Turning Every Staffing Firm Tradeshow into a Growth Opportunity
Exhibiting at a tradeshow is not an inexpensive marketing initiative. Lots of resources and time go into the effort and expectations are high. For many staffing firms, it is one of the best shots they have to achieve additional business growth. Coming back from an event without generating the best return on your investment (ROI) is dangerous. Designing a modern booth that tells the story, reserving a good booth space and sending down your most experienced employees are steps to the right direction but you need to do more if you want to realize ROI from a staffing firm tradeshow. The tips below will help you set your organization for success.
Do Your Homework
When it comes to tradeshows, keep this important rule in mind: preparation is key. This is true whether you are a tradeshow veteran or you exhibit for the first time. Don’t fall into the trap of approaching every event the same way. Before you sign up for the next one, you need to be sure that it serves your objectives and it justifies your presence there. Is your target audience attending? What is their perception about the event and what do they expect to get out of it? What is the potential of your company exhibiting? Do the benefits of being there overcome the cost, or do you simply stretch your marketing budget? In order to realize ROI from a staffing firm tradeshow you first need to be sure that you attendance meets your expectations.
Train Your Troops
Chances are that at some point during your career you walked by a tradeshow booth and came across a booth staff that was indifferent or was making zero effort to engage with attendees. If so, what did this tell you about the exhibiting company? Would you do business with them? Being on the phone, answering emails or doing work on the booth floor and leaving the booth unattended for long periods of time are simply not the right approaches to realize ROI from a staffing firm tradeshow. Make sure that your booth staff is totally invested in interacting with attendees and conveying your branding message and core values. Train them how to effectively communicate your points of differentiation and win leads.
Have the Ammunition
When exhibiting at tradeshows, you need to keep in mind that your company is not the only one there trying to win more business. Bringing attendees into your booth and talking to them about your services is great, but you need to remember that before they leave the exhibition floor, they are going to visit other booths and they are going to be presented with other options. A great way to keep them focused and win their trust is by handing them material that speaks to your services and backs the arguments you made when you meet them. Make sure that your booth collateral is up-to-date and it provides accurate information. Avoid stretching the truth and be sure to focus on your areas of strength in the industry.
Don’t Leave it to Luck
Tracking in staffing is everything and your tradeshow is not an exception. In order to know whether your expectations were met, you need to be able to track and measure your success. Before you embark onto the next event, make sure that you have all the necessary tools and equipment to collect and analyze all the crucial information. How many attendees stopped by your booth? How many of them were hot leads and how many ended up in the backburner? Did the number of your leads increase when you compare it with the number of previous tradeshows? Is it time to implement a CRM software that seamlessly tracks leads and sales from your attendance? Try to qualify and quantify all the factors that enable you to realize ROI from a staffing firm tradeshow.
Coming to the end of a tradeshow exhibition is a moment of relief, but only briefly. The fact that the doors of the venue closed and the lights are off doesn’t imply mean that the mission is accomplished. One of the many reasons –and sometimes the main one– why you invested so much time and effort into being there and competing with other companies is to generate as many leads as possible. In other words, win more business. Scanning tens of attendee badges, meeting new contacts and collecting as many business cards as you can, doesn’t mean much if your leads don’t turn into new business. Once you are back from the event, ask your sales team to follow up first with the highly qualified and tell them to keep the more uncertain in their horizon. Put in place a plan of nurturing for all the tradeshow prospects and be sure that your team sticks to it.
- Don’t approach every event the same way but prepare accordingly
- Train your booth staff to effectively communicate your points of differentiation
- Make sure that your booth collateral is up-to-date and it provides accurate information
- Have the in place the tools that allow you to track and measure your success
- Have in place a follow-up plan for your tradeshow leads
About S.J.Hemley Marketing
S.J.Hemley Marketing is a marketing and sales consulting firm focused on driving tangible results for professional services firms. Brand matters, but not without ROI. With over 20 years of sales and marketing experience within staffing and recruiting, we have helped to drive successful branding, sales training, lead generation activities as well as defining marketing strategy for top organizations.