Trade shows, consumer shows, product launches, sporting events, and other opportunities to interact face-to-face with customers have become an important part of the marketing mix. Recent studies show that the percentage of the total marketing communications budget spent on event marketing ranged from over 9% to a staggering 29%. In 2003, North America alone hosted over 13,000 trade and consumer shows, each one with hundreds of exhibitors, and thousands of visitors. Beyond traditional trade shows, there are countless other opportunities for exhibitors to interact with their customers directly and improve the bottom line, such as mall displays, corporate events, road shows, and permanent displays.
Well chosen and executed events can shorten the sales cycle significantly and put you miles ahead of the competition, but you need to have an exhibit plan that's well thought out, organized, and executed. While some large organizations have a dedicated exhibit staff, often the role of exhibit management lands on the desk of an unsuspecting, overworked, or unwilling sales or marketing person who needs to get results from their exhibit investment, but doesn't know where to start. The Power of Exhibit provides the step-by-step advice you need to exhibit successfully. This definitive guide to trade shows and other event marketing shows how to set objectives, budget for your event and measure its success in ROI, choose the right show and find the right audience, turn leads into business, design booths, work the show, gather information and intelligence, and much more.
What Is Exhibit Management?
PART ONE: MANAGING THE FISCAL RESOURCES.
Chapter 1. Exhibiting Objectives.
Three Levels of Exhibit Objectives.
Quantify Your Objectives.
Chapter 2. Budgeting and Financial Management.
Calculate the Amount of Exhibit Space Required.
The Final Budget.
Exhibit Annual Report.
Chapter 3. Choosing the Right Event.
Understand Your Objectives.
Define Your Audience.
Establish a Customer Profile.
Focus on Your Market.
Rank Your Customer Profiles in Order of Priority.
Where Do You Find Places to Exhibit?
How to Choose the Right Event.
Where to Find Suitable Events.
PART TWO: MANAGING THE PHYSICAL ASPECTS.
Chapter 4. Create Your Three-Dimensional Marketing Experience.
Creating the Experience.
Developing Your Display Needs Analysis.
Create a Request for Proposal (RFP).
The Design Schedule.
Chapter 5. Your Display - the Nuts and Bolts.
System: Custom or Hybrid?
Signs and Graphics.
Customs and Duty.
Emergency Supplies Box.
Chapter 6. Enhancements.
Plants and Flowers.
Chapter 7. Pre-Show Promotion.
Other Promotional Ideas.
PART THREE: MANAGING THE HUMAN RESOURCES.
Chapter 8. Pre-Show Briefing.
Booth Staff Personality.
The Third Element: The Type of Training.
Chapter 9. The Four Stages of Boothing.
Stage 1. Entry Level.
Stage 2: Better but Still a Long Way to Go.
Stage 3: The First Sign of Real Improvement.
Stage 4: Where Real Results Are Found.
The Six People You Are Likely to Meet at a Trade Show.
Motivate the Doers.
Chapter 10. Breaking the Ice.
Do #1: Ask Open Questions.
Do #2: Focus on Business.
Don’t #1: Don’t Ask a Question If You Don’t Want the Answer.
Don’t #2: Don’t Ask a Question If You Don’t Know What to Do with the Answer.
Don’t #3: Don’t Ask a Question That Leads to a Pitch.
Three Ice-Breaking Scenarios.
Chapter 11. Gathering Information.
A = Authority.
C = Capability.
T = Time.
I = Identity.
O = Obstacles.
N = Need.
Chapter 12. Making Effective Show Presentations.
Good Time Management Practices.
Chapter 13. Disengaging.
The Presumptive Disengagement.
The Conciliatory Disengagement.
Chapter 14. Developing Rapport with Potential Clients.
Prior to Approaching.
Rapport during the Ice Breaker.
Rapport during Information Gathering.
What to Look for.
Maslow's Hierarchy and the Rapport-Building Process.
Rapport during the Disengagement.
Chapter 15. Turning Leads into Business.
Stay in Touch.
A Guideline for Creating Your Follow-up Plan.
A Note About Privacy.
Chapter 16. Gathering Strategic Intelligence at a Show.
Your Strategic Intelligence Team.
Your Strategic Intelligence Plan.
Step 1: Set Up Definitions and Objectives.
Step 2: Do the Research.
Step 3: Assign Responsibilities and Create a Schedule for Your Strategic Intelligence Team.
Step 4: Gathering the Information.
Step 5: Develop the Walking Plan.
Step 6: Strategic Intelligence Overlap.
Step 7: Combat Information Overload.
Step 8: Evaluate Your Results.