As the leading sales executive for a global communications company, Steven Childers is often approached by junior members of the sales team for advice and mentoring. One of the questions he is asked regularly is why he embraces the trade show circuit. Other veteran sales team members, like Dave Reynolds, saw trade shows as a complete waste of time and only attended them when his attendance was required.

Dave relies heavily upon tried and true methods for generating sales volume: cold calling, prospecting, and creating presentations, over trade show attendance, which has met with moderate success. He seems to have no trouble making his numbers at the end of each month, but spends twice as much time landing the sales he needs.

trade show supplierAs 2013 slowly winds to a close, we wanted to take some time to reflect on the economy, the trade show industry as a whole and on some of the topics we’ve visited over the past year. Today, the economy is stronger than where we began in early January. Business owners have seen an increase in their sales month over month during 2013 and 2014 is expected to be even better.

According to Council of Economic Advisors, the economy continues to recover. And as it does, trade shows will become increasingly important to businesses looking to capture their share of the pie. This was our inspiration for this blog and remains so today. We wanted to offer businesses a way to maximize the effectiveness of their trade show booths and presentations.

tradeshowIf you are planning on utilizing trade show events to promote your business, you need to understand just how important it is to follow up once the show is over. Many business owners fail to follow up because they get busy or they don’t feel like it is worth the time. They are missing out on a huge opportunity – and possibly one of the biggest ways to succeed from a tradeshow.

I recently spoke with a gentleman who had given up on tradeshows. Dan was an insurance provider who had booked a table at a few events, but decided it wasn’t the right tool for him. I asked him why he felt that way, he explained that he was never able to sign anyone up at these shows. I asked him if he had a way to collect leads that he could follow up with after the show.

planningYou could have the most exciting event of the year, but without proper pre-event marketing during your planning – it is not likely to be as successful as you hoped. Getting the word out before the big day is a huge part of the event planning process. Without doing the legwork beforehand, you could end up with an empty venue and frustrated vendors.

While attending a recent event I overheard a vendor talking about one of the trade shows they had previously purchased a booth at. The vendor’s name was Ruth, and she was a work at home mom with a direct sales business. She had paid $250 for a table at a women’s show that promised to be a huge success. Ruth went into the event with high hopes, and an empty wallet. While the cost of the table was reasonable, Ruth was just starting out in her business and didn’t have a lot of money to invest in shows like this one. She had spent weeks preparing for the big day, and spent all of the money she could to prepare samples and brochures. When the women’s show finally arrived, she spent 5 hours at her booth and only had a handful of people walked by. The foot traffic through the event was extremely low, and unfortunately she did not make any sales that day. The $250 table fee was a complete loss.

It is estimated that there are over 4,000 trade shows in both Canada and the U.S. every single year. That number continues to grow year after year. With numbers as large as these, it’s no wonder that these trade show companies pay large sums for beautiful exhibit halls and luxurious locations. They’re hoping to win more exposure and generate more money for their own objectives. Trade show venues compete to stand out among competitive shows. This is how they get a large number of attendees and vendors to continue to return to their events year after year.

Staff-training

Convention Insider is one of the biggest online resources helping event planners to prepare for conventions and trade shows, as well as business events and conferences. Their valuable trade show tips and tricks are centrally located on their easy to navigate Convention Insider  website. If you’re responsible for managing and running these types of large scale shows, you should check out this comprehensive directory that will help you find the right vendors and make your next big event a huge success.