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HOW TO STAFF YOUR TRADE SHOW TO FAIL

“94% of marketers don’t believe their company converts 

Trade Show visitors into customers very well.” 

As a Marketer or a Revenue Manager for your company, maybe you’ve experienced that frustration. And if you’re new to Trade Shows and planning your first one, that statistic should scare you.

 

I can empathize, because I’ve been there myself. I know that your career, and the company’s growth are, at least in part, linked to the success of your Trade Shows. There’s a lot at stake for you.

Failing to convert visitors into customers is bad enough – but it can get even worse:

 

  • Money wasted
  • Losing clients to competitors
  • Damage to brand reputation

 

I’ve heard countless horror stories from business executives who all have a common problem: they lose money on their Trade Show programs. For most, they simply don’t have the right people “selling” at their exhibits.

 

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HERE'S A QUICK STORY...

A technology company from Texas (and I’ll spare them any embarrassment by revealing their name), exhibiting for the first time – chose the Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2019) in Las Vegas.  They spent roughly $50,000 on the event – a substantial investment for a small company looking to gain traction.

 

Now, CES is the place to be for tech companies: it’s the largest show in the world – attracting more than 175,000 industry professionals, including 60,000+ international participants. The ~4,500 exhibiting companies cover 3 million net square feet of exhibit space, and include ~300 of the Fortune Global 500 companies.

 

CONSEQUENCES

With all of that potential in front of them, how did this Texas company fare at CES 2019?

  • Generated fewer leads than you can count on two hands
  • Failed to follow-up with those valuable leads in a timely manner after the show, so they lost momentum with the some prospects
  • CEO disappointed and let down after having such high expectations  

 

SO, WHAT WENT WRONG?

The CEO of the company regretfully admitted that they failed because they used their internal staff – comprised of technologists, who had zero lead generation experience at Trade Shows – or even any sales experience.

 

Why does all this matter?

COST AND FINANCIAL RISK OF EXHIBITING...

The total cost for a company exhibiting for the first time will average between $50K (10×10 exhibit) and $150K (20×20 exhibit). That cost includes a new booth, travel expenses and accomodations, shipping, convention hall setup, and booth support costs.

 

I can’t emphasize these questions enough…

 

  • Are you sure that the team you’re sending to your next Trade Show can sell enough to even cover the cost of your Trade Show?

 

  • Are you sure that they are even capable of generating a substantial sales funnel?

 

 

  • Are you sure they will behave in a way that protects the reputation of your company and not embarrass you in front of attendees and other vendors?

 

3 COSTLY REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD AVOID USING YOUR EMPLOYEES

1. They don’t take Trade Shows seriously

When you hired your team, their job description probably didn’t mention anything about generating leads at Trade Shows.  At best, there was a bullet point labelled “travel” within the Special Needs section, right below “must be able to lift 50 pounds”.

  

Now, your Trade Show is just around the corner and you’ve successfully recruited your team of volunteers – company die-hard’s willing to go above and beyond. What happens next?

 

Trade Show Miami!  Your team wastes no time party planning. Frantic fingers search Google – “Restaurants and nightclubs near Miami Convention Center”.

 

It’s difficult to set a high bar of accountability for how they perform at your Trade Show when it’s outside the scope of why you hired them. An expectation of success exists, but that bar is not set as high as it would be if you hired Professional Reps – that are goal-driven, and experienced generating leads at Trade Shows.

 

2. They have the wrong personality type

A common misperception is that successful salespeople are extroverts. It’s not always the case. All types of personalities that make it in sales – some that are more introverted make it by staying super focused on their sales process. But Trade Show selling is different than traditional selling, and requires special people to pull it off.

 

  • Attract: Exhibit salespeople, combined with your booth design, are important in drawing attendees to your booth. Extroverts are definitely a plus to help you stand out among other exhibitors.

 

  • Approachable: Attendees are there to have a good time, learn new things, meet and talk with new companies. You want your people to be friendly, open, and approachable. 

 

Employees who are knowledgeable about your company, and the features & benefits of your products and services…aren’t necessarily the best people to draw visitors and engage them at your exhibit.

 

3. They can cost you more than hiring professionals

A target-rich Trade Show may be your best, or only, opportunity to get in front of the decision-maker. For every potential Lead that slips by, ask yourself –  

 

  1. What’s the average Customer Lifetime Value of one of my customers?
  2. Would it have been worth it to hire a professional sales rep to generate leads at my Trade Show?
  3. Are my employees more valuable working back at the office instead of at the Trade Show?

SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION WITH ME IF...

You’re under a lot of pressure to perform this year.

 

You’re anxious about how you’re going to pull off a successful exhibit – because time and resources are limited.

 

And now, you’re not sure if you have the right people to staff your booth.

 

If you want to avoid wasting money and losing revenue opportunities, or the embarrassment and potential damage to your companies reputation.

Free 30-Minute Consultation

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