Date:January 21, 2013

Expo and Field Days

Field Days and Expos – they’re expensive and they require a fair degree of organising to set up and have the stand manned for a few days.

Because of the cost, it pays to give serious thought as to how to maximise your chances of pulling results.  Unfortunately this is where many businesses fail to capitalise on the opportunities that an Expo offers.

If you think about the process:   People with a particular interest attend an Expo so they’re a superb means of meeting quality prospects.

Most exhibitors have a chat with people who are interested in the product or service being displayed and merely hand them a brochure – and maybe obtain the names of 1 or 2 people really hot to buy – if their luck is in.

From that point on they simply wait, hoping the people they met are going to get back to them.

The reality is that within a few weeks most brochures will have been forgotten and most exhibitors will be left wondering if the dollar results can really justify the effort and cost of participation.

This process is a dreadful waste of opportunity.

Studies show that most exhibitors fail to achieve anywhere near the sales levels that the opportunity of exhibiting  provides, mainly because they have very few mechanisms in place to maintain and build the  relationship with the contact they made at the Expo.  As a result of this, Expos and Field Days are rated as one of the most expensive means of making contact with prospects.

Sure, there will be some prospects ready to buy, but most will need a longer nurturing time.

There are of course ways and means of obtaining details of people who attend Expos so they can be followed up: with the profiles of visitors obtained by the Expo organisers to drawing out business cards in a raffle.

While these are handy methods of obtaining the contact details of people, exhibitors still need a means of maintaining contact with the people who visited their stand, because the reality is that most people will not be ready to buy  right there and then.

A study reported in ‘Business Direct magazine’ found that some 77% of potential sales opportunities represented by longer term sales leads are abandoned by most sales people because they haven’t the right processes in place to maintain presence of mind and nurture people’s interests in their products or services.

 

 

Obtaining the names of people visiting your Stand, maintaining contact – maintaining presence of mind and keeping the interest levels burning can all be achieved by cleverly combining a newsletter with exhibiting in an Expo or Field Day.

Newsletters and Expos go hand in hand so well it is amazing that all Exhibitors don’t use them.

Here’s how it works:

When a person visits your stand during the course of conversation with them you simply give them a copy of your newsletter, explaining you have a newsletter to keep them updated  with  new product releases  or services being introduced, gives case studies on how people are  using the product or service and sometimes makes mention of special offers… and .if they’re interested you could put them on the mailing list.

This achieves two things:

  1. It determines whether they’re a serious prospect or not. If there really isn’t much interest they’ll say,don’t worry about it. If they are interested they’ll be keen to be kept informed.
  2. It obtains the names and addresses of your prospects.

You would be amazed at how many people will happily sign up to be kept informed. Because it’s free and non threatening there’s rarely reluctance to give details.

From there of course a newsletter sent out on a regular  basis maintains presence of mind of the company and maintains awareness and interest in the product or service.  A sales call follow up can be made because you’ve got the contact details.

There’s nothing like a steady trickle of information, case studies, success stories, tips and advice articles and stories on new developments to maintain interest.

A business that gives useful information to customers and prospective customers soon positions itself in the minds of people as the authority in its field. Once that recognition is established it is difficult for competitors to overcome.

Marketing legend, Jay Abrahams says:

“The more you get into the heads of your target audience, capture their interest and give them what they need for them to make their decisions, the easier it becomes to get their business.

“And the type of marketing that works best is material that feels the least hard sell, the most authentic” ……and that’s exactly how a good newsletter can work for you.

Don’t enter an Expo or Field Day without a newsletter. It is an essential item of equipment – as important as anything else you will have in your display.

There are two key aspects you really should think out.

  1.  The  real purpose of participating
  2. How do intend to nurture the interest of people who’ve met at the Expo

With respect to the purpose of participation most businesses attend

  • to maintain contact with existing customers
  • to obtain leads of potential new clients
  • to introduce new products or services to a particular market niche
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