Missing trade shows and their leads? Read: 18 Ways to be productive when you can't exhibit

18 ways to be productive when you can’t exhibit

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Posted by , 20th June 2020

Businesses reliant on trade shows for their leads have suffered massively from the pandemic. This post highlights 18 ways to be productive in their absence

Exhibition halls lie empty the world over but exhibitions and events will return so be ready.

Five hundred trade shows cancelled, costing $26bn

If you work as an exhibition organiser or you’re an event supplier, COVID-19 has been catastrophic. The statistic above, published by UFI (The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry) makes that abundantly clear. 

But exhibitors who rely on trade shows to generate the bulk of their leads have also suffered.

Overnight, one of the biggest drivers of sales leads disappeared. 

There is hope on the horizon. The re-opening and re-starting of business here in the UK is beginning. 

By the autumn of 2020, trade shows will likely return, albeit in a much more controlled environment. 

So, how can small and medium-sized businesses use the interim to generate leads and ready themselves for when they can eventually exhibit again? 

This post offers eighteen suggestions. Let’s get started. 

1. Increase your email marketing

Keeping in touch with clients and prospective clients is essential. Many of your contacts are furloughed but not all. 

One of the “benefits” of the pandemic is that many people are now working from home and they have time to read their email. 

Take advantage of that fact, without abusing it. 

Use this time to build rapport with the people you most want to serve. How do you that? Send them interesting and helpful messages. 

With that in mind, now is an excellent time to re-purpose or update posts, reports and whitepapers and to publish new items. 

This is how your email marketing can be relevant, useful and above all, read. 

Encourage response and interaction and promote your posts and content releases on social media.  

PS. The shows you planned to attend this year haven’t died. They have either been rescheduled or postponed to a date in 2021. 

Keep your audience up to date on new dates and other relevant event news. 

When new dates for your postponed shows are confirmed, email your clients and prospects.

Suggest that they update their calendars with the new dates.  Doing so will be the first step in your pre-show marketing campaign for those events. 

2. Fill the holes in your sales data

Now is an excellent time to be filling the holes in your sales database.

Those holes are costing you money every time you email your list. 

Holes in your data means key individuals within businesses you’d like as clients are not receiving your messages. 

They’re not receiving your content, nor will they receive invitations to trade shows, conferences and any events you might organise in the future. 

Fill in the missing email fields and job titles; update or delete the bounces in your list.

Filling the data gaps will make your list more responsive. It will also make a more useful asset for your sales team.

If you need help doing this work, we can help. Email: david@exhibitorsonly.biz and I will send you details. 

3. Update sales progress with the leads gathered from your most recent events 

Enforced “downtime” provides an excellent opportunity to review progress with leads and enquiries from your most recent exhibitions and events. 

During the lockdown, it’s been hard to reach people by phone, especially if they are working from home. 

Regardless, do whatever you can to keep hot leads hot and to warm-up those that might have forgotten your business since the show. 

A good starting point is to update your lead tracker, adding the follow-up work done to date. 

It should allow you to make a report that ranks leads by their value and urgency. It’s a way to see quickly where your show leads stand in the sales process.

  • You can identify who is likely to order what and when
  • See which products or services are selling best or are of most interest 
  • Identify the best performing events as described in Item 4
  • Identify sales already closed and the return so far on your event spend

4. Thoroughly review event results and grade shows according to performance 

Reporting and tracking are your routes to trade show sales superstardom.

Why? Because you’ll be someone who knows how to build sales and win clients for your business. 

Most important of all, you will also be able to demonstrate what it costs to generate leads and sales from trade show participation. 

You can banish once and for all if the view or suspicion exists, that you can’t measure what you get from exhibiting. 

Yes, you can and here’s how to do it.  

Take time to record results from all recent events. 

The objective is to rank performance based on;

  • Leads generated
  • Orders closed from leads generated 
  • The cost per lead 
  • The cost per order 

To achieve an accurate value for your cost per lead and order, you must accurately track all costs associated with each event. 

To identify your cost per lead, divide the number of leads collected into the total cost for the show. For example, £5,000 spent divided by 50 leads = £100 per lead

To identify the cost per sale, divide the number of sales confirmed into the total cost for the show. For example, £5,000 spent divided by 10 sales = £500 per sale. 

When it comes to sales made at a show, the other vital element to record is their total value. 

Ten sales at one event may equal £25,000 while at another they may total £50,000. 

These values will be important when it comes to ranking event performance, and there’s more on this subject in Point 5. 

5. Measure and rank conversion rates 

To only judge events by the number of leads you take away is helpful but not the whole story. 

It’s also vital to see conversion rates. 

What you need to identify are the events where a higher percentage of leads turn into orders. 

One event may generate more leads than another, but the other event’s conversion of leads to sales may be higher. 

Within this mix, you also need to note which event’s sales were the highest irrespective of the conversion rate. 

When you have that data, you can explore why one event might have outperformed another. 

You can also start to rank events based on leads collected, leads converted, total sales won vs the cost of exhibiting.

Detective-like thinking is required when assessing results. Different things can affect your event results. These could include; 

  • The number of visitors attending 
  • Which team was working on the stand 
  • The duration of the event 
  • The location of the event, or your stand position 
  • How good or bad the weather was during the event 
  • If there were transportation problems during the event 

Trade show detective work

You may also find that visitors to one show produce higher value first-time orders than those at another. There may be differences in the speed in which orders close. Some events may provide high numbers of leads but convert poorly. 

These are all things you can only find out by studying your results. 

The more you study, the more you learn not just about event performance, but also about your target market and their characteristics.

One of the highest “soft” values trade shows deliver (as opposed to hard leads and sales) is the opportunity to talk in person to buyers. 

Usually, these are very hard to reach people, shielded by voicemail and Scrooge-like in their responsiveness.

However, get them to a show, and it’s a very different story. They open-up, they talk and show interest. They want to know about what you offer and how it can benefit them. You move from looking at just entries in your database to seeing and knowing real live people

6. Prepare article topics and whitepapers that can be linked to webinars and event participation 

You may not be the person who writes the copy for articles and whitepapers in your business, but you can map out subject headings and bullet points for the person who will do the writing. 

As we have already covered, in the absence of real events, there are plenty of online seminars and webinar opportunities. 

Joined-up marketing extracts the highest possible value from every asset you possess or invest in. 

When businesses commit to a physical exhibition, they think about the materials they will give visitors on the day or send their follow-up messages. 

They may also engage in pre-show marketing activity before the event. The goal is to attract people to the stand and raise the profile of their brand or business. 

Profile raising in this way reaches the people who attend the event, and, many who don’t

Therefore, event participation can be a driver of content creation or the updating of marketing material. 

The exciting thing is, you can also use the process in reverse. 

Create a whitepaper or report about a topical subject and then go and find outlets where you can promote your company’s expertise in the issue. 

I’m thinking of webinars, online conferences, podcasts and other online channels over and above those you own or control. 

In the same way, you would typically have a schedule of events, you can create a programme for content – you probably already do. 

The twist I’m suggesting you make is to then treat your chunkier pieces of content as “events” to which you tie the type of online appearances suggested. 

Working this way, you can be generating event-related leads despite the absence of physical exhibitions and conferences.  

7. Create a presentation for conference and seminar programmes

Speaking in the conference or seminar programme that runs alongside a show is an invaluable additional promotional opportunity for exhibitors. 

Now is an excellent time to add this element to your event marketing; here’s what to do. 

  • Decide on a topical subject where your company has a high level of expertise
  • Write an outline of what a twenty to forty-minute speech or presentation would cover
  • Identify one or more potential speakers within your company 
  • Contact the conference or seminar organisers within the companies organising your events
  • Ask them for details of the programme and the subjects they want covering
  • If your issue is listed; that’s great. Send a synopsis of your presentation
  • If your topic is not listed, but it fits into the overall theme of the programme, send an outline and explain how your talk can support their programme 
  • Keep flexible; You may need to amend your original idea 
  • Be prepared to shorten your talk to fit a time slot but retain the critical points 
  • Always include brief details about why your speaker is qualified to deliver the talk

In doing this work, you will also uncover topics that could work for webinars or online presentations. 

Those webinars, virtual shows and online conferences are filling some of the space left in the absence of trade events. More on webinars next. 

8. Use webinars to promote sales and company profile

A webinar is a seminar conducted over the internet. 

You or members of your company could participate (speak) in other people’s webinars or you could conduct your own. 

As mentioned, there are webinars galore bursting out all over the web in the absence of live events. So the easiest route is to be part of someone else’s webinar. 

Many show organisers are offering webinars as a means to stay relevant to their audiences until live events return. Follow similar steps as outlined in Suggestion No. 9 and you should be a good candidate, subject permitting, for one or more organisers in your market. 

The trade journals in your market are also likely to be producing webinars too, so you have a lot of choices just with these options.

Produce your own webinars

The other option is to produce your own webinars. Viewed from a technical standpoint, this isn’t too hard. The harder element is in attracting an audience for your webinar because as the organiser of the “event” you need and want people to view or see it.

Again, this doesn’t have to be too hard, especially if you have a lot of customers and or, a large prospect and contact list. 

Here are some tips from event specialist Jeannette La who has organised many webinars as part of her show marketing support activity

Webinar technology isn’t one size fits all

These days the choices of webinar software can be overwhelming. A few things to consider before running to the biggest provider with a fist full of cash are:

  • How many people do you think will attend the presentation? 10? 25? 100? Be honest with yourself. The number of maximum attendees could mean using free webinar software vs a paid software product.
  • Who’s managing the invite process for people who are interested in attending your webinar? Some services will automatically send invites and reminders on your behalf, whereas some will not, and you’ll need to do it yourself manually.
  • Do you want to live poll or survey people during the webinar? Is your webinar going to be interactive, or will it be a blanket message going out? Again, this is something to consider because not all software providers offer live polling or surveys, but live voting isn’t right for everyone either.
  • Do you need to show videos during your webinar? Not every provider offers this service, so double-check the one you’re looking at will support that.

My personal must-have webinar option

My personal preference is to record the webinar (both video and sound) with the ability to upload to a website later. 

It’s excellent for follow-up emails to the people who registered but couldn’t attend.

You can send out a link to the recording (don’t forget to track the opens and click-through in your email!) to those people then upload the webinar to a website, place a data capture page on it and then collect more leads from work already done.

What’s your message and who’s delivering it?

The most important thing about the webinar content is that you have to be clear, concise and to the point.

Is your webinar purely a sales pitch? If so, you need to tell people that fact during the registration period.

In all of my years of doing webinars, I’ve found that if your content is mostly educational with a few sales messages woven into it, then people are more apt to engage and share – the keywords here being few sales messages.

If your 30-minute webinar isn’t billed as a sales webinar and you spend 27 of the 30 minutes on a hard sell with 3 minutes on an educational piece, guess what, most people aren’t going to stick around and listen.

The other important thing is the speaker. You’ll want someone who’s good at speaking, knowledgeable about the subject and who can get to the point. And when you’ve found this person, find another. You never know if your first choice is going to come down with the stomach flu the morning of the talk. 

For the first time that you’re presenting the webinar, I would suggest a minimum of 2 practice runs. The first being not recorded so that you can get the timings down. Then the second as a dress rehearsal, with the full recording (as if you’re doing it live) and then listen to the playback and see what you can improve.

I also want to reiterate here that I said a minimum of 2 practice runs; the more you practice, the better it’s going to get. I like having at least two people on a webinar; one as a moderator and one (or more) to present. It frees up the presenter to focus on the content while the moderator can ensure that everything is running smoothly during the presentation.

Timing Is Everything

Determining the optimal length and actual delivery time of your webinar is also crucial. Too short and you won’t have enough time to get your message in, too long, and you’re going to lose your audience. For a webinar programme just starting and building credibility, I feel that no longer than 30 minutes is good; 5 minutes for welcome and closing remarks, 5 minutes for questions and 20 minutes of content.

The time of day and day of the week that you run the webinar is also critical. Pick a time that works for your industry, it could be Tuesdays during lunch, or if you’re a B2C company, maybe it’s evenings, after dinner when the kids are in bed.

An excellent place to check on timings and days is your competitor’s webinar schedules. Doing so should give you an indicator of the optimal days and times for your industry. 

Don’t forget to factor in time zones. You’ll never have a day or time that’s good for everyone, so don’t try and please everyone either. Make the timing selection on what works for most of the audience and your presenter.

Don’t forget to follow-up!

Like any trade show, the attendees to webinars have raised their hands and said, “Yes, I am interested.” 

Follow up with everyone, the people who registered and didn’t attend? Send them an email saying, “sorry we missed you, here’s the link to the webinar for you to watch at your leisure.”

And the ones who registered and attended? Those people are like gold! Email to schedule an appointment or call them, but whatever you do, follow up!

9. Podcast your way to recognition and sales

Like webinars, podcasts are a digital communication tool, and like webinars, you can create your own content or seek out opportunities to be part of other people’s programmes.

If your company doesn’t already have a podcast, the latter is the fastest and easiest route to take.

That’s because it takes time to build a podcast following.

If you followed the advice in Item 6, you already have a list of potential subjects that a podcaster could be interested in including in their show.

Approach podcasters as you would organisers of conference and seminar programmes. Let them know you have an expert that could talk comfortably about a subject that falls within the remit of their show.

In the run-up to any broadcast, promote the podcast to your client, and prospect lists.

Once the podcast is published, link to it from your website and within your email marketing.

As with blogs, some podcasters have a more significant following than others. If you make it onto their podcasts, you will, of course, reach more people. However, if you’re starting, count any broadcast as a win but aim high.

Learn and apply the lessons learnt just as you would for any other form of marketing.

If you want to create podcasts, there are many excellent in-depth guides available elsewhere on the web.

10. Exhibit virtually

Virtual trade exhibitions have been around for a long time, but the pandemic has boosted their usefulness and appeal. 

Many exhibition organisers who have never had online versions of their events do now, and many of the tactics they use for live versions apply for virtual. 

Virtual exhibitions are not just for trade shows and conferences, museums and art galleries like the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, have also been using them for some time. 

So, the technology is proven, and at a time when person to person interactions are harder to achieve, virtual events offer a valid marketing opportunity.

And, as with real events, organisers attract exhibitors and sponsors, and they generate audiences just as they would in the physical world. 

In a virtual show, exhibitors have their “stands”, and they have the opportunity to promote their products and services via a diverse range of content including video, downloads, product photos and presentations. 

Exhibitors will usually have the ability to host webinars during the event. All of this content provides the organiser with excellent ammunition when it comes to promoting the usefulness of the event to visitors. 

Live chat is also a standard feature, as it enables two-way discussion and the collection of enquiries. 

Exact packages will vary depending on the software provider for the event. 

As with physical shows, before you confirm your place, you need to be satisfied that the event will be promoted actively. 

The audience is always the product an organiser is selling. Everything else is bells and whistles.   

11. Think about doing things differently when events return

Now is also an excellent time to research new suppliers and new ideas. 

Thinking about how you could do things differently to excite and interest show visitors is always worth doing. 

You might engage in this exercise because you are unhappy with a current supplier. 

Perhaps, their designs haven’t moved with your business or market. 

Alternatively, you might be considering bringing in a new element like digital or some kind of interactive feature into your stands.  

There are lots of possibilities, like the one shown in the image below. 

Businesses reliant on trade shows for their leads have suffered massively from the pandemic. This post highlights 18 ways to be productive in their absence

This hanging stand from American Apparel at the BETA trade show caught my eye.

The suspended walls of the stand look like they hang above the space. 

It’s a great display idea because;

  • The design provides a huge and highly visible branding space above the stand
  • That’s great for brand visibility in the show
  • The stand space itself has an open feel with lots of room for visitors to walk around
  • You are never in doubt as to whose stand you are on

A smart but straightforward display idea, and it could work for exhibitors in all sorts of industries. 

Swop clothes for car parts; materials handling machines; cars; boats; interactive screens; all would look good with this sort of display.

12. Update your on-stand presentation 

Thinking and writing take time, so perhaps now is an excellent opportunity to make changes to your on-stand sales presentation.

All sales scripts, visuals and graphics, need a refresh from time to time, but the pandemic itself may well have caused problems that will trigger changes in some marketing collateral.

Delay in the supply of materials or changes to product specifications may need addressing. 

Will you need to revise timings for the delivery of any part of your service? 

When events do recommence, safe distancing measures are likely to apply to exhibition stands and the people on the stand. 

I asked one of my clients, Anthony Booty of Guardian Display, for his thoughts on this subject. 

Here’s what he said. 

“We can’t say with certainty yet, what the rules will be for stand design when trade shows re-open. However, I think one-way tours around shows and stands will be encouraged while having a big stand team, will be discouraged. 

I think exhibitors will need to rely more on digital screens to do some of the selling and informing the stand team would typically handle. 

Exhibitors will also need to ensure that the graphics they use, whether digital or printed for this purpose are clear and easy to read. 

We think including a visible information point will also be necessary. It will be where stand visitors can ask questions and request follow-up materials or samples. 

As visiting stands by appointment is also likely to be encouraged (I doubt it will be mandatory), having an arrival point on a stand will also be very useful. 

In time, and when we return to normality for life and events, these design tweaks will be removed or amended. Here’s to that time arriving soon.” 

13. How clear event messaging can massively increase sales

Having the time to think things through is not always a luxury we have in typical busy workdays. 

One significant benefit of the lockdown is that for the first time, many marketers and business owners have this opportunity – even if it is unwelcome.     

On reflection, you may feel that the events your company participated in most recently could have yielded more substantial results. 

If you have that feeling and you’re unsure why, a possible cause is the lack of a clear sales message. 

Here’s another example from Jeannette La, in which she explains how she increased sales by 160% at a key trade show for her then-employer. 

“Much of what I did was straightforward, but that show was critical to the success of the company I was working for. Forty per cent of total orders for the year were relied-on to come from this particular event.

I clarified our message

The messaging proposed for display on our stand was varied and very inconsistent. So, I made sure that inside the business, we had our core story straight before we printed any display materials or any messaging connected to our stand.

Doing this made it easy for visitors to see and understand what we were offering. It made a massive difference to audience engagement at the show.

After messaging, I addressed the processes connected to show participation. 

Frankly, these were broken, and our staff weren’t communicating effectively with each other internally or with external suppliers.

Given that we expected and were counting on, signing many deals on the show floor, anyone working on our stand needed to know what procedures were in place for show offers, lead management and for following-up.

Drawing all these elements together and establishing a clear sales position; we achieved a 160% show-on-show upturn in sales.”

14. Get better with using video to build sales 

Video proliferates the lockdown. People have been publishing their thoughts and musings on a vast range of business subjects from cars, gardens and improvised broadcasting spaces in their homes. 

A while back I interviewed Charles Mills of Flotilla Media. Charles is a producer of business films and an expert on storytelling through the medium of film. 

I asked Charles for the advice he would give to someone thinking about using video to promote their business linked to exhibiting. Much of what Charles said can apply to use of video with or without an exhibition.

Work out exactly what your show video is for

Video can drive brand distinctiveness and customer engagement before, during and after a show. It can operate at an all-pervasive brand-building level. Or, it can help you steal a march on your competitors with clever, tactical approaches to social media content.  Whatever your priorities, you may be tempted to create a single, catch-all presentation.  But it makes much better sense to identify precisely where you need video to make a difference. Then – drawing on a core set of raw footage – you can design different video packages that accurately match each key priority.

Get your story straight

Easy to say, less easy to achieve. No matter how much information you want to include in your video presentations, make sure there’s an underlying narrative. It must speak directly and unmistakably to visitors needs.  Avoid cluttering that core story with detail. Detailed stats and complex technical specs are better conveyed in print. It’s surprising how many marketers who are sharp and disciplined with their advertising still make video that’s overcrowded, confused and lacking a call to action.

Understand where quality counts

We all know that nowadays, the technical process of capturing and editing video can be simple and accessible.  So for making a record of your stand or for capturing simple, no-frills footage of, say, equipment or processes, you can do without the professionals.

But, as video marketing proliferates, your audience’s expectations and standards are rising too. Films that tell a compelling story, which accurately reflect your brand, which include crisp, memorable scripts and interviews, need producers with proven experience.  So when you have worked out what your video activity is for, find a professional who can show you examples of work with similar objectives – someone who really “gets” marketing and trade shows.

Think about your creative voice and format

Once you’ve established your objectives for video and your overarching story, it’s time to think through how you want your video output to look and feel.  Is this all about no-nonsense product promotion and demonstration? Could you build authority with a more third-party documentary approach? What if you specialise in more complex or less obviously “visual” propositions?  Then think about capturing authentic customer stories, filmed on location, in their own businesses.

Or perhaps your location or your technology is the star? In which case, it’s worth looking into the incredible range of specialist camera techniques – time-lapse, super close up, drones and so on – that will bring that centre stage.  And keep thinking about animation too. It’s controllable, easy to adapt and change, distinctive, cost-effective and more creatively versatile than it’s ever been. It offers a great way to combine different kinds of information in a single, slick and coherent presentation.

Use video to invite prospects to your stand, webinar or online conference

In advance of the event, identify precisely who you want to meet at the show and ensure they make for your stand when they get there.  In our experience, video-based invitations via email or social channels – still a novelty – are highly persuasive.  Think about creating an enticing 30-second “trailer” for your show participation. This could be a teaser for a new product launch or a personal invitation, presented to-camera by a senior member of your team.

Another great approach is to create clever, digestible content which provides the would-be visitor with something useful before they arrive. 

A 60-second TED-style opinion piece from your CEO on a key industry trend. Or, a “top ten” show highlights film or even a show survival guide with ideas for eating, meeting and managing your visit.  Once you have your content, you can build your views and click-throughs with low-cost Facebook advertising or pre-roll on YouTube. Better still, talk to the show organisers to establish ways that your informative content can be shared with the wider community of visitors.

Be clear about video’s role on the stand

Video case studies, testimonials and product demos are great for supporting sales conversations. They can fuel interactive displays and information points.  But don’t expect them also to grab attention.  That’s a different job. It requires telling images and graphics, which rapidly evoke your brand personality and your key sales story at the show.

Continue the conversation after the event

When it’s all over, video offers new ways to perpetuate the personal relationships you and your team developed with prospects at the event.  Exhibitors we admire have followed up their contacts with compact, thought-leadership pieces that summarise their insights from the show. They do this while it’s fresh in everyone’s minds.  You might also schedule a regular series of video updates, presented by your exhibition team. This will keep visitors abreast of your thinking and build-up to next year’s event.

Above all – don’t be boring!

The flip side of video’s growth as a marketing technique is that only the brands who tell potent stories stand out from the crowd.  So when you are developing your content, keep it punchy. Find an angle and make sure it tunes-in to your customers’ hopes and priorities.  And remember: in a world where people frequently view video with their sound turned off, awesome images are the surest way to get attention.

15. Keep your Events Page updated 

If you publish a list of events on your website, keep this and any links associated with the information updated.  

But there are no events you say!

Webinars, podcasts and virtual event appearances all count as events. Publish those dates and timings

As and when you know the new dates for the trade shows you participate in, add them to your event list. 

And, if you didn’t get around to publishing pictures and videos from recent shows and conferences, now is the time to do so. 

If you exhibit regularly, you may well have a stock of images or films to draw on. 

If a member of your company presented at a show or conference, publish their paper.

Your website, email marketing and social media will benefit from this activity. 

There are lots of possible uses for this type of content, including sending them to Exhibitors Only. 

We are always on the lookout for images and videos that show events, stands and of course, exhibitors in action. Email david@exhibitorsonly.biz

Any we publish within our posts are credited to the exhibitor or stand designer. 

16. Organise your pre-show marketing activities around the new event dates 

At the time of writing (mid-June 2020), new dates for many events due to be held March-May 2020 have moved to October and November.  

If your company is confirmed for one of those events, a big step towards making them as profitable as possible is to schedule pre-show marketing activity around the new dates. 

Keep in mind that the summer of 2020 will not be like “normal” years.

Travel restrictions will lift slowly, so the usual mass exodus for holidays won’t happen. 

Even as restrictions lift in the UK, there may be limited places to go internationally. 

Businesses worldwide will be preparing for a phased September-October return to work throughout the summer. Pre-show marketing during this period will, therefore, be timely. 

Map out promotion possibilities, but only commit to activity and spend when you know for sure your event will be taking place. 

17. Book your best stand team now

It might seem strange to be thinking about booking your stand team during a period when no events are taking place, but bear with me on this. 

The right stand team can make all the difference to exhibiting results.

If you are the team leader and the person charged with making exhibiting a success, you are relying on your team to help you deliver the objectives.

So who should be on your team? Who are the people who will step-up and buy-into the project?

One of the most disappointing things for a show visitor is to walk towards a stand where you can see the people working it, don’t want to be there. 

Some huddle, others show their disinterest by reading something on their phone or talking to it. 

Keep people like this off your stand team even if their job titles suggest otherwise.

SayNO” to the naysayers. You’ll achieve much greater success with a smaller and committed team than you will with a bigger one carrying dead weight. 

Okay, with that said, decide who your ideal stand team is. 

Next, let them know they are on the team and the events they should attend (keep them posted on date changes too).  

When shows restart, chances are you will have one or more events happening close together. 

You and your team members will need to plan your usual “day job” around those events. 

18. Find out what the people that matter to your business are really thinking

After more than one whole quarter of the year lost to lockdown, it’s going to be vital to know what’s happening with clients and potential buyers.

Uncertainty, or acting on incorrect assumptions even in good times, can trigger poor decision making.

As companies return to work at different times and with changed working practices, it will be vital to keep tabs on buyer sentiment and decision making.

With all of these things in mind, I have created a short training course designed to teach how to conduct qualitative research projects and without hiring a market research agency to do the work.

Why will this be useful now? 

There are many reasons, but here are five benefits to consider;

  • You’ll learn what’s really happening in your market. This is no time for fake news
  • You will learn how to obtain in-depth answers from people of influence. “Influence” relevant to your business in some way that’s determined to be necessary or essential for you to know
  • For testing and gauging feelings around issues and problems and getting to underlying opinions and motivations, this method of working has few equals
  • It’s a fast and cost-effective way to get in-depth results upon which you can base marketing decisions
  • You can do the training to suit your schedule, and you will get personal support from me as and when you need it.

If you would like further details about this course or any other aspect of event marketing, complete the short form below and we will be in touch.

18 ways to be productive when you can’t exhibit: Takeaways for exhibitors missing events and sales leads

The absence of trade shows caused by the COVID-19 lockdown has been a massive problem for businesses reliant on trade shows for their leads. However, using digital tools like email, webinars, podcasts, video, and virtual exhibitions can all help generate leads while awaiting the return of live events.

At the time of writing, (mid-June 2020), the return of trade shows and live events in the UK looks likely to be in September/October (events in Germany and Italy are confirmed for this period).

When events do return, they are likely to include new safety measures around control and flow of visitors around halls and stands. Now is an excellent time to plan for a different form of exhibiting.

Now is also an excellent time to review event processes and procedures and to review the results gained from past event participation.

The upside of the lockdown period is the opportunity to make your event participation a much more productive element of your marketing.

By supporting your exhibiting strategy with digital and direct marketing tactics, you will not only achieve improved sales results, but you will also extract more value from all of the collateral and content you create.

If you need support in any of the areas covered in this post, complete the form below and we will be in touch.


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Posted in B2B Marketing  /  Content Marketing  /  Event Marketing  /  Trade show marketing

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