5 Keys for Trade Show Success This Fall

Link to Video: HERE Podcast Transcript below: Bill : Hi there Bill Kenny here with MEET and it’s great to see you today. Welcome. Our topic today is five keys for trade show success this fall. And you know, certainly the last 18 months have been crazy and trade shows. We’ve gotten totally virtual. Looking ahead. We look ahead 18 months it probably a bit clearer than it is looking ahead, you know, for the next four or five or six months in terms of what the marketplace will look like. But we have to plan for the fall we have to think about how do we leverage the current and dynamic environment to help our businesses grow to get the right number of high quality prospects which is really what trade shows are about is how do we generate a consistent and growing volume of high quality prospects? So we’re going to offer these five keys that we think will really help us stay focus through this process.  Number one key [to trade show success] is to affirm your goals and targets and this is something you should do on a quarterly basis not just going into the fall in a kind of an unusual year. It should be done quarterly because this is as again, what we learn as we do events as we do our marketing. We should be learning all the time doing small experiments, and continuing to refine who we’re focused on. And certainly our goals should change based on what we accomplished in the first half of the year. We should be looking at how you know accomplishing our ultimate annual budget goals and quite often our performance in the first half of the year sort of dictates that we have to have a certain focus and a certain addition or a certain change in how we go about accomplishing our goals. So again, number one is affirm your goals. And targets.  Number two [key to trade show success] is confirmed event opportunities and schedule. Again, we’re in a very dynamic situation here. Some events are going in person, some are going virtual, some are going hybrid. Some are going off the schedule, new ones are always coming on the schedule, and so we want to make sure this isn’t about just going and doing what we’ve always done. It’s about saying what is the current landscape and how do we most efficiently accomplish that flow of high quality prospects that we want to get? And so it may be a totally different set of events than what we did before hybrid or virtual allows us to go much further than maybe we would have done before. On the other hand, in person events are beginning to come back. And those are certainly highly effective. If the focus is correct so number two confirm event opportunities and schedule. Number three [key to trade show success] is execute effectively. This is always critical but as things are dynamic, we there are different techniques we need to use when events are virtual. There are different techniques we need to use when events are hybrid. And certainly there are different techniques when we’re in person and it’s really about how are our people prepared. How is our plan for this event and the type of buyer that will be there are we very focused on a specific buyer persona and do we have a relevant and salient message for that buyer persona that attracts and converts them? These are all real important keys and certainly we can have the best plan possible, but poor execution will ruin that and so making sure that we’re continuing to understand the event and audience that we’re going to and making sure that that gets executed effectively, so that we get the best return. So number three was execute effectively.  Let’s go into number four [key to trade show success], measure and assess always critical so we want to make sure that we have a key one or two key metrics that we look at that are leading indicators of trade show return or event return. So you know one of the ones that we go to quite often all of our focuses with b2b companies is appointment set with decision makers. So again, there it’s gonna vary a bit depending on company, but that’s one that has been a very strong standard, because we know if we have a certain number of first appointments with decision makers or with prospects, people who have a need have money and are urgent, then we know a certain number of those will garner contracts or close and so it’s really just a formula from there. And obviously, depending on the sales cycle anywhere from six months to two years with most of our clients, we don’t want to wait six months or two years to know our ROI from events. So looking at things that are we know we’ll be able to measure within a week or two extra three weeks from the event, or it’s going to be a much more consistent and effective way to have a sense of return from these events in a much more effective way. So number three, measure and assess and so that obviously allows us to compare not only this event versus others we’ve done recently, but also this event versus this event last year and the year before and so we can look at these events in a variety of different ways. So number four was measure and assess.  Number five [key to trade show success] and to close this up, be nimble, continue to look for ways to leverage the current events seen and and and obviously we’re going to fairly quickly have our eye to 2022, which we probably already have a little bit because they’re already events being planned. We need to be cognizant of that. But make sure that