Saturday, February 02, 2013

10 Tips for maximizing trade show ROI

Saturday, February 02, 2013
Strategic plans for comfortable shoes

The Cleantech and energy industries have numerous conferences and trade shows, networking, business development, and educational opportunities. I am not exaggerating. At Tigercomm, we maintain a database of conference facilities which expands almost daily.

But tight budgets and competing priorities force marketing and communication managers, to make hard decisions to make shows to the right to participate. The challenge does not stop there. There is pressure from upper management to ensure that they maximize their investment in the case.

In recent years my colleagues and I occupied, on and attended dozens of conferences and trade fairs. We pooled our experience we had together with discussions with several Cleantech industry leaders, a list of ten tips to ensure that your business conference and trade show, that program is a success in the year 2013 to develop.

Choosing the right Conference

1. Comply with the audience on your business goals: as one of our industry friends about solar power international, said it "pulls add value to our C-Suite in the C-Suite, the actual decision makers." If the goal of venture capital, targets finance and investment conferences. Or if you try to highlight your technology feasibility study, a show that is geared towards engineers in your particular industry or field of work might be most appropriate. You would be surprised how often we Conference ROI not heard not for a company to generate, because their customers were the participants.

2. Location, location, location: if you are focused on a given local market, conferences in this area are easier for your potential customers to visit. As you use your own local resources. We have been working, set up excursions to their demonstration plants with multiple clients, potential clients and media that up to see possibility of their technology have given up close and personal.

3. Booth, sponsor, speak or visit: there are numerous ways in which companies participate in conferences and can measure. Stalls offer the opportunity to show a new technology. Sponsorship will get your brand in front of a large audience (I use my orange Enphase grocery bag every weekend, if I go to the market). Your leadership can highlight speaking opportunities. And just you can visit in the same room with as many customers as possible, at once. Depending on your budget and the importance of the show, a combination of these options "Surround Sound" can segment targeted customers with your message and branding.

Preparation for the Conference

4 Your potential customers as target: to a Conference is more than just packing your company golf shirt and hop on the plane. Identify the top five or ten companies and want to talk to people, which. Make sure to do your research so that you can talk to them knowledgeable about their current activities and how your selling points specifically for them is. Many conferences offer actually online portals for registrants to network and schedule sessions in advance you pay for the service so use it. And make sure a plan to have with them after the Conference.

Be 5 of schedules in the clear: you have a booth, to make sure that everyone who knows, stand, is always the ground or at meetings and when. If you are not connected through a shared calendar like Google or Basecamp, a table of assignments and contact information can work.

6 Build and strengthen by Reporter: conferences and trade shows, are great places to meet reporters personally. The organizers of the Conference ahead of time to the press distribution list ask is reached. If they give it out or there have not many names on it, we recommend also reporter reach key industry issues, whether they are planning to go. This minimum is there is an opportunity to reach and updates on what you plan to also find out what topics are currently on set.

Get the most out of the Conference

7 Plug in social media: many conferences use social media platforms keep participants updated or special notification for their followers. And savvy conferences and companies using social media to draw participants in their stalls or events.

I took a large T-shirt from Schletter before a few years ago due to a Twitter campaign she ran at Renewable Energy World North America. And I had to see a very useful exchange with the organisers of the power-Gen International what to do at the fair.

Some of the most important issues to think about: the event must hold an official Twitter Hashtag for step with the latest events? Enter a Tweet is it? Is the Conference updated Facebook feed participants through its? Is there a LinkedIn page, where you can make online connections prior to the Conference? When you meet people, do you connect with them on LinkedIn?

8 Placing a well stocked Conference survival kit: comfortable shoes, many business cards, snacks and water (Conference venues are notoriously dry place). If you can, an extra shirt or tie have available, in the event that someone from the State with the coffee machine spills coffee on you. It's all part of the preparation.

To make 9 time to eat: Conferences can be a marathon, you need to keep your energy. And avoid junk food, that round. So tempting, you will like the candy dishes and cookies can be, on your game for this important customer meeting or reporter interview if you are properly fueled.

10 Scope of application, the good parties: often more relaxed atmosphere allows for better connections. And get the most out of your investment conference, earn one beer or a glass of wine after a long day.

Conferences can be a great investment. But with a strategic plan, you can dividends talks real in terms of generating leads, forward sales and build the profile of your company.

Brian Mahar is a senior account executive at Tigercomm, where he develops and leads strategic communications and marketing plans for clean business enterprises and organizations.

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