With tradeshows, as in any marketing endeavor, you really do need to know what your company’s overall sales and marketing strategy is BEFORE you do ANYTHING! It really helps to know these objectives before even selecting a show, but if you have already committed to a show, you must talk with the powers that be at your company and find out why in the round world you are going to that show in the first place. Rest assured, from the company’s perspective, it is not so you can enjoy the Florida sun or the Las Vegas night life! Truth be told most tradeshow trips involve very little outside all the hard work and effort expended inside of the show hall and perhaps an occasional nice dinner out.
Industry experts agree, “Planning for a tradeshow isn’t just about booking flights and hotel rooms for your staff. It should be a very strategic process, where every aspect of your tradeshow—pre-show, during-show and post-show—are all meticulously thought through and tied back to a strategy and aligned with your business goals and objectives.” -Tim Asimos from Circlestudio.com’s blog
A conversation needs to be had between sales and marketing managers as well as their teams. President of Mark Bric Display Ed Marquez says, “Discussion points should include: What are your primary objectives? What are other important factors that need to be considered but are a secondary or tertiary goals? Are you there to build brand awareness? Are you there only to promote one special product or offer? Is the VP of sales expecting you to return with qualified leads? I cannot emphasize enough that there needs to be quality and definitive discussion on this. It will impact what type of exhibit you purchase, what graphics you choose to show, what collateral literature you bring, who attends to work your booth as well as what seminars booth personnel need to attend and what key contacts you need to speak or meet with.” There are a host of factors that need to be considered for ultimate trade show success; and it all starts with how you define success for each show. Know your strategies and clarify them with goals and objectives. Sales and marketing strategies with clear objectives are the very foundation for tradeshow success!
When you build a house you do not slap up the walls and the roof before you lay the foundation. The same is true with tradeshows. “If we at Mark Bric Display are working with a client, we do not just hand them a canned response as to which backwall to buy. We have a conversation and we ask some of these same strategy questions”, explains Marquez. “This will help us decide if an ISOframe fabric suits the need better or perhaps Ripple or Wave. Are graphics going to change often because each show is promoting distinct offers? Or are you going big and bold because you need to make your BRAND stand out above all else?”
Strategy matters. It will guide all your show choices from backwall to peripheral pieces such as literature and literature stands like our SwingUp. It even guides promotion and attention getting choices like lightboxes and or whether to mount video screens on the exhibit. It guides talking points and selecting booth staff. Why? Well, you need the people in your company who are experts in the area that you are highlighting to be there.
Have the sales and marketing tough conversations. Plan strategy and objectives prior to making show choices and it will be noticeable in return on investment figures. Ed Marquez reminds you, “If you need help with your display and exhibit material you can ALWAYS give Mark Bric Display the opportunity to help out. We can talk with you about your strategies and objectives and then create a 3-D rendering, free of charge, with booth possibilities that will work for you. Its’s what we do!”
Bottom line is, know before you go! Then GO for it!
– by Stacy Poole, Marketing Professional at Mark Bric Display Corp.