Key Ingredients for a most Successful Congress/Trade Show

With so many congresses and trade shows taking place, what is it that makes some of them truly stand out from the rest and what is it that makes you as an attendee or exhibitor choosing to go to one over another?

Additionally, based on your experience as attendee, exhibitor or organizer – what are the key ingredients needed to ensure a most successful Congress or Trade Show?

Here below are some replies received in response to the last question– we look forward to reading your comments and responses as well.

Thank you in advance for your contributions – the team at HTH business solutions
________________________________________________________________

The following are critical to success:
Target group/audience
Pre-scheduled appointments
Marketing
Networking opportunities
These are important, but more to some instead of to all attendees:
Dedicated event web-site
Follow up communications
Hosted buyer program
Participant online chat/communications tool
Post-event access to information
Seminar content
What is missing from this list is a trade show booth staff that is trainer to sell your product or service and who want to be at the show to work hard in the booth.
Contributed by: Randall Whatley, President at Cypress Media Group
http://www.cypressmedia.net/training/class/24/trade_show_marketing_training

Target group/audience
Networking opportunities
Pre-scheduled appointments
Dedicated event website
Post event access to information
Seminar Content
**Marketing is important on the side of the vendor but not necessarily for the attendees. If I am a vendor, I want to know where, how and to whom the event is marketed.
Contributed by: Adrienne Sasson, Business Development/Travel Specialist at http://www.rubinsohntravel.com

seminar content
target group/audience
networking opportunities
Contributed by: Christine Hueber at http://www.ChristineHueber.com

1. Location
2. Exhibitors
3. Pricing
4. Marketing
5. Branding
6. Attendance
7. Facilities
8. Management
9. Press Coverage

Contributed by: Wallace Jackson, Multimedia Producer at http://www.mindtaffy.com

Don’t do the same thing as everyone else – think out of the box and create buzz beforehand to make people want to actually attend the trade show. Make sure all vendors make a splash and that all attendees are not just getting the same old thing.
Offer a theme for everyone to follow. Create and offer new technology that can be cross marketed before/during and after the event. Make it memorable so people will text, tweet, call and tell others that they should be there or tell them what they are missing.
I get tired of seeing the same ol’ same ol’ thing time and again. Even with new products and services I am not getting the “WOW” factor and often don’t attend these events due to lack of interest.
Change it up – have the trade show at a unique venue such as on a cruise ship. Now there is a win-win venue for all involved.
Contributed by: Terry Jones, Cruises Inc. – Meetings @ Sea Specialist 1-877-800-2789 or email TJones@cruisesinc.com, Visit my travel blog at http://www.blog.travelladycruises.com

A good trade show booth traffic builder who can:
1. …engage attendees in knowledgeable conversation related to the exhibitor’s business…
2. …attract attendees into the booth and keep them there…
3. …acquire attendee business cards for after show lead generation…
4. …go the extra mile and walk around the trade show floor before the show starts to attract other exhibitors to your client’s booth, as they may become new clients too…
5. …become, in effect, another salesperson in the booth…
Contributed by: Dave Maskin “The WireMan” at www.WireNames.com

The people in the booth are the most important ingredient. An exhibitor can have all of the right technology, design, and other items referenced, but if the attendees meet up with people who are not motivated, not interested, or not able to relate on their level, all else has been wasted. Most important ingredient – trained booth staff!
Contributed by: Tim Berkesch at www.vectordisplays.com

1. Engagement of booth staff – this will lead to quality leads.
2. If your salespeople don’t want to attend trade shows, don’t make them. Hire temporary staff who are known for engaging potential customers and who research your company before the event so they can speak intelligently to prospective customers about your product/service.
3. Invite prospects who will be attending the trade show to dinner during the event. Also invite them to drop by your booth.
4. Make sure your salespeople follow up on the leads. Without this, the event was almost useless. Salespeople are more willing to do this if they know that the leads are good quality warm leads.
Contributed by: Benjamin Soholt, Trade Show Presenter/Demonstrator

Most exhibitors fail because they concentrate on the event and rely on luck or gravity to attract visitors. There are three stages to an effective presentation:
1. Tell them what you’re going to tell them – ie, communicate with your prospects beforehand with a tempting offer to get them to make a beeline to your stand. Most organisers will sell you a list of registered visitors.
2. Tell them – have effective collateral and staff to back-up your pre-event communication so that when they arrive, they get what they need. You MUST get their details somehow – see following.
3. Tell them what you just told them – Communicate with people who visited you straight afterwards, thank them for visiting you and ask if there is anything else you can provide them with (do this by phone if possible). Send those who didn’t visit your stand but who you communicated with beforehand something along the lines of “sorry we didn’t get to meet-up… etc”
An Exhibition/Congress isn’t an event, it is a campaign!
Write your list, content is always king, if you don’t have a compelling message, don’t waste your money.
Contributed by: Simon Ashley, Managing Director at Side A, the Experience Business

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