87 Ways To Get More Out of Your Next Home Show, Part 5

This is the fifth of nine articles written by Matt Michel. This article can be read in its entirety on the Service Roundtable website. The article gives advice of what to do and what not to do at home shows.

41.Spread Around a Few Magnets. Take your refrigerator magnet and leave it all over the show. Find metal door jams leading in and out of the show and place magnets around them. People will grab them. Periodically make a run and replenish the magnets.

42.Give Away Notepads. Notepads are a great show giveaway. People always need notepads. They’re cheap to make. They’re often placed near the phone. And
they get used!

43.Add a Coupon to The Notepads. Don’t limit yourself to your name and phone number. Include a coupon in the corner for a percent off or dollar off. Not only will people be tempted to use it when calling you for service, but they will tear off a page and give it to a friend or neighbor who needs your service. Print the name of the show along the top of the coupon to show people it’s a special coupon for the show and to provide a tracking mechanism.

44.Spread Notepads Around. When you spread around your magnets, take notepads and place them in strategic locations where people might pick them up.

45.Don’t Forget Exhibitors. Home show exhibitors are also potential customers. At the very least, they can be the source of referrals. Consider making up t-shirts with something like, “I Survived the Spring Home Show” on the front and your company name on the back. Pass them out to exhibitors at the end of the show when people are packing up. Make sure you give them your ad premiums as well.

46.Staff With Your Call Takers. Working a home show differs from in-home sales. It’s faster. It’s more energetic. The visitor to lead conversion rate is low. The environment is noisy. The attention spans are limited. It’s engage, collect information, and disengage. Engage the next person. This sounds like something your call taker does. It is not something your salespeople are trained to do.

47. Staff to Match Audience Demographics. If the show audience is married couples 35 and over, you want to staff you booth with people who match that demographic. Outsource if you need to. Call a temp agency and ask for people who have worked in hotel reception or as call takers and who match the right demographics.

48.Incent Your Staff. Face it. Working a home show booth is a beating. Offer an incentive to your staff for hitting your targets. It could be cash, gifts, or time off. Match the incentive to the preferences of your team.

49.Give Your Staff Petty Cash. Depending on the show, give everyone on your staff petty cash for incidentals, such as parking and food. These are legitimate business expenses. By providing employees petty cash, you remove the need for the employee to front his own money, fill out and turn in an expense report, and for you to review and approve the expense report and cut expense checks. In the long run, giving employees the money to pay for incidentals costs less and conveys the feeling of generosity.

50.Train. According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), training your booth staff increases the booth visitor to lead conversion rate by 68%. Yet, few companies train.
Consider hiring an outside trainer. If you cannot afford one, conduct an in-house training session.

Agenda for a Training Session
• Overview of the Show
• Your Objectives For the Show
• Audience Demographics
• Information About the Competition
• Duty Schedules
• Assignments
• Dress
• Sales Practice
• Elevator Speech
• Demonstrations
• Lead Capture
• Role Play
• Collateral Material
• Premiums

51.Give Booth Workers Breaks. Standing in a booth all day is hard work. Anyone in the booth should be "on." People in your booth should be alert, outgoing, and friendly. That's hard to pull off when you’re exhausted, sick of talking with people, your voice has worn out, your feet and backache. Rotate your booth personnel. If possible, work people in two-hour shifts. After people work the booth for a couple of hours, give them a break for a couple of hours.

Matt Michel is president of the Service Roundtable www.ServiceRoundtable.com, an organization dedicated to helping contractors prosper. Matt is also the publisher of Comanche Marketing, a free marketing e-zine. Subscriptions are available at www.ComancheMarketing.com.
You can contact him directly at [email protected].
Or send your comments to Contracting Business at [email protected].

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