By Nancy Drapeau, PRC, CEIR Research Director
For many exhibitors, a primary goal of exhibiting is to generate new leads, nurture existing ones and maintain relationships with customers to feed the sales pipeline. Business-to-business exhibitions enjoy the reputation of delivering high value in this area. According to CEIR research, 99 percent of surveyed exhibitors say that business-to-business exhibitions deliver unique value not fulfilled by other marketing channels. The most popular unique value speaks to the ROI of participating, the ability to see a large number of prospects and customers over a short period of time.
Though to maximize the power of lead generation and nurturing at an event, exhibit staffers need to connect with as many qualified attendees as is logistically possible. How can an exhibit manager create the mindset among booth staff to be as effective as they can be in this area?
CEIR offers two reports, written by Barry Siskind, an internationally recognized exhibit marketing consultant that addresses two basic, though crucially important skill sets that need to be put into action to help achieve success in this area, techniques to:
- Connect and engage with attendees effectively; and
- Disengage with attendees in a positive manner to enable exhibit staff to move on to the next prospect or customer.
Sounds obvious right? Though how does one do this? Exhibitions are unique marketing mediums, a sales pitch or consultative sell approach is different in a booth where there is time pressure to achieve exhibitor goals. It is not the same as a phone call or an in-person visit over a meal or at a prospect’s office where there’s more time for engagement. Which techniques work well and where can one find examples to use in role-playing to use in exhibit staff training for an upcoming event? Check out these two reports to learn more about these basic, though critically important topic areas:
For readers interested in a broader discussion of what to include in an exhibit training program, another well-known business-to-business exhibition consultant, Candy Adams, offers a comprehensive overview on what to consider including in such a program, along with a handy check list that is a great reference tool to use when planning each program: An Exhibit Manager’s Guide to Exhibit Staff Orientation.
Keep in mind, this blog does not address the importance of effective pre-event and onsite marketing efforts that drive attendees to a booth. That blog topic is left for another day. This blog assumes that work was done well, the articles listed above provide instruction for exhibitors on how to maximize the opportunities that come their way.