Now this comes about because many many many of us are determined to use exhibitions. No matter how expensive they are. No matter how little results we get.
So I just thought I’d give you a few tips to try and make your money better spent.
Now of course exhibitions can be huge things. I have no idea how much the car companies waste to put their money, or how much money they waste to spend time in the major car exhibitions. But I bet it’s a fair few dollars.
But this can be a local one where you’re just simply at a little event where they’ve given you a, an option to have a table at the back of the room and put somethings up there. But no matter what, if you are laying out money, you need to get little bit of result. So where do we start?
Start with a Strategy
So first of all, we start with a strategy. Or a goal. We want an outcome. So step 1 is to decide what the outcome is. Now of course, you could think, well to get more inquiries.
That’s not enough. How many, how many, so if you’ve paid a 100 pounds for your stand, if you’ve paid 2000 pounds for your stand, if you’ve paid 43000 pounds for your stand as a friend of mine did a while ago when I met him in the exhibition. I was gobsmacked.
If you’ve paid that much, what you need to know is the lifetime value of your customer, or your likely customer.
Now once you know that, you can then decide how many inquiries you need for it to be profitable. And don’t forget in addition to your 1000 pounds or whatever you spent, what about your time?
You are going to be there all day. And who else is going to be there? What if you want to go to the bathroom, the washroom, the toilet?
Whatever country you are in, whatever you want to call it. What if you want a lunch break or to eat, or just to take a break? So you need someone else probably there. So add up that labour.
Now of course there may be accommodation. There may be meals and a couple of drinks at the party at the bar afterwards. There may be journey time, there may be train or travel costs. There may be preparation time in event, in advance. So work out what it costs. It’s very important.
I am just utterly shocked at how few people will work out what one of these things actually costs for real. And then work out what is needed to cover the costs. So then you can decide how many inquiries you need.
Now the next thing is what type of inquiry are you after? So for example I go to these things at Chambers of commerce. And everyone has a fish bowl or something.
And they say put a business card in and we’ll draw it out and you win a bottle of champagne. What if you won every one? Gosh! You’d be alcoholic. Or you’d have a big party. I have never won any of those?
But that’s just too common. But whatever it is, just decide what you’re going to try and do. Do you want people to give you a business card, or do you want them to fill in something on an iPad that’s connected to the internet?
Do you wish to fill in some forms in paper form? But decide what it is, decide what information you need to know.
You probably don’t need to know their age, or things like that. Or if they have children, unless it’s a consumer business. So just decide the information. You don’t need a fax number, for example. By the way stop asking for fax numbers please. Don’t give me the, ‘people still use faxes.’
How Long Are You Going to Talk?
Then how about, how long you are going to talk to people? Or what is, what is the desire thing? Do you want to talk to people? For example, you might talk to, I don’t know, say a 100 people for 5 minutes each. Or you might just want to talk to, say the 10 right people for half an hour each.
And another thing I know of, I read somewhere once about somebody who has a strategy of having 2 stands at the exhibition.
And I think what they do, in the one stand they invite people and they take addresses and so on, and then if people want to, to know more, they take them over to the other stand which is bit more closed and private and they talk to them away from the stand.
So they can get inquiries and then the serious buyers, they can talk to them somewhere else.
So because, don’t forget if you are talking to someone for half an hour, there’s a couple of people standing there waiting. And when they get bored, they go away. So what’s your strategy for that?
Because I’ve been that person standing there waiting. And trust me you get bored and you go away and you don’t come back. You think, ‘oh I’ll come back in a minute.’ But then you get distracted and that was the end of that. So decide.
Now the other, this is the most important is, ‘what is the next step?’ So somebody meets you at an event, at an exhibition, you get their details, you have that little chat, I mean you have decided in advance, are you selling something at the time, or are you arranging to meet later or something? But what is that next step? What are you going to do and when?
Again, I have been to exhibitions where I’ve wanted to speak to someone afterwards. I know they are going to be busy with all the inquiries of the event, and they’ve never got in touch.
And I’ve gone to exhibition again a year later and the stand, I walk pass the stand and someone said, ‘hey would you, you know, can we help you?’ and I’ve pointed out about last year. And they don’t say, ‘Oh gosh. I am sorry.’
All they say is, ‘Well can I have a card again? And we’ll make sure that doesn’t happen this time.’ I think, ‘No, it’s all right. Because you are not giving me any assurance, or making any effort.’
But if they’d told me, we will contact you on the next Monday, or within 3 days, or by a certain date. And what we will do is we will then send you some further information or we’ll have a chat, or I’ll come and see you, or we’ll meet up, or we’ll do this.
But explain what you are going to do. Set expectations. And then people cannot be disappointed, as long as you follow up.
Factor In Downtime
And finally, after that exhibition is done, when you get back to your office or whatever, you’re probably going to be a bit tired so factor in some downtime.
In fact you are in a bit of take a breath, collate, learn, absorb what you learned, write up some notes, write up what you are going to do, not do it next time, what went really well, what you’ll make sure you do next time. That kind of thing.
But then make sure that rest of your team is on the same page. If you told people that they are going to be responded to, within 3 days. You are going to make sure that they are. If you were expecting 30 and you got 70, you’ve still got to get back to them in 3 days.
So this is all important. Otherwise you are wasting your money. And the reason I want you to do this is because I might be the person giving you a business card at that next exhibition. And nothing makes me mad, more mad than just having all those conversations and no follow up. And I think, ah gosh.
Anyway. That’s it. It’s as simple as that. It can work for anything.
Monday Book Recommendation
Which kind of goes with the, with this. And I am going to have to look at my notes for the authors. Because its, because I can’t pronounce them. Okay, well I can’t remember.
The book is “Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit.” And its witten by Leonardo Inghlleri and Micah Solomon.
It’s since been adopted by brands and companies all over the world. It’s fabulous. It just explains how good service can be.
It makes online and offline customers service so good that it guarantees loyalty.
Be sure to look it up and read it. We implemented a lot of this book in our business and it has helped a ton.
I will be back tomorrow with a toolbox tip for the week.