Las Vegas: National Association of Broadcasters – NAB Show

Las Vegas: National Association of Broadcasters – NAB Show

Las Vegas: International Security Conference & Expo – ISCWest

Las Vegas: Interop

Las Vegas: IPC APEX EXPO™

IPC APEX EXPO billed itself as the Electronics Industry’s Premier Event, showing off advanced and emerging technologies in printed board design and manufacturing, electronics assembly and test. Delegates were milling around to track down new suppliers with new solutions, and connect with colleagues from around the world.  Milling around WHERE exactly?  Well, for starters at the International Reception, the First-Timers’ Welcome, the Women in Electronics Networking Meeting and the IPC Government Relations Committee Open Forum, that’s where…. not to mention the New Products Corridor.  You didn’t want to miss the IPC Hand Soldering World Championship, and Circuits Assembly’s NPI Awards, which recognized the leading new equipment and materials products for electronics assembly introduced in the past 12 months.  Darn it, I just hand-soldered my badge to my lapel….  #ipcshow

Las Vegas: Aviation Pros LIVE

Aviation Pros LIVE tells us it’s there in the interests of “powering aviation from the ground up”, under the banner “Mission: Possible”.  This meant “the ultimate event specifically designed for aviation professionals”, exhibiting the latest tools, technologies and resources. The stated aim was to “Improve safety, boost efficiency and develop skills with cutting-edge solutions from hundreds of exhibitors and high-impact education sessions”.  There were several hundred innovative ramp, apron and runway solutions, high-impact maintenance certification workshops, education opportunities, an international aerospace maintenance competition, the GSE Leaders Golf Invitational, and even a Chili Cook-Off with superstar entertainment — all subject to the rules for “Advance Preparations for Chili Participants”;  rules like “Clearly mark your chili 5-gallon containers with contact name, company name and phone number”.  Okay, *sigh*, I got an unmarked 5-gallon chili container here… anyone claim this?

Exhibitors: Trade Show Tip Thursday: The Show Is Over: Now What

Day 2 Is a wrap!

What’s Your Exit Strategy?

You’ve planned your booth space for six months. You’ve groomed your booth staff on branding talking points. Your booth swag is so unique everyone will be flocking to your booth. Brochures and marketing materials are boxed up all shiny and new. Flights are booked. Show floor appointments made. Pre-show check list is complete.  You’ve even taken our advice from the last TSTTH and set up social media for your booth including a 4Sq check in so you can see who stopped into hear your presentation.

Where is your exit strategy?

Before you go to the show, every exhibitor needs to know what they are doing post show to follow up with all the hot leads they’ve received without becoming a nudge. *my NYer is showing*

There are basically two reasons for spending thousands of dollars to exhibit at a trade show:

1) To physically connect with your current customers to keep them updated or just buy them a drink so they’ll remember their next $50,000 order goes to you.

2) To find new clients.

Whether you use the scanner  or do it the old fashioned way of business card exchange, the post-show follow up is as important as the booth babe retrieving that information for you.

Let’s digress for just a moment here:  Scanners vs. Cards.

A scanner tells you that someone came to your booth.

A business card is a personal interaction with someone who took the time to reach into their pocket and give you their card, hopefully in exchange for yours.

Which is better?

Now back to the topic of this post:

Within 2-3 days of the close of the show, just send a short quick branded email thanking each person for stopping by your booth:

Dear Mr. McAttendee:

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to stop by our booth at the Bqhatever show last week. It was a pleasure to meet you and I hope that your time in <insert city name>  was both productive and enjoyable.

I’ll drop you a line [this Thursday / next Monday etc] so we can talk about this opportunity, but please feel free to call or email in the meantime if you have any questions.

Best regards:

Joe Widget

Contact Information

*Picture of your show booth

I know that * seems a bit odd but it will give your contact a reference point.

If you say your are going to follow up in a week make sure YOU do it!

I prefer making a specific appointment with them just as if it was a standard in person sales meeting. This way it is on their schedule. About five minutes prior, send them an email with any visual material they might need to reference during the conversation.

Once the call is complete, send an expanded follow up referencing the talking points covered in the call.

If you have the facilities to do this, a hand written thank you card with a hand addressed envelope goes a long way. Nobody sends personal snail mail anymore.

Then leave it alone for at least 2 weeks.

Send a polite email asking if they had any further questions or if there was a specific project they had in mind etc.  Attach other similar trade events you are going to be attending or exhibiting at in the near future.

IF you get NO response. Let it go for at least 3-5 months. Do NOT call/email every week.

At about the 5 month mark since the close of the trade show – the new registration should be open. Send a reminder email asking if they are planning on attending this year. *unless it’s ConExpo which is every 3 years*

Add them to the pre-show invite list you should have by now to pre-schedule appointments that should automatically start about a month before the opening.

Your exit strategy should be in place before the show even opens.

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Free tips because we like you:

1) Create a quarterly newsletter that gives industry as well as company updates. Invite your trade show list to subscribe to it and make sure there is a link to your website so it is accessible.

2) Make sure you get the gender right on any correspondence. Do not assume that all people you are doing business with are male. I get 10 calls per day referring to me as Mr. Dollar and I am quick to inform them that both the Mr. Dollars, my dad & brother are deceased.

3) Personally we prefer business cards because it allows us to make notes instantly on the back of the card. Female/blue dress Male/pattern baldness *no one said we were PC here at B-t-B* this way you can personalize your email more when you follow our advice above the cut.