Thursday, May 22, 2014

Are trade shows worth the time and money?

We’ve all been asked a million times, “Are trade shows worth the time, money, and soft costs/staffing.” I’m here to tell you, YES they are!

According to the NY Times, companies are holding more in-person events than in previous years, and they expect that growth to continue. The truth of the matter is that there is nothing like the good, old-fashioned in-person meeting. We’ve all fallen hostage to the convenience of email, social media, mobile marketing, and video conferencing over the years. While these modes of communication are valid, effective, time saving, and cost saving, they are better reserved for existing customers and colleagues. When it comes to making new contacts and building your business, the most impactful way to make a connection is in person.

Of course, once you’ve decided to exhibit at a trade show, you need to remember that there’s more to an event than just showing up. If you really want to get your money’s worth, here are some actionable items to add to your trade show planning:

·      Proper and advance planning will save you money in the long run and enable you to take advantage of early-bird discounts, advance shipping, and lower travel costs
·      Purchase the event mailing list and promote your presence in a compelling way that will drive people to your booth, i.e. a contest or giveaway
·      Set goals and define a strategy
·      Divide and conquer:  review attendee list and assign key people to each of your staff to meet
·      Send your most energetic staff and train them to diligently gather information and leads
·      Ensure all leads are gathered, entered into a database, and sent a follow-up email within 24-48 hours of the event.

An event can be a great success, but you need to ensure that leads are collected and processed. Your leads are the most important part of this event. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, follow-up or stay home! 

Why should you be on Pinterest?

I know what you're thinking, I don't craft and I'm not getting married, so why should I be on Pinterest? The truth is, Pinterest is a viable tool for businesses that can help you position yourself as an authority in your field. People generally make a connection with photos and Pinterest is all about photos. Think about it, aren't you more apt to purchase something if you see a photo of it?  

Pinterest allows you to create boards. These boards enable you to collect and share intellectual property in an organized fashion. Followers then save, comment on, like, or re-pin your posts to their own boards. If you create boards with accurate, useful, fun, and educational information, prospects and customers will visit to gain resources. It’s a perfect place to easily house articles, visual depictions of your work, blogs, and even videos.

Pinterest drives traffic to your website through direct links and places more data about your company onto the web for organic search. In addition, it helps you to expand your reach to a unique audience that you may not reach through other traditional or social media resources. 

‘Info graphics’ have become a popular way to communicate information, how to's, and tips at a glance. Not sure what an infographic is? Here’s an example  

And, don’t fret, there are many applications to help you easily and quickly create an infographic. Some of the more common are, Piktochart and Venngage. 

Pinterest is the fastest growing social media platform. According to, the platform broke a record by reaching 10 million monthly unique visitors in just nine months and continues to grow.  The average order placed by Pinterest shoppers is $169, the average from Facebook is $95 and the average from Twitter is $70. (