Putting Your Best Foot Forward at Every Tradeshow
Has the idea of exhibiting at a tradeshow been brought up as a possible marketing opportunity for your staffing firm? First things first; while the idea of travelling to another state and staying in a hotel seems like a fun adventure for some, tradeshows require a lot of advance preparation and hard work if you hope to see any sort of return from your marketing investment. In order to ensure that you are putting your best foot forward at every tradeshow, you must design a comprehensive marketing plan, update your materials and exhibit booth, properly train your booth team, collect pertinent contact data and follow-up with all leads at the conclusion of the show.
Before securing a booth space for your staffing firm, it’s important that you take the time to do your homework and create a tradeshow marketing plan. Are you confident that your target audience matches up with the anticipated attendees? Have you researched the show and know what to expect in terms of the projected expenses? Make sure that you are aware of the potential risks involved with exhibiting at a tradeshow, and do everything possible to guarantee the best return on your investment (ROI).
If you start out with low expectations, you are most definitely not going to achieve great results. As part of your tradeshow marketing plan, set attainable goals and work hard to reach them. When done correctly, tradeshows have the potential to attract attention to your staffing firm and fill your lead pipeline with qualified candidates and potential clients. The first step in being committed to a profitable outcome is to make sure that you have carefully checked over any printed materials that you are planning to distribute. Outdated, tired-looking collateral tells your target audience that you are not invested in putting your best foot forward. Update your tradeshow booth and choose a layout that highlights your services and your branding message.
Are you looking to scare tradeshow attendees away from your booth, or would you prefer that they feel comfortable to stick around and speak with your team about what you have to offer? The days of the slick car salesmen are over, so when training your booth staffers you must remind them to be honest and genuine in their interactions with attendees. Overly rehearsed speeches and in-your-face tactics are not going to be effective when your goal is to build trust in your brand. Personalize your approach as much as possible, and speak to the individual needs and challenges of each prospective client or candidate.
Your staffing firm’s tradeshow marketing plan must also address how your booth staffers are going to collect contact information during the show. Electronic badge scanners are a great way to record pertinent contact information and easily upload it to your customer relationship management (CRM) program. Make note of any pertinent details that come up during your conversations, and add it to the attendee’s data record as a way to individualize your follow-up efforts. Looking to add a high-tech feature to your booth space? Interactive kiosks are a great way to invite attendees into your booth and engage them in an ongoing conversation.
After the show has ended, the process of follow-up begins. Refer to your CRM and prioritize the leads that were generated as a result of your tradeshow attendance. The only way to truly realize ROI from your tradeshow participation is to nurture those leads and convert them into new business for your staffing firm. Begin by contacting those leads who you have designated as high priority and forward to them any literature that they requested at your exhibit booth. Assign qualified leads to your sales and recruiting teams, and establish realistic contact deadlines. Be sure to enter all pertinent follow-up data into your CRM and carefully track them as they progress through your lead pipeline.
- Be prepared by creating a tradeshow marketing plan and doing your homework
- Be committed to the tradeshow process and always put your best foot forward
- Be honest with your target audience and build trust in your brand
- Be detailed by carefully collecting pertinent contact information from the attendees
- Be dedicated to your follow-up efforts in order to realize ROI and convert leads into new business
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.