Showing Up for Success. Part 2

There are typically three types of people who attend trade shows: 1) those who don’t know much about the industry and who need to be educated; 2) those who have made recent purchases of products or services and who need reinforcement that they have made smart choices; and 3) those who have a real business need (products, services and/or information) and who need to investigate their options. Whatever your reasons are for attending, be sure to identify them. While these are broad reasons, Writer & Online Editor Shana McGough exposes many specific reasons why some industry veterans attend shows in her article, “Show-Stopping Success: Make the Most of Your Trade Show Experience” (p.26). She also looks at how these facility operators identify who they’re going to send to shows, how they prepare for the show, how they make the most of the show while there and, once they’re home, how they translate what they’ve learned at the show into real value for their business.

In addition to great advice from facility operators, highlights of McGough’s article are tips from two leading manufacturers for trade show success, as well as advice from a trade show consultant. Douglas MacLean, president of MacLean Marketing, outlines four steps to profit from your trade show experience: Making a written plan, executing the plan, being open to new information and managing your time. Be sure to make a list for yourself that includes which seminars/workshops you plan to attend, which suppliers you plan to see, which new products and suppliers you’re interested in, and which colleagues/peers you want to see. Then, after the show, evaluate your results. Ask yourself: 1) Did I meet my goals? 2) How, specifically, was the show valuable? 3) Did I obtain the desired information? 4) If I didn’t meet my goals, why not? Was the show lacking, or was it my plan? Use these results when planning for your next show.

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