Now that we've entered July, the tradeshow season outlook for 2021 is very different than it was this time last year. As we look forward to many tradeshow events kicking off in an "in person" format (as opposed to virtual), we thought it might be helpful to offer reminders and tips on how to best prepare your sales team for face to face engagement.
5 Tips To Prep Your Sales Team for In-Person Tradeshows
1. Prior to the show, make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date
When is the last time you updated your LinkedIn profile? Whether you’re attending to network or are exhibiting at the show, you can bet that the contacts you make will look you up on LinkedIn prior to or following your discussions. Make sure you profile is polished and pristine for every contact who looks you up after the initial meeting and handshake. Encourage your sales team to sharpen their LinkedIn profiles as well and be ready for communications and requests for meetings to come through in the chat function of your profile.
2. Create a show schedule for yourself and/or your team
Have you ever walked into a booth to speak with a sales person only to find he or she had stepped away from the booth? Or perhaps you wanted to connect with a team member, but he or she isn’t answering their phone? Having a team schedule prepared, reviewed and fully adopted by the team attending the tradeshow can make all of the difference in the outcome of your sales efforts during the event. Including important details like when and where customer meetings are taking place along with educational sessions that offer both learning and networking opportunities, keeps your sales team on the same page and in full communication on your plan of attack for the show.
3. Establish a goal of how many on-site meetings your team should aim for with prospective vendors or business partners
Keep your team focused on the end game by establishing expectations that help everyone know their role while attending the show. While trade shows are great for networking, successful face-to-face meetings are perhaps the most fruitful opportunities to generate interest and close deals during tradeshows! Schedule meetings with your targets ahead of time and discuss your meeting plan with your team before you leave. 4 weeks out from the event, identify your current new business targets on the tradeshow attendee list and reach out to book a meeting with them. Remember that everyone attending the show is busy so be careful to try to make the most out of your time with your customers when you have their attention.
4. Prepare something to give to your customers
Whether you're hosting a planned or impromptu meeting, prepare something of value to leave behind with your customers. For example, if you're giving a pitch to your customer for the first time during a tradeshow, consider preparing printed data or compelling facts about the product or service you're offering for them to take home and review on the airplane. Printed materials are easy to produce fairly close to the day of the show and are easy to have shipped direct to your hotel. Be sure to listen to your customers for cues on your presentation performance and the value of the materials you've provided to determine if you may have a viable lead and mainstay marketing strategy to employ during future events and shows.
5. Include the show hashtag in 100% of your social media posts and respond to tweets
Fresh produce brands and providers are increasingly turning to social media to engage and share their thoughts with other trade show attendees during the expo - particularly those that are focused on advancing their marketing efforts. In addition, members of the trade media and our industry associations utilize the show hashtag to identify people and brands engaging with activities and events taking place at the show. Stand out amongst others by including the hashtag in 100% of your social media activity whether you are engaging on behalf of your brand or for yourself to simply be noticed by this community of people that are seeking to connect via social media during the show.
We could write for days about the endless opportunities that in-person tradeshows offer brands and marketers alike! If you need help with your tradeshow marketing approach, feel free to connect with our team and we'd be glad to help you think through solutions absolutely free.