There are a hundred different approaches to exhibiting at a trade show and each decision that you make can have a significant impact on the level of success you achieve. Your approach to everything from use of displays to follow-up activity will influence lead generation, so be sure to take the time to ask the right questions.
What is my budget?
Like most things in business, marketing efforts boil down to funding. You may want to pull out all the stops for a big industry event, but will that offer you the best return? Business 2 Community noted that a small, targeted effort to improve lead quality often offers the best return on investment.
What is my objective?
It should go without saying that you need to know why you are at a conference if you are to have any measurable success. The top three goals for exhibitors are increasing brand awareness, lead generation and relationship building, according to Trade Show Network News. These require very different efforts, as strategies to build brand awareness may not necessarily be effective in finding quality leads. Without a firm objective, you will struggle to see the results you want.
How can I raise my profile?
Industry conferences offer opportunities to not only connect with industry leaders, but to share your own expertise. Business 2 Community suggested that you look at opportunities for speaking or sponsoring key discussions, roundtables and other activities.
What is my post-show plan?
Knowing what will happen with all of the contact information you gather is an important step toward having a successful trade show. Follow-up conversations need to be immediate and move conversations further down the sales path. To avoid rehashing the same points, use a badge scanner that provides the ability to make notes about contact qualifications and what was discussed.