The trade show. The bane of every manufacturer’s existence. Exhibits, travel, expensive dinners, sales meetings, more expensive dinners. To go or not to go. What will the competition do this year? There are thousands of articles detailing the finer points of show business. This one asks just one question: Why do you go?
You can spend tens, even hundreds of thousands on the latest hardware, state-of-the-art technology, giveaways, and more but we submit that none of it will matter if you don’t know why you are there. A new client several years ago said they were getting ready for the “big” show. When asked why, the deer in the headlights answer was: “We always go to this show. Everybody (in our industry) goes to this show.” We said, “Why not give your customers a reason to come by the booth and a reason to place orders during the show?” The result: They sold more product at that one show than in the previous 8 shows combined.
Before you go to the next show, make a plan. Sell product, hire reps, get some free press, introduce a new product, kick off a promotion … all of the above. Make it specific and make it measurable. When you get back home, assess your performance versus your goals. It will make the decision about next year’s show a lot easier.
Might even make it easier to order that last bottle of wine on the last night of the show.