It’s All About the Leads at Shows

Because Your Job is to Create Qualified Leads Marketing may want brand visibility at a trade show.  It’s great to have speakers on the program.  No one can deny it’s good to meet with customers who attend a conference.  But the bottom line entity that pays for the show is the quantity and quality of leads.

  • Qualified leads pump up the sales pipeline.
  • Qualified leads help salespeople make quota and make the C-Suite happy.
  • Qualified leads turn into revenue; the more leads from an exhibit, the better.

Exhibits Have a Fixed Cost Exhibits are unique because they come with a fixed cost.  The CFO will say it’s a fixed investment.   Probably 40% of the money for shows is spent up front, the year leading up to the event. An additional 50% of show expense happens the week prior to, during, and the week after the event (mainly travel, salaries and special show events).  Only 10% is spent after the show by Marketing to nurture and manage the show leads. “The return on investment from fixed exhibit costs comes from new prospects (leads) and current customers who will buy more from you because they visited the booth.” Cost per Raw and Qualified Lead Varies: More Leads Equal Lower Cost The more leads, especially qualified leads you produce, the lower the cost per raw and qualified lead.  Triple the show lead count and you will reduce the lead acquisition cost by 66%, on average.  Triple the show lead count and you will have tripled the potential buyers. “Triple the potential buyers for the sales pipeline and increase the company’s revenue for the next 12 months.  Now how good is that?” Exhibit Revenue is a Result of the Number of Leads Do you want a promotion?  Accolades from the C-Suite?  A raise?  Credit for being a wealth maker?  Create leads; lots of qualified leads.  Create leads with information about budget, need, time frame for purchase, and authority to buy.  If you created 100 leads from a show last year, you can create 300 this year, easily.  If you had 1,000 last year, you can get 3,000 this year, easily.  Here’s how:

  • Drive visitors with pre-show mailings that increase booth traffic.
  • Get a sales lead acquisition system worth the money you pay for it. It needs to have room for information check boxes, the ability to change the data for out-of-date information (email address for instance), the ability to take notes, etc.

Only 2% of an average show expense is dedicated to the one item that gives you 100% of the show’s eventual success: the sales lead acquisition system; this is not the time to be cheap.”

  • Train the people manning the booth to create qualified leads. They need to qualify as many people as possible; stop talking to booth baggers (freebie looky-loos).  The training should be for anyone talking to a prospect or customer.  The salespeople, customer service people, marketing personnel, and exhibit managers should all be trained.

 Don’t forget to train management; if they’re in the booth they work for you and they may as well do something of value - like create a sales lead.”  Speaking? Get your marketing and salespeople on the program; it drives traffic.

  • Theatre in the booth? Create a presentation every hour, on the hour, for every hour you exhibit.   Whether you have room for 5 chairs or 25, every butt in the seat is a potential lead.
  • Follow up and nurture? Regardless of what Marketing does for any other leads it creates, make sure YOUR leads are nurtured.  Nurturing can take the form of emails, mail, and calls.

How often can anyone in Marketing say that they took a fixed cost, reduced the cost per lead by 66%, and increased sales potential by 300%? No one can but you, the exhibits manager. Permission is given to use quotes and copy if credit is given to: Validar’s Blog: EVENTS AND EXHIBITING TODAY Generating and Measuring Demand.