Picture this. A potential prospect enters the show floor, that amazing world filled with an onslaught of sights and sounds bordering on sensory overload. Through the excitement, you spot them heading toward your brilliantly-conceived and impeccably executed trade show experience.
Eager to greet them, you count each step as they approach your exhibit. Your anticipation soars as you prepare to engage them with your product that perfectly meets their needs. Closer – and closer – and closer … you can almost read their name badge now. And then the unthinkable happens. They walk right past your booth.
You have entered “The Trade Show Zone”. A place outside time and space where attendees don’t even know you are there. Unfortunately, this is an alternate reality that too many exhibit planners face virtually each day.
According to CEIR, the leading research organization serving the trade show and event marketing industry, 70-85% of attendees pre-plan their time at the show. Today’s professionals do not attend trade shows to shop the aisles. They come to the show with a purpose and a plan and if your booth isn’t on the agenda it’s going to be overlooked.
To further complicate that message, a basic Google® search suggests that anywhere from 40-60% of professionals attend only one conference a year. So a missed opportunity can truly become a lost opportunity for you to engage a strong prospective customer if you haven’t planned ahead.
To avoid “The Trade Show Zone” you need to develop a Pre-Show Contact Strategy. Your first encounter should not be in the show aisle but two weeks or more before the show starts. The medium can vary depending on your needs, budget and the opportunities afforded by your trade show organizer and venue. What really matters is that you are introducing your best prospects to the experience ahead of time so they know what to expect and want to be part of it.
The sale you save may be your own!