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WHAT MAKES FOR A SUCCESSFUL EXPERIENCE?
Leave the cell phone in the car! Seriously, the single most important observation we’ve made in the years we’ve produced events is that the most successful exhibitors are the ones who a) stand b) make eye contact and c) invite people to visit their exhibit.
It sounds so obvious, but you’d be amazed at how many people sit at their booth staring at their cell phone. And guess what? They’re inevitably the ones who say “I didn’t get that many leads”. They’re usually right next to an exhibitor who wants to sign up for the following year on the spot.
If you are paying for the exhibit and sending someone else, make absolutely sure your staff is drilled on these simple expectations. I know it’s just common sense, but as Ben Franklin said, “Common sense is not that common”.
HOW DO I KNOW IF AN EVENT MAKES SENSE FOR ME?
First, you need to identify your target. Then find out if the show you’re considering attracts your potential customer. That’s the single most important factor.
Some businesses don’t have a specific target market. They just want to get in front of people! In this case you want to do your due diligence to make sure that the attendance the show producer claims is accurate. Be forewarned: Show promoters look at attendance with rainbow colored glasses at the very least; they’re downright liars at worst. It’s a fact that most people overestimate crowd numbers, a fact not lost on unscrupulous promoters.
Sometimes you can make the event right for you by talking to the show producers about additional ways to realize a strong ROI. Maybe the event has speaking opportunities that you can take advantage of. Maybe you provide a prize that is promoted in the event ads and on the website. There’s many ways to work out a win-win with a good show producer.