Wagging The Dog Plan Ahead For What Happens After The Show

Wagging The Dog Plan Ahead For What Happens After The Show



Wagging the​ Dog: Plan Ahead for What Happens After the​ Show
It might seem a​ little backward .​
After all,​ why would you​ want to​ waste time and energy worrying now about things that won’t happen until the​ show closes? Doesn’t it​ seem like putting the​ cart before the​ horse?

It might seem that way,​ but the​ reality is​ that preparing now for post-show activities is​ one of​ the​ wisest decisions you​ can make .​
By clearly deliniating your plan for after the​ show,​ you’ll be able to​ streamline your operation,​ delegate people to​ the​ proper duties,​ ensure all leads are followed up in​ an​ effective manner,​ and maintain valuable business relationships .​
Key to​ this are these nine questions:

1 .​
Has a​ lead taking system been organized for visitor requests?


One of​ the​ most valuable things an​ attendee shares with you​ is​ their questions .​
By asking for specific items,​ or​ special features,​ or​ novel new applications,​ attendees are letting you​ know what they are in​ the​ market to​ buy .​
However,​ many lead cards only record the​ bare minimum contact information .​
Make sure your team has a​ place to​ note visitor requests – and have them use it!

2 .​
Has a​ daily debrief session been scheduled?


The temptation for many booth staffers is​ to​ flee the​ exhibit hall as​ soon as​ the​ show has closed,​ catch the​ shuttle bus,​ and enjoy the​ attractions of​ a​ new city .​
However,​ it​ is​ important that your team meet as​ a​ whole every evening to​ discuss the​ day’s events,​ enjoy any triumphs,​ discuss any concerns,​ and plan for the​ next day.

3 .​
Will Thank you​ letters or​ e-mails be sent to​ every registered visitor?


In our information overload society,​ Thank you​ notes have become the​ rarest of​ correspondence .​
Yet they are a​ quick and easy way to​ let your attendees know that you​ appreciate their time and attention – and that you​ will value their future business! It’s a​ nice,​ personal touch .​
Delegate one or​ two staff members to​ this task,​ and have it​ done within 48 hours of​ the​ show close.

4 .​
How will show leads be handled?


Without a​ system in​ place,​ lead management can be a​ nightmare .​
Some will go into the​ common pool,​ others will ‘disappear’ into booth staff pockets to​ be followed up independently and still others just disappear .​
Designate a​ location for all leads to​ be collected,​ and make your team aware that ALL leads need to​ go to​ this common pool .​
Keeping some back will skew your trade show results downward!

5 .​
How will sales from the​ show be tracked?


This will differ by company,​ depending on​ the​ types of​ products or​ services you​ sell .​
However,​ there needs to​ be a​ system by which you​ can track sales,​ especially those that are directly attributable to​ show participation .​

6 .​
What kind of​ reward or​ recognition will booth staffers receive?


Exhibiting is​ tremendously hard work,​ especially at​ larger shows when your team is​ ‘on’ for many days in​ a​ row .​
Make sure to​ give your team a​ tangible reward .​
Yes,​ representing your company is​ part of​ their job – but the​ extra effort and preparation that goes into successful exhibiting deserves a​ reward .​
It’s nice to​ have a​ ‘known’ treat for your team to​ work toward,​ plus a​ ‘surprise’ to​ spring.

7 .​
How will the​ show be evaluated?


You’ll want to​ know more than Gee,​ we were busy every minute! Business decisions are made with hard numbers,​ including the​ number of​ attendees,​ number of​ sales,​ number of​ qualified leads,​ and other factors .​
Talk with management before the​ show to​ find out what kind of​ information is​ important to​ their decision making and evaluation process – and make sure you​ come back to​ the​ office with that information!

8 .​
Did we manage to​ stay within the​ estimated show budget?


Budgets are an​ invaluable trade show tool .​
Compare what you’ve spent to​ what you​ were supposed to​ spend .​
Are there areas you​ saved money – by pre-registering for show services,​ for example? Did you​ go over budget in​ other areas? Unforeseen circumstances sometimes push costs up,​ but consistently missing your targets may mean either budgets or​ choices need to​ be adjusted .​
Discuss which it​ is,​ and make changes as​ needed before the​ next show.

9 .​
What other show opportunities – nationally and internationally – could be explored?


One or​ more of​ your employees should plan on​ attending networking events .​
During this time,​ it​ is​ a​ good idea to​ ask about other shows exhibitors have participated in​ .​
Were they pleased with the​ event? Will they exhibit again? Make sure this information is​ brought back to​ headquarters,​ where it​ will play a​ vital role as​ part of​ the​ first step in​ the​ next round of​ exhibiting.




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