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You Work Hard For Your Leads; Don't Let Them Slip Through the Cracks

by Gwen Parsons 5. December 2012 02:51

According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), the average exhibitor invests 39% of their annual marketing budget on trade shows and events. But there's a lot of frustration around how to demonstrate results from that investment. Part of this no doubt has to do with the fact that – according to a study from CEIR - most companies do not have a tracking system in place to monitor the performance of their events which directly affects their ability to measure ROI.

You'll want to get a formal lead tracking system in place, but until that happens, make sure to take care of these basic lead tracking issues:

Establish WHO is responsible BEFORE the show. Yes it takes a village to go from show to sale. Don’t leave room for assumptions. Appoint individuals to perform the functions of a closed loop system: Who will collect all of the leads” Who will fulfill them? Who will enter or upload them into your database, and who will provide the follow-up? According CEIR’s exhibitor sales lead trends study, 45% of companies send their leads to sales for follow-up while 39% send them to marketing.

Define WHAT information to collect from visitors. Your sales team can help you define this more specifically.You have only a few minutes with each visitor so develop a few questions that will provide the answers key to qualifying them. CEIR’s exhibitor lead study confirms that only 30% of the companies surveyed qualify leads at their first encounter. Train your booth staff to incorporate those qualifying questions. Print them on your lead card or program them into your lead reader. The answers can be used to rank leads and formulate your follow up plan.

Define WHEN to follow-up. The same study by CEIR shows that 42% of survey respondents followed up within one week, and another 38% follow up within two weeks. My advice is to get started immediately. Research indicates that the average sale happens after the fifth contact so continue the momentum started at the event. At the very least, send them a short email to thank them for visiting you and let them know what to expect as the next step.

What strategies have you used to make sure your leads don't fall through the cracks? 


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Trade Show Lead Management

When a Custom Trade Show Display Rental Makes Cents

by Kat Shea 20. September 2012 06:48

Do you want a bigger trade show display for your annual event but use smaller exhibits for the other smaller shows?

Do you want to reduce your trade show expenses so you can allocate the savings to more pre- or at-show promotion?

Do you want the freedom and flexibility to have a trade show display that won’t limit your future marketing needs or budget?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then you may want to consider a custom booth rental.  If you’re like most companies today, you have to utilize every dollar of your budget to its best advantage.  Once you’ve allocated your fixed expenses such as the exhibit space, you probably try to maximize the variable expenses which often include your display.

The rule of thumb for deciding whether to purchase or rent is simple:  if you plan to use the same exhibit three times in one year, it makes sense to purchase. But it makes more sense to rent your display for a one-time use.

Many companies book inline or backwall spaces at their regional/local trade shows but want to make a big impression at their annual or national event. Mergers are often accompanied by a marketing “scramble” to rebrand. Trade shows are often the first approach to testing a new market.  A one-time trade show exhibit rental may be just what you need to look your best in any of these situations. Develop a whole new design or add elements such as greeting station, interactive kiosks, or towers with storage to your existing properties.

The beauty of a custom trade show display rental is the ability to have the design you want without having to compromise. You can have all of the benefits of a fresh, dynamic, compelling design that none of your visitors will know is a display rental.  Significant savings makes your trade show booth rental even better.  Take a look at the savings in these examples:

20 x 30 Purchase vs Rental Comparison

20 x 30 Purchase vs Rental Comparison

20 x 40 Purchase vs Rental Comparison

As you can see, all of the costs associated with ownership including inspection, repairs, storage, taxes and eventual disposal – are eliminated with a trade show booth rental.  The savings really add up. Now you have the ability to better control what you want to invest your budget in….maintenance costs or more pre-show advertising, VIP hospitality, sponsorships, discount incentive offers …you get the idea.

Here’s another bonus tip: the price of your trade show display rental includes graphics which are not rented but purchased.  So keep in mind that they can be reused on the same trade show display rental next year – this adds up to more savings!

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