Hello everyone, I would really appriciate your input on this topic.
I'm planning on attending a business & consumer fare in my homestate.
I focus web design & also do web hosting. My target audience is established businesses that do not currently have a web site but are considering one for: selling their products online, or have information about their company online.
My plan is to:
1. Have a custom trade show booth built.
2. Have a kiosk to show websites.
3. Print flyers, business cards, postcards and so on.
4. Have a raffle for a professional website design & 1 year of free hosting. Maybe have some runner ups for free hosting.
5. Possibly have a training session, within my booth, regarding why it is important to take your existing business online, how to get started & so on.
6. Dress, look & act in a professional for me and any staff I take along with me.
7. Try obtain a spot on a state & nationally syndicated AM talk radio show that broadcasts from the fare, and push my services on the radio.
Is there anything else anyone can suggest?
I also want to know if its acceptable when I and my employees visit other booths, that we try to sell our services to other vendors & businesses.
Well this would be a TON of work, but if you are up to it I would take the time to look up all local businesses in the area and make a big list of them.
Then get on google and try and find out which ones have sites and which ones do not.
Put all of the businesses without a site into the YES bin.
Take the list of the businesses with a site and take a quick look at each of them that you can find and see if they really show off the business or not. Those businesses with a nice site toss into the NO bin.
Now take a look at the remaining sites and see if a nicer website would help them in any way (your local plumber does not need a nice website, your local PC Builder store doing E-commerce does). Toss the people that don't need one into the NO bin and those that do into the YES bin.
Now comes the really hard part, pick through all those businesses for the ones you think will most likely show up at the fair or will be most likely to use your services. For each of these businesses print up a 2-3 page document that goes something like this:
1. Here is what you currently have (or don't have) website wise.
2. Here is what WE can offer you with a picture of an example site from your portfolio.
3. Here is what our offer would do for your business.
Make each one of these personal to the actual business, include their name, some facts you can find about their business, and a related website from your portfolio.
You can either stable them together, or if you wanted to go NICE you could make a 5-6 page document and get it bound with your nice logo on the cover page.
When any of the businesses on the lists stops by your booth, give them the binder/documents and watch the WOW look on their face. To those businesses that do not stop by your booth, don't worry, you haven't wasted your time.
Either snail-mail or personally drop off the document to their place of business. Business owners toss away flyers, they will at least look at a bound 6-page document specific to their company.
Again I know this is a lot of work, but it is just an idea.
Overall a trade shows and such seminar offers unique opportunity to discover what is happening in the market, what competitors are up to, what's new in technology and what customers want.
However I would like to suggest you to measure exhibitor and visitor satisfaction and the awareness levels of shows. You should invite the potential customers, delegates and few distinguished guests to make it more successful.
Iíll add that you should also organize a benchmarking program and test the target with research to measure attendance of the trade show event and register individuals who are likely to attend.
First, even though this business and consumer fare is in my hometown, it is the only one in the whole state.
Unfortunantely, I cannot print all those custom packets because the entire state is attending and some neighboring states.
I do realize that not everyone is going to be in the "YES" pile but several companies will be there. But I will seriously consider it!
I have already gained all the information on practically all listed businesses in my state & have noted everything in great detail. Everything from who the owners are, to who deals with who.
Second, when you say 'measure exhibitor satisfaction' etechsupport2, do you mean concerning the overall show or my training session (if I have one)?
Also, what do you mean by 'inviting potential customers and distinguished guests' ?
Unfortunantely, I do not have any input on inviting distinguished guests because the local area chamber of commerce has complete control over this event.
I do not know what kind of distinguished guests you had in mind but I would like to know more.
Also, there is no benchmarking that can be done with this business and consumer fare because there are so many variables to calculate. The greatest factor being the unpredictable weather. Even if I wanted to obtain the numbers from last year, it would be impossible because the area chamber of commerce will not release it to non-memberes. Personally, they charge way to much to be a member with hardly any benefits, besides this event.
Lastly, I would like to mention that there will be a maximum of two competitors, if any. Although this is a big state, the IT sector is just starting to take off. I managed to nabbed most of the market share in my homestate state already. I highly doubt my competition will attend.
Keep the suggestions coming people, I always like more input!
Well, 'Measure exhibitor satisfaction' it means overall success of the show with individual satisfaction, and 'inviting potential customers and distinguished guests' I mean you should invite your existing loyal customers, however if you're just on introductory phase you should invite your friends, prospective clients. The distinguished guest a reputed and well known person can be from IT field, Government body, businessman or model.
Secondly, If your chamber of commerce is not co-operating or you don't want to incline with them for such event you can organize it as a joint ventures by grouping at least 8 to 12 similar business interest group, probably later you can even form a small association by way of combining those same business interest people.
I think justadollarhostin, has already explained it well in his post. However it does not looks good to visit others booth of your legitimate competitors of same business interest and try to interrupt them possibly during their business deal.