Editor’s note: Watch Mandy’s video here to learn how she makes shows successful or you can scroll down to read the transcript below.
Hi, I'm Mandy McIntyre with 1st Choice Roofing in Cleveland, Ohio. Here to talk to you today about trade show strategies. I am at our booth for the Home and Garden show. It's our annual trade show here in Cleveland. We have three keys, three components, if you will, for successful trade show. Those are planning, engagement, and follow up.
We'll start with planning. Because anyone that's ever done a trade show knows there's a lot of planning to be had. What we did this year is we had a team meeting, we had our list A to Z, everything that we're going to need. From booth logistics for set up, literature, scheduling who's going to be working the show. We laid it all out, we assigned specific tasks and delegated those tasks to specific people. So if there's a question about something or something's missing or something's not right, we know exactly who to ask. I'm a big advocate of the five P's, proper planning prevents poor performance. We planned extensively.
Second key, engagement. This one's big. Because no matter what you're selling, whether it is a product or a service. What you are really selling is a relationship with a potential customer. We make sure to engage with those potential customers by actively listening, by making eye contact, smiling, not eating at the booth, not looking at our phones. This really comes from experience as both a trade show attendee and a trade show exhibitor. Because I've stepped into a booth before, genuinely looking for information. I have questions and no one comes up to talk to me. It can be really off putting. When you see a couple of people working at a booth and they don't come up to talk to you. I'm just going to go to the next business, which would be their competitor. We really want to avoid that. Because everybody that comes into our booth ... that comes into your booth is your potential customer, your potential client. Engage with them, listen to them, smile.
Third key is following up. No matter how much money you put into your booth, if you don't follow up with your potential customer or clients, you're not getting your return on investment. Because that's what we're all here to do. Build those relationships, get new customers, get new clients. We have a database, a spreadsheet. We put everything in electronically. We make sure to take all their information, read it back to them, make sure the address is correct, the email, the phone number. If they're writing information down, make sure you can read it. And take notes about them personally. Sometimes someone's going on vacation, or they have a surgery coming up, or a wedding, or an event at their house and they want their project done in a certain timeframe. Take those notes down, when you go to follow up and you bring that up to them. That shows active listening and that really strengthens the relationship that you are trying to build.
Those are our three keys. Planning, engagement and follow up are keys to a successful trade show. I hope this information helps. Thanks for watching. Have a great day.
Mandy McIntyre is the Service Operations Manager at 1st Choice Roofing Company in Cleveland, Ohio. See her full bio here.
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