B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 3 years ago

32: 6 Tips to Generate ROI From Trade Shows w/ Hannah Mans

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Branded pens.

You’ve probably got a stash of them in your laptop bag from that last trade show you attended.

But have you ever thought about the kind of ROI companies like yours are getting from those pens? Well, really, the ROI your company is getting out of being an exhibitor at trade shows? What if there were certain steps you could take to increase that ROI?

That’s exactly what Hannah Mans came on the B2B Revenue Acceleration podcast to talk about. Hannah is the Director of Marketing at Directive, a B2B and enterprise search marketing agency. She follows a 6 step system to ensure her company gets the most ROI out of their trade show events.

You were listening to bb revenue acceleration, a podcast dedicated helping software executive stay on the cutting edge of sales and marketing in their industry. Let's get into the show. Hi, welcome to be to be a revenue acceleration. My name is Owen. I am with you and I'm here today with Hannah Man's from directive and the Director of Marketing, actually a directive. How are you to Dana? I'm doing great. Thank you so much for having me. That's an absolute pleasure. So today we will be talking with you about the six tips to generate Roy from trade show. But before we get started, can you please introduce yourself to audience and tell us a little bit more about about your role at directive, but also what directive does as a business? Of course, my name is Hannah Man's. I am the marketing director for Directive. We are a bed be an enterprise search marketing agency, and my role is to oversee the implementation of our marketing activities, with a heavy focus on sales enablement and strategic partnership development. Okay, that's wonderful. Okay, so the topic today is quite interesting because we are a lot about people going to trade shows and telling us we go to trade shows to put our brands out there. We want to show a competition that we are, we want to shoot the market that we are, but they seem to be struggling in trucking the arrowy generated from the trade. So I understand that's real carrier, you've executive dozens of trade show and you've seen a button of success by following six steps in the process to ensure you get the most roy out of these events. So could you please show his augience was what the six steps are. Yes, I have had the pleasure and, in a few cases, the headache of organizing many trade show events and I do have a pretty simple...

...six step system I follow, which is heavily dependent upon sales and marketing collaboration. The first step, or question I ask myself is what does success look like? It's a critical step that sales and marketing create tangible goals ceturn around you know, business objectives for a show. Both teams need to work together to identify the target accounts that will be attending, and trade shows are not only a great generator of new business, they're also an opportunity to strengthen your relationships with existing clients, and it's always wise to consult account management or client success to know what current clients are going to be there and if you know revenue generated is your your KPI or your key performance indicator. Understanding what your CPA is will easily help you determine success. You know one new client or upsell might get you to hit your target absolutely. And once you've determined what it is that you want to accomplish at a show, having the right people on the floor is so important. I've seen it time and time again where sales and marketing leaders you know they'll send their best closers or individual that knows the most about the vertical, only to be disappointed by their performance at the show. For trade shows, personality is just as important as subject matter expertise. The worst thing is to invest time and money in your show and planning the event, only to get there with less than optimal fits for a conference floor. Another common mistake I see frequently as companies only sending their sales teams. You want to have a representative from Your Marketing Department present. Your sales team is going to be no work in the floor and conducting meetings. The marketer or event coordinator is there to ensure that the logistics of the booth build and the collateral or flawless. They'll also have time to do field research, walk the Exhibitor Hall and Scope About What competitors are doing, and this will...

...help you get a leg up on the competition. Once you've decided what you want to do and have the people there to do it, you're really going to have to do something different to stand out from the crowd. So the idea is you want to try to draw people in with an offer they'll actually care about, and this will be unique to your company's product or service. For example, we recently attended a show where we offered a complete onsite audit which included a full competitor analysis to shed light and give the attendees and understanding of where their company currently lied and their potential search and paid perspective. Every attendee who met with US walked away with the printed copy of the audit and we really wanted to offer something a little more valuable than branded pens or t shirts, for example, and you know now that you get them to the booth. This wouldn't be a seciment on trade show marketing if we didn't talk about swag. Are you familiar with swag? And we talked about swag for a fur trade show. I'm femi. Yeah, it was a tem swag, but not swat for the trade show. Big as a as a stag on instagram and stuff like that. Yes, so I know what the meaning of it, but I'm sure you're going to explain. You something very interesting about Oh you correlate. That was a trade show. Yes, their swag. I typically it refers to your promotional item that you have on at your chat, your on your display. You know, it's the staple of your trade show, of your booth, for example. I see it really common now at a lot of shows. It will be, you know, a lip bomb or mints, Note Books, any of that. That is what someone in trade show marketing would call your company Swag. Okay, it's important to come up with something exciting. Absolutely. What's the Best Swag? Because I go to a lot of trade show I always take the Bouncy bowlds at flesh because they get my dog very happy. So I always get them,...

...throw them a team, you play with them for a day, destroy them and then I need to take another one out. But the rest of it. Whenever we get it is quite is the usual stress bowl or pain, orderly bold or the means you think. Is there any crazy ages that you've seen that's really you know, make that swug very much small interesting for the the end use of the prospective people working the flow? Yeah, so I've seen a couple different things I thought that were really cool. At once show I went to they had a full candy bar, So it was like a candy shop where you would walk up to their booth and you would be able to funnel candy into a branded bag that they had and not only now were you at there booth, it took you a while to fill your bag and left them with a really great opportunity to strike up a conversation with you. I thought that was that was really interesting. We also have utilized a lockbox game and we sponsor a show. Usually you're allowed to stick about insert into the show bag. What we did is stuck keys into the bag with a little postcard on it that invited people to come over to our booth and try to use their key to unlock a box where we had prizes inside, and that was also a really great opportunity for us to have conversations. People love the booth. I've even had people follow up with me wanting to get the information for the vendor that made the booth because they wanted to use it at their show, and I think that's a really testament to your creativity. That's a yet crazy sweat. Read them on your slug exactly. You know, kind of didn't want to say I need to show my team, you know, or I want that next year at my show. So usually at this point you know you've you've gotten to them to the booth. You guys are talking and and at this point it's really common, you know, to either utilize the badge scanner that the show provides to simply collect a business card, and a business card and a fish bull just really doesn't cut it anymore.

Yep, and the really cool thing is we are able to remove the guesswork, out of attention, out of a tendee attitudes, with attendee tracking technologies. And if budget doesn't allow for advanced software, there are now free apps that make your smartphone address book more efficient by shifting the focus on managing relationships instead of email addresses or phone numbers. And you can even employ a simple google doc that managed, that's managed by your conference team. Having some sort of structure around the data collection at a show will your sales team qualified leads, optimize for conversion and eliminate any lead management headache. It makes sense. I like the approach. I think. I think you mentioned something that is absolutely key. Two things actually, let me rephrase that. Number one, it's the is the end shake between cells and marketing, you know, making sure that you've got some pair objective, making sure that you compel your notes on target accounts and the people you would want to meet and making some assumption on we would be present, what they look like. We actually seen clients and we do send out some of our team, from some operatics people to trade show and they are on the bus and they are the I guess there are the guys that are supposed to grab you, you know. So we used to have maybe five, six years ago. They would would get some very attractive women. No grabbing people and giving you a scanning your badget everything. Now I think it's changing slightly. It's getting a little bit more professional and you've got people we know what they're talking about, actually stop the conversation with you. But what work. We ask our guys we are we ask them to go on Linkedin and check what you're key prospect the people you want to to to engage with look like okay, and if you've got a picture of them, or if you've been able to see that picture and you even if you've got a hundred, two hundred pictures at least, you can always recognize someone and lick quickly search and then engage with and stirst. That's number one. So I think that that preparation is absolutely key. And the second...

...thing is not tree and, as you mentioned, you should not just use the event for net new business. You can use the event as an opposition to network with people you've read the engage wis, no matter where you are in the sells process. If they are run and you are around, this is a great opportunity to meet with them and even if they're an existing clients, again, if everybody is there together, absolutely great opportunity to do a get together. I'm a quick question for you on the preparation. We do tend to do more and more what I would call a target in preparation to events, where we would, for example, try to drive meetings actually outside of the show, maybe hotels that are nearby. Well, our clients would have a suite and we can set up series of meetings with the cells team. So it's a little bit less eaten. Miss do you see that happening as well with the sort of events you your guys are running? Well, people are also trying to four weeks, six weeks prior to the events, getting their own meeting, driving people who they are suit and trying to drive their LoC crosser than just waiting for people to come by the bus. Oh yes, it's important part of our presure strategy to begin to set up meetings and try to reach out to anyone that you have on your list of targeted accounts. It also provides, you know, if you take it off the trade show a floor, it becomes a more intimate engagement where you can actually sit down, have a coffee with them, learn about what you're struggling with and not just have that, you know, really quick one, two, three, elevator pitch that you might have at your at your booth. Absolutely, I think you. I personally believe that this is a something that we do for our selves. I personally believe that you get much more out of taking people of the boost, not meeting them at the booze. While it's quite noisy. Often people may get stopped on me. He may take time. Depends on the scale of the event. You've got intimate events where you may have, I don't know, fifty hundred vendos exhibiting. We go to some events where there is a in the thousands of people exhibiting. Right there is place events like mw see in Barcelona. Now even are said the ars...

...a conference, you know in San Francisco. Well, it's from one side to the other. It's a ten minute walk and you need to find people right. So actually giving them a meeting them in the meeting in a notell room next door. Well, it's quiet. What they can enjoy a cup of coffee, potentially stay a little bit longer to do a call to a couple of emales. Extra rise is not a bad idea. And I also fin it from a conversational perspective. You probably achieve much more in a quote environment that you will do potentially on the Shaufflaw. Yes, just to your point. You know you're even can take it a step further. And why not? You know, invite them to dinner. You know, a trade show is a great opportunity to, you know, be able to just do to talk and get to know them. And so, instead of, you know, just having a quick meeting, as well get some of your you know, the people that you're trying to engage with and invite them maybe to, you know, at dinner at a restaurant that's really popular in the area. You know, take it a step further to show, you know, that your interest absolutely nothing that that makes sense. I think the idea of the nursing is really important and the point that I wanted to make is that, you know, if it's a net new prospect, you can almost drive them to a meeting. You should actually engage with that net new prospect before the event and try to set up, sometimes even at your booze are outside of the boost, to meet with them. I think if they are an existing prospect but they're in the cell cycle, maybe you want to do as you said. You're going to be smartling to an event or a dinner or drink or whatever. I could be where some of your existing customer are. President, can speak about a great you out of this prospect and then for the customers that you really want to share ish that are potentially come to your drinks or your dinner. You can do something a bit more special again around the events or even invite them yourself to come. And you know budget, Aluiy, get everything like in that, but I do agree with you. I think the point here was that preparation is absolutely key. It's not just about preparing for the booze and getting people and getting everyone do to other same t shirt. I think it's you can get much more. You actually control...

...your destiny by engaging with this prospect prior to the events rather than waiting for them, and I think that's almost the difference between fishing and hunting. If you just don't get prepared, you'll just be fishing, you just be waiting for something to bite on your line, while if you really proprise more at the end in the snape or approach for you can control your destiny better and make sure that you achieve probably better goal than and also track arrower in a much more effective way. Now, coming back to the conversation, obviously there is different types of vendors. You've got the very large is one that would have a very central booze, massive booze lets of people, loads of screen, hundreds of thousands of Dodos, and then you've got too small start. Okay, so different types of vendos. In your opinion, what are the main differences in approach depending on the company sites? You know, as you mentioned, company size usually directly correlates to budget allocation for an event. If you have a hundred thousand dollar trade show budget, the sky really becomes a limit. Now you're in a position to create an amazing experience in presence at the show, throw a networking happy hour, pick up attendees from the airport or in a stretch limo or a party bus, you know, take prospects out to, you know, the top rated restaurant in the city that the show is at. And this is not to say that you can't do very similar things on with a smaller budget. You now just have to be more strategic with your dollars. And you know how you can do this? Is identifying companies that cater the same audience with a different service offering and cohost in event together or cohost the dinner with hot prospects at a restaurant at the venue were close by. Makes Sense? That makes perfect sense. So still a formula to calculate our way from a trade show. What are the chemidtaries? You need to truck and I'll die you truck them. So trade shows are all about timing and whether or not it was the right time for the attendees to interact with your service or product. But at the end of the day, the most important takeaway for your company from your time at a show is...

...new clients, and the best way to track this is to follow the life cycle of your conference contacts. Having the singular metric for marketing and sales also ensures alignment between the departments when discussing the outcome of a show, and this will obviously take time, depending on your sales cycle. Like any other aspect of marketing and sales, it's a marathon and and not a sprint. Yeah, but there is still going to be that pressure to prove some sort of Roy and for forecasting purposes, I would suggest meetings attended as a relevant indicator for success. Someone taking the time to sit with you shows a higher intent than someone who came by your booth to grab a giveaway and and let you scan their badge. I would also dive into analytics to check out your organic and direct website traffic and compare it to your benchmark. A spike in traffic after a show is a positive indication that your efforts were fruitful and that you made an impact. Yeah, I personally see your clear from lead collection as a KPI for a show. While booth traffic and leads are great, their vanity metrics at best and can create a false expectation of what you will deliver post show. And in the end this will just really help you conclude if a particular show makes sense to attend in the future. Absolutely think I think that makes sense. What thanks for that. Really appreciates your time and insight on the order question. Ask you to them and really enjoy the conversation. So if anyone wants to connect with you to learn more about what we've discussed today, we'll discuss about, you know, directive and engine using using you gage, your obviously, et ceter what would mean the best platform, best way, best method to get in touch with you? I love Linkedin. I always have it open. You can easily find me by searching my name, and I'm also really active on twitter. My handle is marketer man's, Kat on man's. I like it. Excellent that was great. Many thanks...

...again, and now it was a pleasure having on this show today. Oh, thank you so much. operatics has redefined the meaning of revenue generation for technology companies worldwide. While the traditional concepts of building and managing inside sales teams inhouse has existed for many years, companies are struggling with a lack of focus, agility and scale required in today's fast and complex world of enterprise technology sales. See How operatics can help your company accelerate pipeline at operatics dotnet. You've been listening to be tob revenue acceleration. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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