Trade shows in the dental industry have changed considerably over the past decade. Back in the day we enjoyed long lines at our trade show booths. Today, attendance has declined and expectations have changed considerably.
Yet… few venues offer a more powerful way to influence than the face-to-face interactions at tradeshows.
Exhibiting at dental conferences can still deliver valuable returns on sales and marketing efforts with a bit of pre-meeting planning. Consider the following eight tactics to improve your results at tradeshows:
1. Super Select Staffing: When team members feel chosen, not obligated, to attend at a trade show because of past performance or their overall sales prowess, they feel honored to be picked and perform better. When an “A Team” of high achievers exhibit on your behalf, everybody wins:
- Visitors receive top-notch service and support
- Sales staff will hyper-compete for recognition and incentives
- Performance metrics reflect better results
2. Save Set-Up for Specialists: Sometimes managers mistake sales staff as ‘hired hands’ for booth set up and break down. This is a clear misuse of talent, time and energy. Let contractors do the heavy lifting of moving boxes and assembling exhibits. Preserve the talent and energy of your tradeshow team for interacting and influencing potential buyers – where they’ll shine brightest!
3. Perfect Practice Raises Results: Training and role-play exercises are the best tools for preparing your sales team. No matter how experienced your sales team is performance improves when skills are sharpened, messaging reinforced and expectations established.
4. Huddles Help: Pre-show huddles offer the same advantage as football pre-game and half time huddles—they drive better performance!When you assemble your team before an important event, you set expectations, unify messaging, share sales strategies, offer motivational incentives and inspiration for a strong start and more successful shows.
5. Pre-Show Promotions Elevate Performance: A study by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research found that the conversion of booth visitors to qualified leads rose 50% when a pre-show promotion strategy was used. Don’t wait until opening day to get the buzz going!
- Consider hosting a webinar to set up a product intro or sponsored scientific session.
- Leverage social media to add value and build excitement with preview articles and info graphics.
- Boost booth traffic during slow times by scheduling appointments prior and during exhibition hours.
6. Attract With an Alluring Hook: Train the sales team to offer an opening line that requires a response by attendees passing in the aisles.
- Ask open-ended questions that expose the problem your product solves.
- Double interest and attention with a simple model or demonstration.
- Take a nod from Dr. Oz, who illustrates complex medical processes with felt, cardboard and ping pong balls!
- An effective model will highlight a cool feature or show product impact in a concise and intriguing way ultimately prompting conversations with sales staff.
7. Ambitious Goals Make For Outstanding Achievements: Get clear on exactly the results you expect.
- What priorities matter most: sales, leads, awareness, customer relationships or positive presence?
- Establish stretch goals to support show objectives.
- Morning meetings and post-show debriefs are a good way that keep everyone focused on daily milestones.
- Be sure to recognized and reward peak performance—ideally, daily.
8. Fortune is in the Follow Up: Numerous studies show that it takes an average of five follow-ups to close sales. Only 2% of people buy something after they first talk or inquire about a product or service. Persistent and strategic sales follow-up are the key making the most of the powerful potential of exhibiting at trade shows. Therefore, be sure to develop and execute a follow up strategy to maximize your results at trade shows.