While surfing the internet, I recently ran into a blog post with a conspicuous title: ”For sale: RUBBISH LEADS, à 100€”. The post discussed, among all, the fact that a badly planned trade fair participation often ends up being a wasteful investment. Quite naturally, one might say. It’s the contents that counts, both online and offline.
Scantily clad trade show models, bowls of candy filled to the brim, piles of cheap giveaways, and lotteries – all of these are easy ways to lure masses of people to your stand. Having people write down their contact details in the hope of winning a lottery is a sure way to gather an impressive pile of, well, contact details. Names and phone numbers.
If the objective of your trade fair participation is simply to obtain a certain number of leads, then the aim has undoubtedly been reached. On the other hand, one might ask themselves whether it would be better to opt for a different tactic: to concentrate on gathering a smaller number of more useful leads?
I invited all, but no one came!
If we attract visitors to the stand with the above-mentioned methods, at the end of the day all we know about our new contacts is that they like to win prizes, stare at booth babes, and fill their closets with free stuff. We do not know if Mr. So-and-so had any other reasons for visiting our stand, and we do not know if he actually ever cared to check what company’s booth it was that he visited.
Going through this type of ”leads” takes a lot of extra time, while it would have been possible to avoid this by doing the groundwork already at the fair (and most importantly, even before the fair). In addition, it goes without saying that the lottery prizes and the candies have to be paid by someone. If the person we gave a promotional pen does not remember afterwards where they got it from, can it be said that the money invested in it was well used?
It is necessary to consider who are the target group, and it is necessary to define the target group. If we try to offer something for everyone, we will end up being interesting to no one. On top of that, we will end up handing out keyrings to people who could not care less about what we do.
A two-part solution for filtering the surge of leads
The thought of defining your target group with a heavy hand and thereby leaving so many people outside might feel frightening, but it is rarely the wrong way to go. When the contents are designed with a clear focus on the target group, they will attract exactly the kind of people that we want to reach – that is, the truly potential customers. Prospects.
Besides defining the target group, another important requirement for a successful trade fair participation is choosing the right people to represent your company at the stand. An engineer might have the most profound knowledge of the product, but does he know how to talk about it to the audience in an interesting manner?
At a trade fair stand all types of know-how is needed, and the best result is often reached with a versatile mix of expertise and friendly smiles. The best people can dig out from the visitors useful information that surpasses what we would have learnt from a mere business card. As a result, it will be much easier to put the obtained leads into profitable use in sales.
A professional can help you
It is, of course, understandable that when your hands are full of work with trade fair arrangements, you might be left with way too little time to generate ideas for quality contents. That is why it might be useful to outsource the design and construction of the stand and the management of all the little things involved – for example to us. We take part in hundreds of trade fairs all over the world every year, and if there is someone who is in the know of all the newest trends and ideas, that will be us.
It’s time to move on towards better leads!
This post has been originally posted in Finnish 5.8.2014.