Make Trade Shows Work for Your Business
Make Trade Shows Work for YOUR Business NO-FAIL TIPS FROM TOP EXPERTS By Scott Krady Slimmer marketing budgets are propelling companies to turn to tried-and-true means—like trade shows—to generate leads and energize sales. " Trade shows are vital for companies," says David Brull, vice president of membership and marketing at The Trade Show Exhibitors Association. They are the sales tool of choice for every kind of business—from consumer electronics makers to medical product wholesalers, Fortune 500 companies to mom-and-pop operations. Make the most of a trade show by following a few guidelines. First, understand who your key customers are—and the type of leads you're seeking, advises Linda Musgrove, president of TradeShow Teacher, a consulting firm in Aventura, Fla. Then scout out trade shows that meet your business's needs by requesting attendee lists and demographics from previous events. The most successful companies start marketing well before the event, Musgrove says. Set objectives, such as your targeted return on investment. Send registered companies a pre-show mailer, inviting them to your trade show booth. Formulate a plan for collecting leads and handling follow-up before arriving at the show. Make sure all employees and others who will staff your booth know all the details of your plan. And take advantage of any pre-show networking, such as V.I.P. cocktail hours and seminars. continued on page 16 Third Quarter 2009 | | 15
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