Preparing your Team for Trade Show Success, a Conversation with Deidre Diamond, Part 2August 6, 2018
We’re happy to share Part 2 of our discussion with Deidre Diamond, founder and CEO of CyberSN and founder of Brainbabe. Our conversation with Deidre was live-streamed on July 26th as part of a new series we’re offering at MEET: Coffee and Conversation. Join us periodically as we chat live with experts and veterans in the trade show, event, and complementary industries to hear their wisdom on common challenges and simple solutions for success.
We left off in our conversation with Deidre during her discussion on the importance of offering a full orientation to both new and old staff to walk through each detail of the event, the strategy, the schedule and the communications, in addition to setting up a clear leadership structure. We followed by asking about the value of role-playing in staff preparation.
Deidre stated that prior to any event, everyone—whether they are in marketing or sales, role-plays the pitch of the day, the vision and mission of the company until it rolls off their tongues. For salespeople, this tends to be easier as they are constantly speaking this messaging. For marketing staff, they may be more familiar with the written message and therefore need more practice. At the end of the day, it’s about attracting true prospects, in which case role-playing requires more than repeating a script. It requires a clear strategy. Everything begins with strategy.
When asked how she incorporates leaders or more experienced event staff into the training process, Deidre shared that she looks for one person to be in charge of the entire event. She holds one person accountable but requires that person to tell her specifically how he or she will hold others accountable, in the process of building their leadership skills.
Leaders are required to prepare a full schedule for the event including staffing for set-up and break down. She is also looking for how the team plans to use the event’s scheduled breaks to ensure that the booth is fully staffed when the attendees are out of sessions and most likely to visit the floor. Typically she looks for senior staff to work the booth during these break sessions, whereas otherwise, they are moving throughout the event, seeking out existing clients. It is based on this master schedule that she measures their results at the end of the day.
We probed further into this idea of results measurement tied to individual and team performance, asking Deidre how she personally measures ROI for each event.
Her first step prior to selecting an event is to ask the host for a list of the attendees—not the actual names, but the personas. For example, she looks for data such as the percentage of practitioners or percentage of CISOs (Chief Information Security Officers) that typically attend these events, the break down of who they anticipate will actually attend, and anticipated total number of participants. She collects this data months before the event but does not use it immediately. Rather, she revisits the data closer to the event, basing her decision about whether to attend on the current focus of sales and how well this focus aligns with the projected personas of who will be in attendance.
Using this data, she assesses what percentage of the attendees represent the personas of their current clients as well as their current prospects. She the applies measurable outcomes to each of these personas, allowing for clear, informed goal setting against which to measure the success of her team, and the overall ROI.
Deidre closed her discussion with several points about the importance of making a human connection when reaching out to prospects from the booth. Recognizing that feelings of discomfort and shyness arise both from those selling the product and from those buying it, the value of a warm, welcoming introduction cannot be underestimated. Failing to prepare your team to make these connections on the floor not only impacts their ability to meet goals, it sends a broader message to all the event attendees about the vitality of your company.
MEET (meetroi.com) helps B2B growth companies and pavilion hosts effectively leverage at trade shows and in-person events. MEET’s processes help its clients ramp-up sales quickly and maintain a steady stream of high-quality prospects going forward. Contact Bill Kenney at MEET today for a free trade show participation assessment firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 (860) 573-4821.