Showtime: How do I maximise my ROI during a show?
1) Use well drilled data capture processes: These days almost everyone uses a data capture app on an iPad or other mobile device, but what are you actually capturing and what is happening to the data once it goes into the app? If you are only capturing their contact details, the product or service they are interested in and then downloading that data at the end of the show, you are missing a trick.
a) The right data: Capturing the basics is fine and most of the time a short form is best. But when you have just spent 10 mins or more chatting to a prospect, at that point in time the person holding the iPad knows a lot about that prospect. Ensure you capture their goals, challenges and pain-points as this will be the gold dust that massively increases your conversion rate in the follow-up phase. Equally, make sure this isn’t all captured in the notes field. Build specific fields for these questions, ideally with drop-down or radio button selects so you can easily profile and segment this data later on. Use notes only for the things that are totally specific to that individual.
b) Don’t wait until the end of the show: You are at a trade show, so guess who the next person your prospect is going to chat to is? That’s right - your closest competitors. If you integrate your app with your marketing automation tool, or use a web form then you can trigger a thank you for visiting as soon as you hit submit on the form and include a content offer or some other call to action in the email. The average person looks at their phone 52 times a day, so the likelihood is that they will see that email before the next stand and leave with the impression that your business is ‘on it’.
2) Use those sponsorship opportunities to drive traffic both ways: If you are sponsoring an activity, seminar or coffee stop ensure the signage and staff at both locations are driving traffic in both directions. Ensure you give people a reason to visit both areas, be that something simple like freebies or, if the show suits it, something more interactive like an around the show treasure hunt. Getting people to take pictures of symbols you have stuck around the venue can be a great way for your brand to really become part of their in-show experience and allows you to capture more data to nurture later.
3) Be a thought leader not just an exhibitor: getting new ideas and information about their industry is the most oft-cited reason for people attending shows, so make sure you are delivering in this area. If there is a seminar opportunity book it, if not make your stand part of the entertainment and hold a mini-event or seminar on there. If you don’t have space or budget for either of those then create some really good quality content to give away. Whatever route you choose, make sure the content has real value and is rooted in an industry challenge your prospects all share, not just a thinly veiled advert for your product or service. Ensure that once created it flows through everything in the pre, during and post-show comms and that you only exchange it for data that allows you to nurture that prospect in the future.
4) Take the show beyond the show: Make sure you are using social media and particularly things like Facebook live to broadcast the content from the show to your audience and use paid options, like boosted posts to go beyond your followers to a targeted prospect audience.