Four secrets to attracting top-notch leads at tradeshows and conferences

It is said that 73 per cent of all leads that are generated at a tradeshow are never followed. WOW!  What a waste of money!

How to attract top-notch leads at tradeshows and conferences

Attracting people to a booth is usually not the problem. There are thousands of edible and visual enticing things to which people can be drawn. By attracting people who are looking for something free, you are not able to effectively identify, engage and nurture those high quality leads. These types of problems are all too familiar to event solutions companies who coordinate tradeshows, conventions and conferences.

The key is to find the highest quality leads, spend quality time growing the relationship and building a rapport with them. The core mistake that companies make is giving away things that can easily be obtained. If a company or brand wants to build and attract top-notch leads, they must provide a unique experience that promotes their brand.

Here are four secrets for attracting quality leads:

  1. Do something that’s unique, that can attract the right type of lead. Take something common and change the medium. This could be something as easy as taking a game that is an application and applying it to a 70” big screen, or identify “what’s hot” right now in popular culture and doing a creative twist on it.
  2. Have qualifying questions ready to go, to identify a strong lead. The quicker you can identify a real lead, the stronger your leads will be.  For example, instead of saying, “Hi, my name is Andy” as my greeting, I might say, “Hi my name is Andy, does your organization outsource their meeting planning capabilities?”
  3. Have another team member focus on the “time suckers” who are not good leads and pass them off to them quickly. Focus your efforts on qualified leads. After the program, make sure you are keeping track of the top-tier leads, and make time to touch base with them directly after the show! Be sure you have time to have immediate follow-ups so the next step can occur in the sales funnel. Don’t wait weeks to follow up with a strong lead.
  4. Remember to make the experience memorable and don’t be afraid to ask the attendee to talk, Tweet or Facebook about their interaction with you. You are spending a lot of marketing dollars on your convention strategy, and it is critical to make it a success. Social media and “tradeshow chatter” can elongate your tradeshow strategy.

Most of all have fun. Tradeshows, congresses and conventions take a lot of time and effort and cause us to be away from our families and our core business. Initiate a strategy that is fun for you, and your mindset will be in the right place to have a successful outcome at your next event.  You should always think of “outside the box” ways of attracting people to your booth, while also keeping in mind that you are trying to bring in quality leads.

About the author:

Andy McNeill, CEO of AMI, is a veteran of the meetings and event industries, with more than 25 years of experience in the profession. He has assisted firms in a variety of industries including pharmaceutical, biotech, healthcare, consumer, sports marketing and investment banking. He firmly believes in the strategic meeting marketing model and provides consulting services to Fortune 100 clients on the practice. After graduation from Florida State with a degree in marketing, Andy began his career in the event marketing group at Florida State Athletics. Soon after, he launched his own event marketing company and after five years merged with a major sports marketing firm. Andy spent six years with NSG Corporation as the Senior Vice President leading the sales and marketing for the firm who produced events for over 200,000+ attendees annually across the globe. Andy and the NSG team worked with the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta to produce portions of the Opening Ceremonies. Following NSG, Andy secured the role as COO at Fanizzi Associates, one of the nation’s largest event pharmaceutical firms. There he managed the overall operations of the company who executed over 400 events annually for physicians and internal pharmaceutical clients. Revenues exceeded $40 million a year. In 2002, Andy left Fanizzi Associates, and launched AMI with the vision of owning and operating a premiere event marketing and meeting management firm. Since 2002, AMI has grown into a multi-million dollar organization producing hundreds of events annually. The firm has managed programs in more than 20 industries for clients such as Novartis, Mars, Cleveland Clinic, J & J, Baxter, Pfizer and Office Depot. Andy’s vision of keeping AMI on the forefront of meetings technology, theory and practice has made it an industry leader. He is a member of MPI, Site, and the American Marketing Association. He volunteers as a chair of the Human Rights Campaign. Andy's day-to-day responsibilities include client acquisition, consulting and overall company strategy.

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