Trade Shows Today is meant to be of service to small and mid-size exhibitors.
The internet abounds with many to do lists and top 10 lists and tactical lists as well there are many powerful marketing automation tools, available to companies today. This article is an attempt to place those many sources into a workable context.
Tradeshows remain the primary means for face to face sales and marketing. They are unique, non-linear, and not easy to predict. I’ve written a text whose structure resembles that of a trade show: it is conceptual, intuitive, and meant to be used on an as-need basis. It can be read out of order, and in bursts just like shows; but in the end, we get out of relationships what we put into them … prepare, adjust, attend, and repeat to listen, engage, design and deliver.
IT BEGINS WITH A QUESTION
If your trade show participation is less than profitable, perhaps it is time to review your assumptions, ask yourself:
Why do we exhibit?
How do we exhibit?
What is needed to exhibit profitably?
What is different about tradeshows from digital or print marketing?
What is different about the attending a tradeshow today vs. 5 years ago?
How do we determine the appropriate investment for an ROI?
How do we create a reliable ROI plan?
What should we be asking the organizer for?
What should the organizer be sharing with us?
What role does face to face play in our overall marketing plan?
How does face to face interact with our digital marketing?
If your answers include:
Because we always do.
Because our competitor is there.
We never get anything out of these shows.
If any of these answers are acceptable to you, please throw this book away.
But if you are still interested in making your program work, let’s see if we can begin with the most essential question of all:
What needs to happen for my company and me to participate profitably in trade shows?