Trade Show Return on Investment

by Dick Ossi

Whenever an executive begins to look for a business consultant or coach to help them grow their people and their company, the business experience and cultural fit of that person becomes vital to their selection. They are usually looking for a consultant or consulting firm who has successfully "walked the walk" and provides cost-effective, tailored solutions. Dick understands that 'baptism by fire', 'learning by trial and error' and 'that is good enough' is not what senior executives are looking for in today's business climate. Dick Ossi's passion for business is contagious. His success with his clients stems from identifying their goals and business objectives to be achieved and then facilitating the actual accomplishment of those goals. Clients appreciate that Dick willingly taps into and shares his decades of experience as a former CEO and Senior V.P. of Sales to significantly help them as clients and as people.

Once your company decides to attend a trade show, you need to maximize the return on the investment for the time spent by the staff from your company in addition to the cost of the space.

The following are rules for effective trade show participation:

  1. Goals - set specific measurable goals for what you want to accomplish.
  2. Preparation of your staff make sure everyone manning your booth is prepared, knows your goals & your script
  3. Engage your audience - Be out in front greeting potential customers.
  4. Barriers - Don't put barriers in your booth between yourself and attendees. Put your table in the back of the space.
  5. Qualify & generate interest - Know what you are going to say when people come into the booth so you can qualify them and generate interest.
  6. Create a contest - Collect business cards for a prize drawing every hour. Write notes on the back of the card to remind you of the discussion you had with that person.
  7. Follow up after the show - Contact those who stopped at your booth, call them, send cards or letters or thank you notes.
  8. Summary - Count your specific results over the next 12 months. Don't rely on your impressions and recollections to judge if the trade show was successful. What revenue was generated over a 24 month period following the show compared to the costs? This will show the true return on investment.