After a successful career as an academic in sports medicine, Maria Milosz decided to open a fitness center. Over the years, she had gained qualifications and experience as a physical fitness, nutrition, and yoga instructor. Turning what was once a hobby into a full-time practice was a challenge, but Maria eventually found the space and raised the money she needed to open the center.
In the first year of operation, the business grew steadily. Most of the revenue came through membership. People could sign up for many different workout and yoga sessions, and Maria hired a small staff to help her administer the various programs she offered.
The problem came in the second year. Just over half of those first-year clients renewed their membership, which threw the company in a state of crisis. Maria knew she had to act boldly and decisively if she was to survive.
Every Kind Of Business Can Benefit From A Trade Show
Maria grew up in a family of entrepreneurs. Her father and older brothers all had their own companies. She remembered going to trade shows with her father when she was young, and believed she could use such a platform to promote her own business.
She held a meeting with her staff and began the process of preparing them to participate in an upcoming trade show in the city.
Tips For Engaging Visitors At Trade Shows
Maria gave each member of her team a script to memorize. They would have the freedom to speak to clients using their own words, but they had to state the key features and advantages of buying a gym membership—and they had to do so within a minute.
The key was to engage each person who came to their trade show booth. To do that, her staff would have to be clear, crisp, and interesting.
Managing The Sales Team
Maria hired her staff because they had expertise as physical fitness instructors. But for the day of the trade show they would have to be sales people. She needed to keep their heads in the game; she had to ensure her team would be focused and disciplined enough to be effective.
The best way to accomplish this goal, Maria decided, was to make them feel as free and as comfortable as possible. They were active and energetic people, and were not used to standing around soliciting people who walked by. She therefore planned a series of events in which half her team would give a demonstration of some of the fitness routines offered by the gym while the other half engaged with clients who took interest. The two groups would rotate throughout the day.
The strategy paid off. A large number of people stopped at her booth to ask questions and gather information. She also saw a significant increase in membership applications online and in-person, making her participation in the trade show a resounding success. From that time forward, Maria made trade show participation a standard part of her marketing strategy.