Whether you are a parent or not you have heard of the Oscar-winning Disney film Frozen. Having just watched that movie for the 12th time with my daughter it quickly became the inspiration for this blog. After all, “What does an exhibit manager do in the summer?”
Exhibit Managers are likely the busiest one-man team in the industry. They certainly do not get to take the summer off to bask in the sun or sing and dance over puddles. Not only do they manage the logistics of all the corporate trade shows and events, they are charged with the task of branding the booths to meet the needs of the show. Summer is the perfect time to RAP! Not the like Vanilla ice... they Reassess, Adjust and Prioritize. (Not necessarily in that order.)
The first objective is to take a pulse on where you stand against your goals so far this year, to assess if you’re on track or off base. The analytics you want to inspect can range from number of qualified leads you aquired at each event to post show products sales. In order to provide an accurate assessment you need to determine what worked and what didn’t and if your leads turned into sales. Was the show's audience ideal for your company’s products/services? Did your current exhibit house meet your company’s branding goals and expectations? Was your branding and messaging clear?
Next, you need to take your conclusions into consideration and adjust your plan. Here are a few easy items you can incorporate without a huge additional expense:
- Pre-show marketing - did you do enough via social media or personal invites to drive traffic to your booth ahead of time?
- Messaging – the structure and flow of your booth might be fine and all you need is to update your graphics and clarify your message. Some clients do this for each show they go to, to target to a very specific audience.
- Staffing – some clients find it is cheaper and more effective to hire Event Talent/Specialists to generate traffic to your booth vs. sending all your sales people to the show plus their expenses .
- Lead Generation – if all else passed your evaluation maybe you need to find a new way to engage people and generate higher quality leads. Interactive technology has proven to increase engagements, increase post-show sales and decrease the cost and need of collateral at the show. Plus the technology alone draws people into your booth.
Lastly, prioritize your goals and expectations. Once you have made adjustments to your plan make sure they fit within your budget. Are there other things you can cut out to make room to generate better results? Prioritize which changes will generate the best outcome.
A well versed Exhibit house can help you reassess your plan and make strategic suggestions. If not, then Apple Rock can! If Olaf (the adorable snowman in Frozen) were an Exhibit Manager, he would say, “Some exhibit houses are worth moving for!”