As a follow up to my last blog, I’d like to revisit the importance of face-to-face meetings. I was recently reacquainted with the old school practice of exhibiting at trade shows. These events are great opportunities to meet directly with prospects and to inform them of your company’s capabilities. There are usually additional networking opportunities, such as cocktail hours or group breakfast/lunch meetings.
It should be noted that not all tradeshows result in the generating of new prospects or new business. Many trade shows are targeting B2C opportunities, where you’ll find droves of parents with children in tow, trying to see how many Frisbees they can accumulate.
Fortunately the trade show I attended was a solid B2B event. With the help of my account executive Don Duncan, we set off for Nashville to attend a show targeting resellers of telecommunications equipment (phones, security systems, monitoring, etc.). The show had a relatively small number of “preferred vendors” exhibiting (approx. 50). And, there was a total of 105 contracted resellers attending as well. Although this doesn’t sound like many resellers, the majority of them passed by our booth. The kicker was that they all had representation that purchased promotional items and uniforms! So, for a minor investment in the show, plus travel expenses, Don received 105 solid leads. In turn, he’ll leverage those leads to promote our vendor partner status and provide ideas for uniforms and specialties to help promote their individual businesses.
The bottom line is that you can’t always rely on digital impressions and Facebook “likes” to move your product. Sometimes you just have to get out and start pounding the pavement.