Events Enhance Exhibit Excellence
You plan for months to perfect your tradeshow presence, and it can be an expensive endeavor. In addition to costs for travel, lodging and meals for staff, add the costs of producing a display and marketing prior to the show. Then there’s the cost of renting floor space at the show, which averages more than $2,200 for a small booth, according to MarketingProfs.
But in a few hours, it’s all over. Why limit your success to the exhibit hall? Before or after tradeshow hours, why not invite key clients to a special event to gain exclusive face time and impress your best customers.
This is an incredible opportunity to handle future affairs while you have most of your key players in the same place. Instead of eventually having to set up another meeting and the travel costs that come with it, take this time to hash out a marketing and sales collaborative meeting or discuss prospective customer strategies. You’ve got people there, so use them.
Deciding on the invitees
The best way to set your guest list is to think about what you want to accomplish. Are you hoping for immediate sales, or are you looking to set the stage for continuing relationships down the line? Be strategic about your goals and the key players you’ll invite to help meet your objectives.
Choosing a venue
If you’re going for impressing your guests, dinner in a private room of a great restaurant should work well. Other options include a small banquet room at the conference facility, or a hospitality suite in the hotel.
Setting a program
The content of any presentation should depend on the makeup of your audience and how well they know you and your company. For prospective or new clients, a brief introduction to your company is appropriate. For longer-term customers, you might choose an issue that affects the group and ask several clients to lead a roundtable discussion.
Creating the menu
In a restaurant, you can have clients order off the regular menu or ask the restaurant to create a special, abbreviated menu for you. For a catered event, sandwiches or a limited buffet are appropriate for a lunchtime meeting, while an evening meeting might feature one or two choices of entrees. Marriott offers tips on planning a catered event.
Be sure to schedule time for personal follow-up with your invitees. Gauge the value the event brought them and use the information to plan for next time.
With the expense and time commitment of exhibiting at a tradeshow, it’s smart to maximize your investment by scheduling outside events with clients. By carefully planning your guest list, venue, menu and presentation, you can make a positive and lasting impression.