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Get the Most from Your Show Investment

By Kathleen Gage and Lori Giovannoni


Business expos can be an excellent marketing investment and an outstanding way to build your business. On the other hand, if not treated as an integral part of your marketing strategy, they can become a huge waste of time, money and energy.


To gain the most from your investment develop a plan for before, during and after show preparation.


Determine goals and outcomes. Decide why you are at a show before you are there. Are you there to increase sales, have a presence in the marketplace, introduce new products, and/or enhance or solidify your image? Unfortunately, many companies decide while they are at the show and then management feels they have wasted their investment.


Train staff and management. A great deal of how an exhibit is remembered is based upon the personal contact made with company representatives. Although money is invested in the booth, the promotional products, brochures and other external items, many companies fail to invest in personnel training. A walk around virtually any show indicates how true this is.


Train your team how to meet and greet visitors; engage in an interactive conversation; welcome booth visitors without overwhelming them and capture contact information of prospects. Train your team to have a mindset of being a resource before they are a vendor. Rather than immediately jumping into a sales presentation on the showroom floor use the time to build relationships with current and potential customers.


Promotional products can be a great way to be remembered or be a quick addition to the trashcan. When offering promotional products make sure your team knows when and how to offer them. Whatever you use, your promotional product should reflect your company’s overall theme.


Post show follow up. Incredibly, only a small percentage of leads are ever followed up on after a show. If you don’t follow up you are literally letting money slip through your fingers. Keep in touch while you are fresh in the prospect’s mind. Devise a system that allows for timely follow up to all show leads. Don’t expect prospects to get in touch with you. Your job is to be proactive in keeping in touch.


Expos and shows can be very effective marketing strategies. With proper planning you can gain an incredible return on investment and reap great benefit all the way around.


This Business article was written by Kathleen Gage and Lori Giovannoni on 4/15/2006

Kathleen Gage & Lori Giovannoni are keynote speakers, authors and business advisors. Access the FREE eBook, Get More Business, by visiting