Everything you always wanted to know about Expos but were afraid to ask – Part II

Expo planningCoordinating participation in an Expo can be challenging for first timers. Given the many tiny details that marketers need to keep track of, Expos can often be difficult to pull together. Given below is the second part of a compilation of questions asked by newbies and responses put together by experienced hands in the business.

How do I staff my booth?

While display booths are key components of Expos, staffing the booth with the right kind of people is equally, if not more important. Booth staff has the challenge of engaging visitors in the first few critical seconds before they lose interest. This requires specific skills that not everyone may possess. So it is vital to identify employees who are social, motivated, knowledgeable and can communicate well. Train them to effectively convey key messages, provide details on the brand, identify potential customers and capture leads.

How do I promote my participation?

Expo planning  Don’t wait until the Expo begins to start generating buzz. Follow a well-thought out marketing plan that includes a multi-phased communication strategy. Undertake a pre-show marketing campaign using e-mail, direct marketing and social media platforms like linkedin, facebook and twitter to invite current and prospective customers to the booth. Promote the booth at the Expo by participating as a speaker, using meaningful giveaways and presenting engaging presentations or demos at the venue. Once the show ends, continue to engage customers through personalized e-mails, phone-calls and social media channels. This ensures that customers stay connected with the brand.

Is there a simple effective way to capture leads?

Earlier lead capture was done on sheets of paper with scribbled notes and a business card stapled to it. Today technology has made things easier. There are many online and mobile apps that can be used effectively to capture leads. Its best to use a combination of automated and manual systems – chat, swap business cards and then capture information using a card scanner or app.

How do I ensure a good ROI on my participation?

It is important to outline clear goals and objects to be achieved at the Expo before the event begins. Good goals are concrete and answerable with a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’. Defining your metrics makes things easier. As an example, if the goal is to make sales at the event – use deals completed as the key metric. Or if the goal is to meet prospective clients and generate leads – ensure that you collate and track information collected from visitors. Today, there are a number of automated lead capture and CRM tools and apps available making measurement of ROI easier and more precise.

 

Coordinating Expos can be a harrowing experience for new comers to the business. While the responses above will help to an extent, detailed planning, carefully following a checklist and putting things in place well in advance will ensure a successful show.

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