Making Expos and Trade Shows Work For You!

Making Expos and Trade Shows Work For You!

In late June, we had a 3 day Business and Franchising Expo in Perth. But rather than treat this as a Sell-a-thon – seems to me a good way to wear yourself to a frazzle at an event like this where your target market has countless other booths to investigate and you have something like 5 seconds to capture their attention – I came away from the expo with about 800 new names to add to my data base! I know several other businesses also gathered some names at the event, but most treated it as a sell-a-thon.

In fact I had a multi faceted approach to the event. I gave a daily 30 minute presentation in one of the special seminar rooms and I certainly got to speak one-on-one to many individuals. I also packaged up some of my products into a special Expo pack and sold off some of my surplus stock.

But the most valuable, proactive thing I did was to GATHER NAMES.

And I did this with remarkable ease and with little resistance from the people walking past. How? By OFFERING THEM an IRRESISTIBLE OPPORTUNITY!

What was the opportunity? The chance to win a HOLIDAY! I appealed to the typical baby boomer really, although many of the people who filled out my forms were younger than the baby boomers. What they all had in common was a yearning for LIFESTYLE! How ‘lifestyle’ can you get? Mention a weekend away and watch as eyes mist over as imagination takes over!

Another exhibitor at the Expo offered a high $$ value prize in exchange for names, but the prize itself was ‘work’ orientated and they gathered about HALF the number of names we did! They also had only one or two people gathering the names and this was obviously not their top prioirity. It WAS ours!

Why else do we strive to build successful businesses and make big profits, than to provide us with the freedom of choice; in a word LIFESTYLE?

At an Expo, the sign above your booth

Another reason that people were drawn to our booth was that we used the opportunity to win the prize as our main sign rather than the name of our company! The first thing people saw when they looked in our direction was – WHAT WAS IN IT FOR THEM! We gave them a REASON to come to us.

And when they did, we were ready! Ceri organised teams of three to be present in shifts, with forms on clip-boards and a simple question “Would you like the chance to win…?” The most common response was “Who wouldn’t?” We have a Perspex barrel and the names were put straight in to be drawn a week later.

If I wanted to gather 800 odd names I would usually have to rely on several display ads in the newspaper. With the cost of the ad and the mailing costs which follow, gathering names thus costs approximately $15+ per lead, compared to a paltry $3.75 per lead generated at the Expo. This is based on how many names we gathered and the cost of the booth. And despite the fact that they weren’t responding to a Lead Generating advertisement as most of our data base did, they were still well targeted given they were attending a Business Expo.

Of course it’s not just Expos and Trade Shows where running a competition to gather names can be a bonanza. We know of a fish n’ chip shop which ran a competition to win $100 worth of free fish ‘n chips and they gathered something like 1300 names in one month! That’s 1300 customers they had the chance to turn into loyal advocates for a lifetime! 1300 names they could contact with any future promotional offer and 1300 people who have friends and family to introduce to their business!

Best regards

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