As company leaders and entrepreneurs, we know the importance of exhibiting at trade conferences. To insure conference success, exhibitors must have a well-planned strategy. In this article you will discover 10 Essentials to increase your Return on Investment and maximize your success!
10 Essentials for a Successful Conference
1. Set Your Conference Goals
Attending and exhibiting at a conference is a key marketing strategy requiring financial commitment. In order to maximize the return on your investment, it's important to identify goals and objectives. It is essential to set goals and targets for: Brand exposure Number of new leadsNumber of new accountsSales volume, etc. Setting goals may seem like a simple point, but often it's taken for granted and not well defined. All too frequently, we want sales, but do not give enough attention to planning on how sales will be generated. Napoleon Hill, the author of the classic book Think and Grow Rich, said, "A person without a goal is like a ship without a rudder." Setting detailed goals is essential to a successful conference.
2. Plan Your Marketing Strategy
Planning a marketing strategy is the second essential. Successful exhibitors plan and develop a conference marketing campaign. Your campaign should include three strategies: Pre-Conference Marketing, Conference Marketing, and Post Conference Strategy. Pre-Conference Marketing: There are plenty of opportunities to market to your database prior to going to a show. Let's assume you are launching a new product or service. It will be wise to create a marketing campaign to begin generating interest while teasing your target market on what's to come. Apple is great at this. Before the introduction of the IPhone, Apple launched several campaigns with bits of information about the new product… enough to make thousands of people wait outside the stores for hours to purchase it. Prepare an e-mail campaign and send it out so you can generate a lot of interest and make many sales. Conference Marketing: Your marketing strategy should set you apart from other exhibitors. How will you grab the attention of conference attendees? What is your unique positioning? How clear is your message and what you offer? Create marketing materials that are clear as to what you offer and compel attendees to stop by and learn more about your company. Post Conference Strategy: Follow-up is one of the pitfalls of many companies. Don't wait until you come back from the conference to begin your post-show communication with all your new leads. A smart company will have their post strategy outlined and ready to be launched immediately upon returning from the show. Create a few email sequence messages that you would like to send immediately upon your return from the conference.
3. Plan Your Sales Strategy
Now that you have your marketing strategy in place, it is essential to craft your sales process. What are you planning to sell at the conference? Create your sales material and make your special conference pricing/offers and added value very clear. Create urgency for people to buy now and place their order. Make the process easy and seamless. Make your sales flyers flashy and attention grabbing. Hand out as many as possible!
4. Select the Right Team Members
In order to maximize your investment, select the right people to help you during the conference. You want high energy sales experts… happy, friendly people who don't whine and complain about every little thing. You want people who can stand all day and work. Create a position description for the conference to clarify any misconceptions about working a conference. This is not a vacation. It's not about going out and being tired the next day. Make sure your team knows your conference goals and objectives.
5. Team Performance Bonus
It is wise to set performance targets for each team member and assign a bonus based on achieved targets. You can do this either as a group bonus or an individual bonus. Either way, it should be motivational for the team to take action and produce the results you desire.
6. Reserve Exhibit Space and Hotel Accommodations Early
Reserving your exhibit space early gives you the opportunity to select the ideal booth space and maximize traffic flow. This will increase your potential number of leads and revenue. Working a conference is hard work. Where you stay can make a big difference. That's why it is wise to reserve your hotel space early. Hotels get booked up fast. The last thing you want to have is a long walk after standing all day. Reserving early will save you money, too. Just make sure to select the right place for you and your team.
7. Reserve Lead Retrieval Device
I can't tell you how often I see companies exhibit without a lead retrieval device. What is the point of going to a show if you are not capturing as many leads as possible? Having a lead retrieval device will allow you to scan your visitors and obtain their information fast. This practice will help with your post-marketing strategy by simply downloading the data into your database. Begin your automated post-conference communication the minute you get back to work. It's definitely worth the investment!
8. Establish Your Image Booth
People form their opinion of you and your company within seconds. It's a difference of stopping to talk to you or simply walking by and going to your competition. Creating a great image does not have to cost a lot. With some pre-planning, you can create a great professional image. The key factor is pre-planning. Set up your display prior to the conference, looking for ways to improve your image. What marketing tools can you produce to help you deliver your message and attract attention? Seek professional help in designing your image to make a great impression.Team Image. Your team's apparel and conduct can either make or break you. Make sure to inform them of your attire policy and conduct to insure a good reflection on your company.
9. Exhibit Set Up
Always arrive early to set up your booth and be prepared. Once set up is complete, meet with your team and reiterate your conference goals and everyone's role. Remind everyone of the importance of professional conduct and the overall objective of the conference.
10. Measuring your Conference Results
There are two essential things to measure: On-site conference performance: Did you hit the target for lead generation and on-site sales? Post-conference performance: (One month post conference) How many more sales did you generate post conference through your follow-up.
These 10 Essentials are proven effective methods insuring conference success. If you are already practicing them, Congratulations! If not, we encourage you to implement them for your next conference to maximize your conference success!
Copyright (c) 2013 InSPAration Management
Article Source: http://www.abcarticledirectory.com
Dori Soukup is a recognized spa consultant, expert, speaker, coach and author. Dori is the founder and CEO of InSPAration Management, a business firm that specializes in providing business solutions to spa and salon leaders. The firm offers education via CDs, DVDs, Coaching Memberships, Seminars, and more. To learn more, visit www.InSPArationManagement.com
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