MARKETING MATTERS: THE #1 REASON BUSINESSES DON'T BENEFIT FROM EXHIBITING AT TRADE SHOWS

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Tips and Tricks for Business Success and Growth

By Rama Beerfas

 

November 1, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – It’s a sad, sad story and one that I have heard many times: A company spends anywhere from a few hundred dollars for a local tabletop show to tens of thousands of dollars for a national trade show and ends up with little or nothing to show for it – not even a breakeven on expenses.

 

Of course, the business owner or marketing director for the company usually blames outside influences: attendance was off, the weather was bad, the quality of attendees was poor, not enough publicity for the show, the economy is down, a bad booth location, the sales team was off their game, etc….

In reality, most businesses don’t reap the rewards from their participation in a tradeshow because they failed to:

 

• have a system in place for attracting potential customers to their exhibit.
• qualify those people who visited their booth.
• follow up with those visitors who left contact information.

In order to make the most of the time, effort and money spent on a tradeshow exhibit, we must approach each individual show as a complete marketing campaign in and of itself with a preparation segment, an exhibit segment and a follow-up segment. By doing this, we maximize the ability to reach our actual target market so that we can qualify those individuals who are prepared to do business with us now and to prime the pipeline for those who would consider doing business with us in the future.

Over the next three months, we will explore each of the bullet points above in depth in order to prepare for, execute and follow up on a successful tradeshow experience.

Rama Beerfas is Chief Solutions Specialist for San Diego-based Lev Promotions, offering marketing consulting, promotional products, business gifts. Lev Promotions also assists clients with tradeshow displays, pre-show planning, booth staff training and post-show follow-up. Rama also offers seminars and training in marketing and customer service related topics. She can be reached at (619) 697-2045 or at rama@levpromotions.com or visit www.levpromotions.com. Column requests and comments are welcome.