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6 Ways To Turn Your Trade Show Exhibit Into A Lead Generation Machine

April 17, 2015

Every sale starts with a lead. Hence, your exhibiting efforts should be focused on producing as many targeted leads as possible. When you and your booth staff return home, you can follow up with the people you spoke to at the show and find out how your company can help them.
The challenge many exhibitors face is that they lack a well-defined process through which they qualify booth visitors and turn them into quality leads. Effective lead generation at trade shows involves a lot more than just scanning visitors' badges to capture their contact details.
That's the topic we'll cover below. The following 6 tips will help you generate high-quality leads you and your staff can turn into sales after the trade show ends.
#1 – Drive Traffic To Your Booth
To capture leads, you need people to visit your booth. There are a lot of things you can do before the event to ensure that happens. Pre-show marketing is one of the keys to generating qualified traffic.
Your trade show booth design also plays an important role. Professional-looking graphics, consistent messaging and a strong brand will give attendees confidence in your expertise. They'll be more inclined to visit, at which point you can start a conversation to qualify them.
#2 – Train Your Booth Staffers
Your booth staffers will interact with attendees on a one-to-one basis. They're not there to entertain. They're there to qualify visitors, capture their contact details and determine their value as leads.
That requires sales skills.
Select your most outgoing employees to work the event. Make sure they're knowledgeable about your products and can demo them effectively. Most importantly, give them the training they need to engage visitors and uncover their business problems.
#3 – Arrive With A Goal
It's not enough to want to collect leads. You need to establish concrete goals.
Before the show, determine how many leads you need to capture to make your investment  worthwhile. Divide that figure by the number of days you'll be at the event. Then, divide the daily figure by the number of employees scheduled to work your trade show booth. Create a plan that makes each staffer responsible for collecting that number of leads.
Establishing a lead generation goal allows you to track your progress at the show. You'll know how you and your employees are doing at any given point.
#4 – Create A Customer Profile
Evaluating prospects according to the value they pose to your company is just as important as capturing their contact information. For most exhibitors, value is based on potential revenue. That is, high-value leads are those who are likely to generate the biggest sales (though value can be defined in other ways).
With that in mind, it's useful to create a profile of your ideal customer. That profile might include the customer's goals, budget and position in his or her company. It will help you and your employees assess each visitor's value more quickly.
Remember, you have limited time to capture leads at the show. Devote that time to capturing those who pose the highest value to your company.
#5 – Focus On Solving Visitors' Problems
Trade show marketing is merely one step in a larger sales process. You're not at the event to hard pitch your products. You're there to identify good-quality prospects and introduce them into your sales funnel.
That means taking on the role of a consultant. Your job is to uncover the problems your visitors are facing and position your company's products as solutions. The real selling happens after the show. That's when you and your employees follow up with people, pulling them further down your funnel toward making a purchase decision.
#6 – Have A Lead Follow-Up Program In Place
Don't wait until you return home to design a plan for following up with the leads you collected at the show. Create the plan beforehand. That way, you and your staff can start calling the people you met without wasting time.
Your lead-nurturing process might include emails, phone calls or in-person meetings. The important thing is that you have methodical process in place. Your sales staff should be able to act quickly so your leads don't become cold.
Exhibiting is about lead generation. Everything you do should be focused on capturing leads at the event. From your trade show booth design to having trained employees working the floor, every element will influence your ability to attract and qualify visitors. The good news is that your efforts can pay huge dividends after the show is over.
Skyline Canada specializes in providing trade show services that make exhibiting easier and more effective. Click here to learn how we can help make your next show a grand slam.

Trade Show Booth Design
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