Are you ready for another year of blending in with your competition at events, and chasing evasive prospects for months after your shows? Of course not! No one goes into a year with that plan, yet unfortunately organizations face this reality year in and year out, leaving sales leaders questioning the return on tradeshow ROI.
If you don’t want to tolerate another trade show season filled with insufficient leads/sales check out the 7 below stats I found about your prospective show attendees, and the 5 best ways to attract prospects at trade shows & events.
- 81% оf trаdеѕhоw attendees hаvе buуіng аuthоrіtу. (Visitors at trade shows are often influential people within their companies making trade show an ideal shop window.)
- 46% of attendees attend only one trade show per year. (Many attendees pick and choose their shows, representing how trade shows often have a specialist audience.)
- 92% of trade show attendees say their main reason for attending trade shows is to see new products being featured. (Exhibitors should try and launch a new product at their shows when possible..)
- It takes an average of 4.5 sales calls to close a sale without an exhibition lead, and only 3.5 sales calls to close a lead from an exhibition. (The advantage of face-to-face contact with your lead means you can close sales more quickly.)
- The perception of a brand that is not represented at an event falls by 5%. This is true even for global brands.(Not attending the key events in your industry can be more damaging than you think.)
- 71% of SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) won business using face-to-face networking. (For smaller businesses who don’t have huge advertising budgets, networking events such as trade shows are an effective means of generating new business.)
- An eye-catching stand is the most effective method for attracting attendees according to 48% of exhibitors surveyed. This was followed by giveaways (34%) and social media (31%) in terms of popularity.
Said differently, tradeshows are a great way to generate sales leads, close sales, build relationships with prospects, advance the sales cycle, cross-sell existing clients, build your brand, re-position your brand, increase awareness, meet with key clients and meet with key business partners if effective strategy if executed correctly. But how?
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The 5 best ways to attract prospects at trade shows & events
- Have a measurable plan. 50% of exhibitors report not knowing how many sales were generated from a show, or what their ROI was. This is a great example of failing to plan rather than planning to fail. Don’t let this be you. If you haven’t mapped out your buyer’s journey, and identified where they are within their process chances are you and the buyer will be speaking different languages. Focus on key metrics regarding booth conversations, commitments to next steps, call to action metrics, follow up tasks, and converted leads. that advance the sales cycle. Train your team on who your ideal buyer is, why their attending the show, where they are in their buyer journey, and what goals they should be targeting at this stage of the buying process.
Message firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help building a customer avatar. This living breathing document that reflecting what matters most to your ideal buyer, is critical to succeeding with the 4 tips below. It’s almost impossible to succeed without it.
- Design your graphics to communicate your ideal buyers challenges, pain points, and the next steps towards solving the problem. Don’t waste your brand real estate with a logo, heavy text, or unrelated images. The prospect most likely doesn’t know you or your booth, and is making a decision to visit you based on the messaging they can see presented on your space. Consider a custom booth design with accessories to capture foot traffic from multiple angles. What design will capture your prospects attention, and tell your full story? Get inspired from some of our top trending trade show display ideas.
- Invite prospects/customers to your booth before the event starts. If you can get access to attendees visiting the event in advance, reach out and offer a benefit for setting up a discovery meeting with you at the show. You can tie in a promotional offer to increase traffic as well. One example I really enjoyed was when a customer sent an empty case of Apple ear pods to every prospect attending the show. The prospects received the ear pods when visiting the booth and hearing about the benefits available to them when considering their solution. The ROI was through the roof!
- Strategically select tradeshow giveaways that align with your buyer problem/pain point, and how you solve that problem better than anyone else. If you select the right item, it will travel back with your prospect, and reinforce your messaging 1000’s of times. So make sure you include a call to action that drives your prospect deeper into their buying journey. Stay away from items that are heavy, bulky, and hard to ship. We find these items are almost always left at hotel.
Don’t give up if you’re hitting a wall when brainstorming what trade show giveaways will draw prospects to your booth? We’ve seen ROI up to 1900% when executed correctly! Private message us and we’ll send you custom ideas for consideration relevant to your sales process and customer pain points.
- Follow Up with relevance to where your buyer is in their journey. Leverage data and form fill information entered at the show. Provide additional consultative information that helps your buyer navigate to the next phase in their research journey.
The team at Proforma leverages branded merchandise to unite organizations to their prospects, clients and employees.