The Fall season not only marks the beginning of the new school year, but it can also mean the beginning of busy work events. Before kids head back to the classroom, parents ask teachers a series of questions that help measure their child’s progress and better understand the curriculum for the new school year.
You too, can use these same questions to prepare you and your team for the upcoming action-packed tradeshow season! Sharpen your pencils and take notes on the top questions kids and adults need to prepare for the busy Fall season.
- What is today’s lesson? → What is the event’s main topic?
Determine main messaging. You’ve read the tradeshow exhibition book, now you need to know how to position yourself and capture your attendees attention. First determine which products or services you will promote and how it appeals specifically to the topic of the tradeshow you are attending. Don’t try to explain everything you do, but create your elevator pitch that highlights one main point.
- How can I monitor my child’s progress and success? → How can I evaluate the tradeshow?
Determine your goals. Once you decide which tradeshow(s) you’ll be attending, you need to set attainable goals so you can determine how “successful” you were at these shows. You can monitor your success by some of the goals below:
- Schedule x meetings with investors/analysts
- Generate x% of new leads and opportunities (quality first!)
- Meet with x% of new prospects
- Schedule x executive dinner(s) with top accounts
- How should my child prepare for the upcoming school year? → How should we prepare for the tradeshow?
Prepare and promote. Prepare your brochures, collateral, and flyers to hand out at the booth. Pre-marketing mailers (if applicable from the booth organizer) are a good way to educate attendees in advance that you are exhibiting at the event. Be sure to include contact details and don’t forget your booth number! Don’t forget to pass along materials to your account development team to invite any prospects in the area as well.
- Who is my child’s teacher? → Who is the keynote speaker?
Secure your speaking slot. If you are hosting a keynote presentation or speaking slot, discuss and review the content and make sure it is suited to the conference and audience level expected. If you are presenting a customer success story, make sure you review the presentation with them. Include statistics and facts and don’t be afraid to use a little humor. The audience will also expect your Twitter handle to be included so they can interact with you.
If you are unable to secure a speaking slot, keynote, or breakout session, then host an event party after the busy tradeshow hours. You’ll be able to have a more relaxed conversation while your guests are nibbling on free appetizers and drinks. Again, use social media channels and the event hashtag to promote the event party to the audience.
- What are you wearing on the first day? → What should I wear to the tradeshow?
Dress for success. You’ll be on your feet for the majority of the day, do wear comfortable shoes. Do not sit down during peak booth traffic hours. Look through your exhibitors book and see if they offer floor padding under your booth carpet. Determine early on if your booth staff will dress in uniformed shirts so you can order these on-time.
- Did you finish your homework after school? → What are our tradeshow follow up activities?
Send follow up emails with a call to action. Tradeshow attendees will be overwhelmed with all the presentations and meetings, so there’s a huge chance they’ve forgotten about you. Take this time to send them a follow-up email and offer them a demo, discounted service/product, white paper, etc. – personalize if possible to what you discussed with them onsite.
- How much should I spend on extra ciriculum sports, books, field trips, school supplies, etc.? → What is our tradeshow ROI?
Measure your ROI. Once you have determined your goals, look at all the costs that went into sponsoring the booth, promotions, travel, etc. Keep in mind, all the post-event marketing you do will also help your ROI. Because your sales cycle is not immediate, be sure to check this number regularly depending on your sales cycle.
With this checklist, you’ll be sure to excel with your tradeshow events and your child will excel in their new school year. Do you need assistance in your upcoming European tradeshow? Let us know some of your big challenges for regional and international tradeshows.