Modern Trade Show Lead Follow-Up

Modern Trade Show Lead Follow-Up
Trade Show Lead Follow Up.  Photo Courtesy of Flickr.
Trade Show Lead Follow Up. Photo Courtesy of Flickr.

 

Believe it or not, about 80% of exhibitors don’t follow up with the leads they’ve gathered after meeting new people in their trade show booth.

 

Sounds crazy, right?

 

Not to worry. This being the 21st Century, I’m going to share my favorite, easy, modern ways to connect with your leads after the event.

 


   

-LinkedIn

What could be simpler? Start typing your prospect’s name into the search bar on LinkedIn and in a few moments you can invite them to connect with you. I usually write the recipient a personal note to remind them how we met or about the conversation we had. Since LinkedIn is all about maintaining relationships with people you know, I think this improves your chances that they’ll accept your invitation. Now, this lead has a simple way to contact me, and I them.

 

-VIP Questions & Follow-Up

It seems like every show I staff, I leave with a list of a few very important clients & prospects that have questions or need quotes of a more in-depth nature. Ideally, these should be responded to within 24-48 hours. Due to the hectic timeline at the end of a trade show, I create reminders in my phone’s calendar to address these right away. I try to split the list into questions/quotes that I can ask someone at the home-office to reply to, and those that I should write to personally. This way I cut down on the overall response time.

 

-Instantaneous

Very often on the trade show floor, I’m doing a presentation for a client using a tablet or smartphone. In these instances, I find it very helpful to compose an email with the pictures, PDFs & catalogs we reviewed & send it to the prospect while they’re still in the booth. When practical, I prefer this tactic because I can ask them to verify they’ve received it (avoiding emails lost due to misspellings or hidden in Spam/Junk mail folders). In addition, they don’t have to carry around my catalog for the rest of the day!

 

-Group Emails

Did you collect contact info during the trade show with a lead retrieval machine or app? Did you get a list of attendees from show management? What about the business cards you’ve collected during the expo? A quick, group email can be used to thank those that stopped at your booth and to extend a reminder of your product & service offerings to all. We use Constant Contact to manage these lists, but there are many similar providers out there.

 


 

What steps will you take to improve your post-show communication? Leave your thoughts in the comment thread!  Learn more about exhibiting at trade shows in our other blog posts or by heading to our website.

 

Written by John Leberman, Marketing Coordinator for FB Displays & Designs, Inc.

 

FB Displays and Designs trade show display

The Five “L’s” of Exhibit Success

The 5 L's of Exhibit Success
The Five “L’s” of Exhibit Success
Photo Courtesy of Flickr

As I was cleaning my office the other day, I came across an article in Trade Show Week that was written almost 20 years ago by Michael Falkowitz, who, at that time, was Sales Development Manager at Nabisco.

Although it was printed some time ago, I would like to share a few lines of timeless advice from that article.

Following are five principles that will ensure both exhibit and job success:

* Learn:

Never stop learning.  The huge technical development that can be [attained] at trade shows is one example of the reasons why exhibit managers must continue to learn. Being a successful exhibit manager will involve knowing and applying this ever-evolving technology.

* Love:

Maintain a positive attitude even in stressful times. Respond to all inquiries. Ours is a communication business. It is rude [to] not respond to phone calls. Know everything there is to know about your company, and go the extra mile, no matter what task you face.

* Laugh:

Keeping a sense of humor can see you through stressful periods and make your- and your team members’- jobs much easier.

* Labor:

Like going the extra mile, doing the best possible job will help make your exhibit the center of attention. Hard work and sacrifice are part of the job.

* Leave:

When the show is done, it’s time to take back what you have learned and start applying those principles to the next trade show.

In closing, it is important to remember that a tradeshow display is not a museum. It’s a billboard, a time-compressed live marketing event and a communication process. Creating an exhibit that’s the center of attention is a matter of taking advantage of those features creatively.

Written by Francine Brooks, President of FB Displays & Designs, Inc.

Definition of INDEPENDENCE

Uncle_Troy

By: Troy Stover, FB Displays & Designs, Inc.

1: the quality or state of being independent.

As the sole military veteran at FBD2 (and one known to relish in pontificating for hours on any number of subjects), given the upcoming holiday, I was tasked with writing something in regards to independence. The only problem is that I don’t feel I have any better a grasp on the concept than anyone else. Oh, sure, I get the idea that with independence we’re free to vote for whom we want, free to worship the God of our choice, and free to marry whom we love (well, most of us, at any rate), but I tend to think that maybe there’s more to it than all that.

Initially going online in the hopes of discovering a deeper meaning behind the word – behind the concept, really – as can be seen by the above (Thanks a LOT, Merriam Webster.com), this exercise resulted in very little assistance to my cause, so I fear I’m just going to have to “wing it.”

I tend to think that Uncle Ben had it right, with the whole “with great power, comes great responsibility” speech he gave to Peter Parker. For the purpose of this article however, we’ll insert “freedom” for “power.” Because freedom is just that, power. It’s also a privilege, and a responsibility. One that may be given initially, but still needs to be earned and maintained.

I think Albert Einstein said it best when he stated, “For those who would joyously march in rank and file, they have already earned my contempt, for they were given a large brain by accident when a spinal chord would have sufficed.” A bit harsh? Maybe. But you see, Albert understood that the things of this world that are worth treasuring are also worth thinking about, fighting for, and working hard at. Also, they’re worth the effort of being handled with a sense of individual responsibility, versus simply waiting around for the “other guy.”

Another of my heroes, Joe Strummer, summed it up slightly differently when he said, “When you blame yourself, you learn from it. If you blame someone else, you don’t learn nothing, cause hey, it’s not your fault, it’s his fault, over there.” Now that’s not to say that we only learn from mistakes, but I think we would do well to keep personal responsibility at the forefront, to realize that freedom truly isn’t free (I’m not even going to attempt to look that little gem up, as I’m sure the internet has it attributed to Lincoln, Twain, Freeman, Takei AND Madonna).

I suppose my nutshelled point is this: as my children’s kindergarten teacher used to say (and I know it was her who said it, versus Madonna), “Every day, just do your personal best.” That is what independence is. That; is what freedom demands.

From all of us here at FBD2, thank you for your continued patronage and partnership. We hope that you and yours have a wonderful holiday, filled with freedom, peace, and your personal best.

Going Mobile on the Trade Show Floor

mobile
Photo Courtesy of http://www.npaworldwide.com

Over the past few years, smartphones and tablets have become an integral part of everyday life. Since mobile devices are portable and can access a great deal of information within seconds, they are a natural fit for use in the trade show environment. Here are some tips for using mobile technology to your advantage at a trade show.

  • Include a highly visible QR Code on your display. The QR code should take users to a landing page that is optimized for mobile devices. The landing page can be your company’s homepage, a contest entry form, a lead qualification form, etc.
  • Use an app to collect leads. There are several apps that make lead retrieval very simple, such as iLeads and DUB, that allow you to scan a business card and enter the contact information into either your phone contacts or a database. Using a lead retrieval app will save you the headache of keeping up with hundreds of pieces of paper and trying to decipher a potential lead’s handwriting. The leads can be sent directly from your phone or tablet to your office.
  • Schedule appointments with prospects using the calendar function on your phone or tablet. This saves both you and the prospect the time of attempting to connect after the trade show and guarantees a better chance that the meeting will take place.
  • Many trade shows have an app created for the event. Download this onto your mobile devices and continually check for updates, changes, itineraries and announcements.
  • Take photos using the smartphone’s camera and share them on your company’s social media platforms. Include your booth number to encourage your followers at the show to visit your exhibit.
  • Stream video from the event to the home office, attendees and clients who were unable to attend, using social media and/or videoconferencing.
  • Ask attendees to share their own photos and videos from your exhibit through social media. To encourage attendee contributions, design a contest for attendees who share their images and videos of your exhibit through social media.
  • Design a simple, interactive game to be played on a mobile device housed at your exhibit. A game is memorable and increases attendee engagement. The game should easy to play, fun, casual and tied directly to your value proposition.
  • Process credit card payments using a device like AprivaPay, which attaches to your smartphone or tablet and allows you to swipe the client’s credit card.

Exhibitors who learn to leverage mobile technology on the trade show floor will ensure that their trade show appearance goes smoothly, while also increasing engagement with the show attendees. This leads to a greater amount of leads generated at the show and less time spent on administrative tasks associated with post-trade show follow-up, which ultimately improves ROI (return on investment).

Business Lessons That Can Be Learned from Dick Clark

Photo Credit: http://www.usmagazine.com

On April 18th, American pop culture lost icon Dick Clark at age 82. While best known to the American public as an entertainer, behind the scenes he was an opportunistic entrepreneur. His company, Dick Clark Productions, has become an entertainment empire. There were many things that Clark did right to position himself and his company to enduring success. What are some of the lessons that today’s entrepreneur can learn from “ America’s Oldest Teenager’?

Innovation can come from improving upon something that it already being done.   Dick Clark was a pioneer in the entertainment industry, but he did not invent anything. While “American Bandstand” is known for keeping up with the trends, it was not the first or only music show on television.

Know your market, and listen to the needs of your market. Clark did this by staying current with trends within music, which ensured that he was able to sustain his place in the market, even amidst rapidly changing tastes. He observed and listened to what his audience wanted and his programming reflected the taste of his audience.

Know yourself.  Dick Clark has a very recognizable image in American culture, because he was the same person in the 1960’s as he was in the 2000’s.  While he watched the trends occur and provided a platform for trendy musicians, he did not embody them. He was himself throughout his career, and everyone who associated with him knew what to expect.

Opportunity can come from openings left by your competitors. Clark created the American Music Awards after ABC had lost the Grammy Awards. The American Music Awards focused on what was popular and featured a great amount of performances, which differed from the Grammy’s, which rewarded musicians based on artistic merit, not popularity. Many other award shows produced by Clark’s company would follow the same format, as the priority was to win over viewers.

Maintain a good reputation. Throughout Clark’s career, he maintained the image of a clean-cut “All- American” and this image was very comforting to audience members of all ages. He took great care to ensure that his reputation remained intact as well. At the end of the day, a good reputation is essential for success, both personally and professionally.

Source:   Rosenthal, Phil. “Dick Clark a Shrewd Businessman as Much as Legendary Showman.” Chicago Tribune. ChicagoTribune.com, 21 Apr. 2012. Web. 27 Apr. 2012. <http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-04-21/business/ct-biz-0422-phil-20120421_1_dick-clark-productions-new-year-s-rockin-eve-tv-movies&gt;.

14 Easy Ways to Get Extremely Motivated!

With the start of every new year, it’s commonplace to set new resolutions in both our professional and personal lives. Unfortunately, many of us tend to start strong but lose momentum before we know it. In order to provide everyone a little inspiration, here are 14 quick strategies to get (and stay) motivated this year:

1. Condition your mind. Train yourself to think positive thoughts while avoiding negative thoughts.

2. Condition your body. It takes physical energy to take action.  Get your food and exercise budget in place and follow it like a business plan.

3. Avoid negative people. They drain your energy and waste your time. Spending time with them is the equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot.

4. Seek out the similarly motivated. Their positive energy will rub off on you and you can imitate their success strategies.

5. Have goals–but remain flexible. No plan should be cast in concrete, lest it become more important than achieving the goal.

6. Act with a higher purpose. Any activity or action that doesn’t serve your higher goal is a wasted effort and should be avoided.

7. Take responsibility for your own results. If you blame (or credit) luck, fate or divine intervention, you’ll always have an excuse.

8. Stretch past your limits on a daily basis. Walking the old, familiar paths is how you grow old. Stretching makes you grow and evolve.

9. Don’t wait for perfection. Perfectionists are the losers in the game of life.  Strive for excellence rather than the unachievable.

10. Celebrate your failures. Your most important lessons in life will come from what you don’t achieve. Take time to understand where you fell short.

11. Don’t take success too seriously. Success can breed tomorrow’s failure if you use it as an excuse to become complacent.

12. Avoid weak goals. Goals are the soul of achievement, so never begin them with “I’ll try…” Always start with “I will” or “I must.”

13. Treat inaction as the only real failure. If you don’t take action, you fail by default and can’t even learn from the experience.

14. Think before you speak. Keep silent rather than express something that doesn’t serve your purpose.

What other methods do you use to keep yourself motivated?

SOURCE: Geoffrey James, Inc.com “Sales Source”

Make Your Cubicle (or Office) a Better Place to Work!

 

Is your workspace at your office working for you? When you’re there, do you feel energized and ready to excel? Is it a comfortable and pleasant place to be? If not, you can use research from a little known branch of psychology to improve it.

Environmental psychologists study how people live in the physical world. They investigate the psychological implications of sensory experiences: how colors influence lives, what sorts of furniture arrangements are best in various situations, our relationship with the natural world, and so on. What they’ve learned can help you create a workspace that makes you feel secure, calm, and capable – a place where you can accomplish your best work.

Sit so your back is protected.

Research consistently shows that humans can be uncomfortable sitting with their backs facing other people passing by. If you currently sit so that your back faces the entry into your workspace, pivot your desk chair and use a different section of your work surface (if available). Find a way to sit so that your side is to that entry and not your back.

Minimize the amount of red you see as you work.

Research by Andrew Elliot and his colleagues found that people do not work as well cognitively when they see red, even a small amount for a short time. These scientists believe that this may be because teachers use red pens and pencils to grade papers, and seeing red brings the idea of failure unconsciously to mind.

Make adjustments.

Solving small discomforts yourself will help you feel in control of your physical environment. Whether it’s adjusting your desk chair, adding a light to your workspace if it is a little dark, or bringing in a small fan from home if it’s a little warm. That feeling of control has been linked to individuals being more satisfied with their jobs.

Tell your story.

Make sure that visitors to your workspace leave knowing a little about whom you are and what’s important to you. We are more comfortable with other people when we know they understand who we are as people. In return, they are more relaxed being around us when they have a better idea about what we value. People who personalize their workplace are more satisfied with their jobs.

Organize and declutter.

We are at our best psychologically in environments with moderate levels of visual complexity. This means that the clutter of papers, pens, and coffee cups on top of your work surface needs to be tamed and organized. On the other hand, very little visual complexity can be just as jarring as too much. If the décor at your workplace has been pared back to almost nothing, don’t be quite so hard on your own clutter. If you’re working in a space with a “nothing-goes” look, add a painting or photo to your workspace. Research shows that images of nature help to restore cognitive performance.

The suggestions above will get you started, but don’t hesitate to move beyond them. Sit in your workspace and take a sensory inventory of what it’s like to be there. Deal with any negatives and take actions to enhance your daily office experience. If you take inventory and act, you’re only taking steps towards improving your own work performance.

SOURCE: Sally Augustin, Harvard Business Review