Trade Show Marketing
Reviewing Show Strategy Can Pay Big Dividends
Many companies spend lots of time and money
developing what they believe to be a strong trade show program.
This is a wise idea.
However, once developed, it is important
to periodically review the strategy
to determine if it is working properly.
Some firms review their efforts on a regular basis
This gives them the opportunity to pick up on
both the strengths and weaknesses of their plan
and adjust accordingly before the next event.
There are several methods to determine
if your strategy is working:
- Meet the show staff
to determine how they "felt" about a just-completed show.
It is best to do this within 2 or 3 days
to ensure that your input is fresh.
Discuss such things as traffic flow through your exhibit...
whether or not you accomplished your goal for the show...
how you feel attendees perceived your company
as a result of your efforts and last, but certainly not least...
would the staff enjoy doing another show?
This last question is important
because a staff that comes away from a show
with ambivalent or negative feelings
is a pretty good indicator that something needs to be fixed.
- Call your guests.
Who better to give you feedback
than those folks you are there to talk to.
A survey of guests may include questions
pertaining to their level of "comfort"
while visiting your booth.
Was the exhibit itself inviting?
Was the staff friendly and knowledgeable?
Were they able to get the information they need
about your product or service?
And, what suggestions might they have
for future show presentations.
This approach will be more beneficial
if done by phone or in person rather than by mail.
- Conduct a focus group.
This approach can be very rewarding
provided the session is conducted
by someone knowledgeable in focus group techniques.
This isn't the time to let someone from your staff
who has been a participant in a focus group
talk you into saving money by letting them be the group leader.
The most important part of a focus group
is in the preparation of questions and selection of participants.
Only an experienced leader should be considered.
- Using surveys
to obtain fresh information from show attendees
is one approach that should be seriously considered.
Conducting "intercept interviews" on the show floor
is a reliable method of measuring your performance.
An experienced show research firm
can design questions and conduct interviews
that will allow you to pinpoint those areas
you are most interested in reviewing.
- Show your booth.
Many companies hire people to "show" their booth.
An evaluation of your presence may cover everything
from the effectiveness of your graphics
to the attitude of your staff and their knowledge
of your product or service.
Again, shoppers need to know what you are looking to accomplish.
Regardless of which method you choose,
it is important to prepare properly
if you are to get accurate information.
Getting feedback is an essential element
of an effective trade show program.