent. These efforts have been shown to have a
much higher return than broad, mass marketing efforts that can be hit or miss.

Add a Personal Touch
In addition to the normal business information that is housed in a computer-based lead system, there are also
fields for notes and other more casual bits of information such as birthdays, anniversaries, family members'
names, etc. The closer you become with a prospect, the more likely you are to have a customer for life. Use the
notes fields in your database wisely – capture personal items, notes about buying habits, budget timeframes,
shows they attend, and any other information that may come in handy in the future.

                                            TIPS FOR TRADE SHOW SUCCESS Adler Display

Database Tips
When choosing a sales database, have the sales and marketing teams evaluate the different options. Both teams
will have critical needs for the program and for slicing and dicing its data. Finding one program that meets all of
those needs will prevent you from having to migrate your data to another system later.

If your sales and marketing teams are located around the country or around the world, choose a program that
offers an on-line option. Asking people to "sync-up" while on the road can be difficult at best - particularly when
they are dealing with hotel dial-up connections. To ensure that your database program is used to its fullest
potential, make it readily and easily available to all its users.

Calculating Trade Show ROI
"If you're not keeping score, it's just practice." – Vince Lombardi

Calculating your trade show ROI (return on investment) can be difficult for most businesses. Unless you take
orders at a trade show, you must rely on accurate tracking throughout the year in order to figure out how valuable
the show was for you. And because clients tend to need several different "touch points" before buying (seeing a
magazine ad, hearing a colleague speak of your product or service, receiving a sales call, etc.), it's tough to tell
where the sale actually came from. You can, however, estimate your trade show ROI – here's how:

Meet with your sales team to determine a few things first –

    The average number of qualified leads it takes to get an appointment
    The average percentage of appointments that turn into sales (your close ratio)
    The average dollar amount of each sale

Now, here's the calculation –

Multiply the total number of qualified leads by the percentage of leads it takes to get an appointment. (Example:
200 x 25% = 50)

Multiply that number by the average percentage that turn into sales. (Example: 50 x 30% = 15)

Multiply that number by the average dollar amount of each sale. (Example: 15 x $2,500 = $37,500)

Divide the gross sales by total cost of show to get your ROI ratio. (Example: $37,500 divided by $17,000 = 2.2
Your ROI ratio: 1:2.2 – for every $1 you spent, you got $2.20 back)

Caution! This calculation is black & white, and will only show you the dollar value of your show investment. When
reporting your overall trade show ROI to management, you must also assign value to more non-tangible things
like brand awareness, relationship building, total lifetime value of a client, or whatever other items of value your
clients bring you. For instance, if your business does 50% of its sales through referrals, each new client you
obtain may be equal to 2 new clients over the course of year.

                                            TIPS FOR TRADE SHOW SUCCESS Adler Display

Trade Show Reporting
Throughout the business world, companies are scrutinizing marketing budgets more than ever. However more
and more, they are doing so with a broader value perspective – not by simply looking at numbers. They are
looking at things like the total lifetime value of a client, and they are paying more attention to non-tangible value
items such as brand awareness.

In order to keep your trade show budget in tact (and maybe even expand it in years to come), it's important to
follow up your trade show with a Trade Show Report. Trade Show Reports should be multi-faceted, and contain
hard numbers, observations, recommendations, and estimated lifetime values.

Each company will have a different set of values for their customers, but here's an example of items that a
business-to-business company might report.

Trade Show ROI in Dollars
(estimated if no orders were taken at show)

Trade Show ROI in New Customers
(number of new clients as result of show)

Estimated Annual Value
(consider referral ratio, repeat sales annually)

Internal Observations
(include feedback from booth visitors about your booth, products, services, pricing, overall impression of your

External Observations
(include feedback about competitors, new or competing products, overall business climate)

Show Observations
(include feedback about the show itself – number of qualified attendees, show flow, booth traffic)

(would you do this show again and why?, if highly valuable, would you look for other similar shows to add?,
new/improved product recommendations, booth and staffing recommendations, etc.)

Taking a step back and getting all of these important items on paper is invaluable come budget time and when it
comes time to plan for next year's shows.

                                           TIPS FOR TRADE SHOW SUCCESS Adler Display

Planning for Next Year
Planning for Next Year's Trade Show
Now that you have all of this valuable data compiled from the show – estimated ROI, observations, and
recommendations – you can start thinking about next year! Ok, maybe you want to take a little bit of a break – but
don't wait too long – there are things that can be done right now for next year that will help you get an ever higher
ROI on your next show.

Get More Bang for Your Trade Show Buck
In addition to being an exhibitor at a show, you can gain more value for your time and money spent there by
getting one of your experts to be a speaker at a function or session. Most companies have experts in their field
that are qualified to speak at seminars, and if you check with show promoters now about next year, you'll be
ahead of the game.

Contact show promoters to make sure that you're on the list to receive their Call for Papers (sometimes called
Call for Posters). Then, speak with your internal experts about speaking at next year's show, and develop
possible topics.

When the Call for Papers arrives, follow the instructions and submit your topic. You aren't guaranteed a spot by
submitting, but if you make it a practice to do this each year, you will eventually land a spot. And when you do –
take advantage of it! Notify your existing clients that you have an industry expert speaking at the show; issue a
press release to industry publications announcing your expert being chosen to speak at the show; and notify
registered show attendees about your participation in the show – both the booth and the speaker.

A Stitch in Time…
Trade shows tend to sneak up on us all, and we end up rushing to get things like give-aways, booth graphics and
show materials. And boy do we pay the price! For your next show, use our handy Trade Show Planning Calendar
to stay utterly organized and take care of items as far away as 1 year out. Follow it and you'll be so calm come
show time, your colleagues won't recognize you! And by doing things on time, you will save money on rush
charges, shipping and other unnecessary costs that can greatly hurt your Trade Show ROI.

Tag Your Database
All of the leads that you collected from this year's show should be entered into your sales database. Make sure
these leads are "tagged" as trade show attendees so that you can easily run a report from your database and find
them next year – many people attend the same trade shows year after year.

Then, prior to next year's show, contact these customers to set appointments, invite them to events or sessions
where your expert will be speaking, or just to let them know what booth you'll be in. You get a higher ROI from
trade show attendees who are already familiar with your company than you do brand new ones.


Shared By:
Description: Prospecting Clients and Followup Worksheet document sample