Peter LoCascio Maximizing Trade Show Effectiveness

Trade Shows: A task for sales, or marketing?

October 27, 2006

By Peter LoCascio

Sales and marketing people tend to have different personalities and, depending on management's philosophy, can either work together or challenge each other. The latter approach, though, often hampers efforts at successful trade-show exhibit participation.

Much of marketing’s personality is based on strategic thinking, and tasks often include market research, competitive analysis, product introduction, program development, and the design of communications and advertising campaigns. Marketing has more time to adjust its efforts to market trends, purchasing cycles, and various product issues. 

In contrast, a sales team’s performance is judged on an annual, quarterly, monthly, and weekly basis, creating an atmosphere of immediacy.

Simply stated, marketing people are usually strategic, long-term thinkers, while sales people are tactical , short-term thinkers who tend to be impatient with almost anything that fails to deliver immediate sales and help them make their numbers. So their approach to manning a trade-show booth is going to differ drastically from someone in marketing.

The challenge for many trade-show exhibit managers is to create a cooperative environment where the dynamics of tactical sales and strategic marketing personalities can complement each other in order to have trade-show  sales success.

Show Booths Don’t Lure Prospects—People Do

October 25, 2006

By Peter LoCascio

While most exhibitors understand the value of quality with regards to their trade show exhibit materials, some might do better at maximizing their effectiveness by more adequately focusing on important intangible entities, namely the personal connection.

First and foremost, in considering what constitutes a successful exhibit presentation, you must remember that people attend trade shows to do business with people—not with inanimate objects such as props, graphics, or sales literature.

The trade show environment is one for creating that opportunity for pleasant human contact. The exhibit merely creates an environment conducive for people to meet each other—the person in that booth must take things to the next level by drawing a prospect into the atmosphere the booth has created, and then engaging them in a way that piques interest and builds trust.

Think about it: What does the trade show attendee actually see when he or she approaches your exhibit? The perception could be similar to the difference between entering Tiffany’s or entering Wal-Mart. It all depends on the total picture you present, including your booth, your products, and your people.

If your most important trade show were a sporting event, it would likely be your own Super Bowl—a single three-day tournament under one roof.

The question is, are your people prepared to perform on that stage?

10 Ways Trade Show Exhibitors Can Help Themselves Justify the Expense

October 23, 2006

By Peter LoCascio

1. Timely planning. Trade show planning should be accomplished within a relaxed, well managed time frame.

2. Clear goals and objectives. There is little chance that an exhibitor will find success on the trade show floor without a plan backed by their management.

3. Sufficient exhibit space.  Having what is needed to effectively present product, process sales leads, and confer with prospects is critical.

4. Exhibit design and production. An exhibit needs to tell prospects who you are, where the products are, and who to talk to.

5. Top management support.  Top management must make a concerted effort at demonstrating a commitment to the exhibit function.

6. Exhibit personnel.  Top sales and technical people must be invited to represent the company at trade shows.

7. Dynamic product presentation. Exhibits cannot fall short in delivering prospects who are motivated to consider products displayed.

8. Prospect follow-up. Information requested by a prospect must be delivered within 5 working days of the show.

9. Experienced trade show exhibit management.  Trade shows demand dedicated, trained, and professional exhibit managers.

10. Conducting post-show evaluations. Post-show follow-up sessions are essential and should be staged within one week of the show.

Peter LoCascio, President, Trade Show Consultants has over 35 years of experience implementing trade show sales goals and reaching them.

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