Get More out of Trade Shows
Trade shows are expensive; booth space is just 1/3 of your average trade show costs.
The cost per staffer is $2000 to $2500 for an average U.S. show, and when you consider opportunity cost for having valuable people out of the office, you’d better get the most out of this investment. Here are 6 steps your booth staff can take to get the most value from a tradeshow:
- Goals: Lay out specific goals for the tradeshow, and share these goals with every staffer. For example, 60 qualified leads, 10 closed deals by end of year.
- Prospect wishlist: Have each staffer submit a list of the 10 people/companies they would like to meet while at the show.
- Shifts: People who work on their laptop or phone in the booth get fewer leads—attendees won’t stop and interrupt you. Organize shifts for staffers so they have time to answer emails and calls elsewhere.
- Mystery shop: Send your newer or less visible employees around to other exhibitors’ booths to learn about competitive or alternate technologies. Look at displays, promotions, pricing, etc.
- Train: Ask each staffer to take a short course or attend a technical paper presentation at each show.
- Report: Require all attendees to submit a brief trip report at the end of the conference to ensure they have achieved desired outcomes.
Exhibitor magazine recommends having 1 exhibit staffer for every 50 square feet of exhibit space; that’s 2 people for your average 10 foot booth at Photonics West. The technology companies we work with often send more. Too many people in the booth can be off-putting or even intimidating to attendees. Follow the recommendations above for extra staffers.