I walked the North Texas Golf Show on Saturday. While this isn't IBS or CES, it is an example of trade show marketing in action. In addition to the few random observations I'll record here, I couldn't resist relating my friend Melinda's question when I mentioned I'd be walking the show:
"What does one do at a Golf Show? Watch the exhibits quietly and then clap politely for the vendors?"
Well, maybe, MG, but it was a lot of people gathered in one place to talk face to face about something they all had in common. The definition of trade show marketing.
At any rate, I was there because my friend from the NDCC, Kimberly Van Buren of Synthetic Grass Pros, was exhibiting. Kimberly was doing all of the things that exhibitors of whatever size at whatever show, do and doing it right. She was gathering leads in a systematic way, she had and was taking advantage of a prime spot, her exhibit featured her product and services (but not in an overbearing way), and she had a consistent and memorable brand presentation.
Gathering leads. SGP was either collecting business cards or having contacts fill out a small card with their basic contact info. Kim and her staff were making notes as they collected leads (on the backs of cards) and qualifying and segregating leads as the day progressed. At the end of the show Kim and her team will go over all of the leads, add them to the data base and follow up accordingly.
Prime spot. They had a corner booth and engaged clients both in the aisle and in the booth.
Product was shown on the floor of the booth space (it is fake grass, after all) and in a passive video featured in the backwall of the exhibit. Visitors were offered brochures and giveways during or after an engagement conversation.
By clothing the staff in matching logo-bearing shirts and complimentary slacks and featuring the logo and brand colors prominently on the booth, in the video and on the literature, the SGP brand was visible and memorable.
Simple rules followed and the basic goal was met: qualified leads and a reasonable ROI.