Wanted to share my latest video testimonial as a funny motivational speaker. I had the honor of speaking at a recent national sales training event for medical client Devicor Medical Products.
What an awesome group of dedicated and passionate people. I want to thank the SR. VP of Global Marketing for saying this about my presentation…
Astonishing, relevant and perfect for not only sales reps, but also customers – WOW – thank you for those words. As always, if you’re looking for a funny motivational keynote speaker or a kick-off/wrap-up speaker for your meeting, you can give me a call.
However, what really counts is that I help my clients draw more attention to their trade show booth, as well as deliver key information and then make sure that qualified attendees get scanned and have access to the sales team. This latest testimonial confirms that is what I do.
A couple of years ago, I started looking for a new associate for my roster and I found the perfect addition in San Luis Obispo magician and mentalist Derek Hood.
He is a great talent, easy-to-work with, highly professional and a nice guy, as well. He is definitely one of the “up and coming” trade show magicians.
I have used him on a number of corporate events and he always delivers high! Last week we sent him to DC for new client Exxon Mobil and he did a great job. In just a few days, Derek heads for Salt Lake City for AHIMA. I know he’ll do well there too!
If you have to deliver presentations at a trade show, there are a few things you can do that will aid you in not only doing a better job, but also help you get “positively” noticed by your company and by others looking to hire someone with your product knowledge who can also speak well. As a trade show magician, I have witnessed thousands of employee trade show presenters and most fail miserably. You see empty seats, bored attendees, poor communication of the message, as well as little or no follow up interest by attendees who heard the presentation – they just get up and leave. Here are a few trade show presentation tips to help you do a better job at the show and, also, achieve the little known bonus secret of standing out in the minds of others as a skilled communicator.
1) Be Prepared – Write out what you are going to say and remember that trade show presentations should be no longer than 10 minutes. If you can’t tell attendees what you offer in less than 10 minutes than you need to cut, cut, cut.
2) Call to Action – At the end of your presentation, make sure to include a “call to action,” which is stating that you would be willing to further discuss what you’ve been speaking on and tell them where you will be located in the booth. This is more effective than asking if anyone has questions. Get those with questions over to your demo station where you can provide more detailed information and penetrate the account.
3) Rehearse – So many employee presenters “wing it,” and it shows – it embarrassingly shows. Rehearse your script with your power point and do the whole thing including the call to action. Make sure that everything moves smoothly and run through it until you’re sick of doing it. Also, rehearse for failure. By that I mean, rehearse your presentation so that if the power point stops or there is another technical glitch, you can still deliver your presentation. Now some feel that they know their content so well or that they are so clever that they don’t need to rehearse. Let me tell you, even the most skilled comedians and speakers don’t “wing it.” There comments may look “off the cuff,” but they’ve delivered those same lines a million times. Winging it works if you’re a bird, but as someone who is representing your product and company, you look foolish. Rehearse.
4) Show Day – On the day of the show, get to the booth early. Get familiar with the microphone and do a microphone check. Run through your presentation again – complete with the power point – and imagine the seats filled with people and then do it again imagining the seats only semi-filled. This is called “owning the room,” and it gives you self confidence and allows you to command the stage – which is what you want.
5) Check Out Your Surroundings – See what is going on in the other booths near you. Does the booth across from you have a trade show magician in it? Does another have a professional trade show presenter or other attraction? Be aware of your competition, because professional trade show presenters are trying to attract the same attendees you are with one major exception – they are getting paid to attract a crowd and, therefore, have more incentive to outdraw you.
6) Show Time – Due to your following the previous steps, when it’s your time to “hit the stage,” you will deliver a well-thought out presentation with confidence and clarity. What is happening around you or how many seats are filled won’t affect you and, due to your call to action, you will later meet with attendees who are really interested in what you had to say.
7) Video Tape Your Presentation – Watch it and see where you can make improvements. Also, when you have enough video, edit your work into a short 5 minute demo. Why? You never know when this “video calling card” may come in handy should you look for another job. Doubt that comment? Please read the next step.
Bonus Time – According to 2010 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the number one skill employers consider crucial for employment is effective communication skills. As an employee who knows how to effectively communicate a message to a large amount of people, you will be noticed by your peers and executives from your company in a positive way. Additionally, other companies are always at the show and “power people” are always looking for those who have product or industry knowledge and can speak well. Therefore, the ability to do so is a skill worth cultivating.
I can’t tell you how many times I have been offered a job to be a sales rep due to my ability to speak to large groups. Imagine what could happen to you should you combine your expertise in your field with effective communicative skills?
With nearly 30 years experience as trade show magician and corporate spokesperson, I can tell you that if you follow these trade show presentation tips, you will do a better job at the show and your personal lead count will be elevated. Plus, you will be noticed by your company and by others at the show as a skilled communicator. This secret bonus may not only help you solidify your current job, but also aid you should you be on the market for a new one. If you want to have the seats filled for every presentation than go to my site at http://www.bobgarner.com/.
At a trade show, the goal should be to attract attendees to your booth, deliver your message and then get the attendees who are truly interested in what you have to offer into your booth to talk in more depth with your reps. That is the only way to increase trade show ROI.
Just having a “presence” is a waste of corporate dollars. I have seen large booths with no attendees in them and the trade show manager will say, “We aren’t here for leads. We just are here to be seen.” What?
If you’re not at a trade show to let attendees know what you have and why they need it, then you shouldn’t be at the show. How do you know if your competitor’s clients are unhappy and maybe looking for a change? You can wait for them to “drop in” to your booth, but is that “going after the competition?” Isn’t “going after the customer” what the Director of Sales preaches to his or her sales team?
All corporations are focused on improving the bottom line and getting qualified attendees into your booth to hear what you have to offer and giving those attendees “face time” with reps or product managers is what improves that bottom line and you can’t get that with an empty booth.
Just having a booth and waiting for attendees to “drop by” and maybe scan their card for a prize is just a waste of time and money. Is there any trade show manager who doesn’t dread hearing the question, “Why are we at this show?” or “Do we get any leads at this show and are they any good?”(And then the marketing department wonders why their trade show budget has been cut and why “trade shows” at their company are viewed so poorly. It’s because you aren’t showing a ROI.)
As a trade show magician with nearly 30 years of experience working in a variety of industries, I can tell you that my clients believe in a proactive approach to gaining mind share and generating quality leads from the shows at which they exhibit. Trade show managers enjoy reaping the benefits of having the booth with “all the buzz.” There is not a single trade show manager that doesn’t love having the booth that everyone is talking about. Sales managers and sales directors love to see me load up their booth with qualified attendees who want more information. Sales reps jump over backwards when they get to go back to their office with a high number of quality leads that they can follow up on and turn into sales. That is major ROI.
If you are looking to increase your trade show ROI and want a proactive approach to doing so, the trade show magician video below shows what I can do for your company as a trade show magician and how I can help you be the “BUZZ” at your next show.
At most corporate events, there is an evening or two that offers guests a chance to dine, drink, and network. Mostly, these are all the same and rarely stand out in the minds of the guests. (How many carved turkey sandwiches and shrimp have you eaten?)
However, this occassion is also a prime time to reinforce that your company “thinks outside of the box,” “likes to do unique things,” and “offers more than the competition.”
The video below shows how companies can take advantage of more mind share by offering an attraction that delivers sophistication, fun, and audience interaction. Additionally, it offers LLMS - long lasting mind share – because your guests will end up talking about what they experienced when THEY go back to THEIR office.
As you will see, the set-up is minimal; it works both indoors and outside and the reactions are amazing.
Whether it’s a hospitality suite or after-dinner gathering, a users conference or employee event, event planners and meeting planners should always be looking for ideas to make their events stand out in the minds of their guests. When you couple that with LLMS, you get a fantastic return for your event dollars.
The trade show manager and marketing personnel have put together a great exhibit. The booth looks fantastic and delivers the company message. You have the pre-show meeting where you tell all the reps what is expected and then when the doors open… the reps stand around and talk to one another, play with their phones or laptops, and wait for someone to amble into the booth. (Sound familiar?)
Worse, they only want to talk to “real buyers” and only buyers of “their particular product” or “their sales area.” The result? A low ROI, a frustrated trade show manager and marketing director, and questions as to whether trade shows are really worth the money.
Firstly, trade shows are worth the money, because any time you can get a group of potential buyers or persuaders together, relationships are made or strengthened and sales can be made. (You can’t create the same “feeling” from a webinar or teleconference – but that’s for another article.)
Secondly, you suffer from a low ROI – not to mentioned frustrated marketing managers, trade show managers, and event managers – because your sales force may know how to sell in the field, but few know how to sell on the trade show floor.
What follows sounds simple, yet few reps actually do it. So, regardless of your level of trade show experience, here are just a few things on which sales reps need to focus at a trade show:
1) Stop looking for low hanging fruit. By low hanging fruit, I mean waiting for attendees to come to you. Get out of your booth and step into the aisles. Hold some info or DVD/CDs in your hand and engage attendees, as they walk down the aisles. You can say, “If you’re interested in (a brief sentence of what your product does), we can help you out.” Or you can say, “Are you interested in (insert above sentence)?” Engage the attendee. Smile and be friendly.
When someone does walk in the booth, halt your conversation with your fellow rep about where to go to dinner and talk to the attendee. Introduce yourself and ask them, “What can I help you with?” Which leads me to…
2) It’s a team approach. If an attendee is not from your region or is interested in another product you don’t cover, take the attendee to the rep who can benefit from the conversation with that attendee. Sales reps aren’t necessarily “team players.” Companies love to talk about “teamwork” and then honor the individuals who have made more sales than others with prizes, cash, etc.
That’s why “teamwork” must be stressed at the pre-show meeting. Reps can help each other do more business at the show, which aids everyone. If a fellow rep won’t reciprocate, then you can stop sharing the leads with that rep. But more likely than not, your fellow rep will return the favor, if not there, at sometime in the future.
3) Get your mind off the close. Reps are focused, rightly so, on closing deals. However, at trade shows you have to relax and distance yourself from the close and work more on the “relationships” aspect, as well as educating potential customers. Why? Basic psychology: Right now, people are nervous and anxious and they can sense the same from other people. People will always gravitate to someone who is calm and relaxed, especially if they themselves are not. If you are relaxed and focused on relationships and educating the attendee, the attendee will respond with calmness and be more open to your ideas and suggestions.
Bottom line: Trade shows are the undisputed king of relationship building and the on-site, real-time education of large number of customers. As mentioned, webinars and teleconferencing are fine and have their place, but real face time and hands-on demos still and always will beat a flat screen and a dark conference room.
By being proactive at a show, you expand your opportunities. Expanding your opportunities will increase your productivity. You increase the amount of leads in your pipeline and help to generate a higher ROI from the show not only for you, but also for the whole company. In turn, this gives your marketing team the help they need to continue to help you.
These 3 tips for selling at a trade show will help trade show managers and event managers get their sales reps focused on being more proactive and more productive on the show floor, which increases ROI and justifies the marketing expense. To see how I am able to help you create a “buzz” about your booth, bring in quality leads and increase your ROI, watch the video below:
I was recently talking to a prospective client about using my services as a trade show magician to help them attract more attention to their exhibit.
According to the marketing manager – who was for using me – there were others at the company who thought that buying a new trade show booth would be a better way to attract more attention to their booth.
My response is what would make anyone think that attendees remember what your trade show booth looked like the past year? Remember, it may have been a year since attendees last saw your trade show exhibit. Of course, you want to have a great looking exhibit, but attendees won’t remember what your booth looked like at the last show nor will they stop at your booth based on the new look of your booth.
For example: I have worked with smaller companies that were in a 10 x 10 booth and we had consistently higher traffic and generated more interest in their product than the massive 40 x 40 and 40 x 60 booths that surrounded us. Additionally, I know that one of the larger trade show booths spent a considerable amount of money on obtaining a new booth and it still sat empty, which meant lackluster results and a lot of explaining by the marketing team when they got back to the office as to why the ROI was so low.
A new trade show booth makes the people who work at the company feel proud – and that’s fine. However, it won’t make a difference to the attendees. A trade show is about getting attendees to stop and take notice of what your company has to offer. It’s about attracting them with something unique and/or entertaining. Unless you have a new product or service that everyone at the show is going to flock to, you need to utilize something else to gain maximum attention and build a draw to your trade show exhibit.
As a trade show magician my job is to attract attention, deliver information and help generate a higher ROI via an increased quality lead count. As stated, a new booth may look great, but how effective is it to really stopping traffic and getting your message out – not to mention helping you generate quality leads?
If you look at the cost vs results, the cost for a new trade show booth is high and the results may be far less than you desire or need to provide to show a solid ROI from the show. In these tough economic times, the money may be more wisely spent on a solid booth attraction, pre-show mailers, enhanced giveaways, and post-show follow up.
Having an effective trade show booth is critical to success at a trade show. You want a higher quality lead count and great interaction between reps and attendees. The 3 areas that can help you create a more effective trade show booth are: proper signage and display, a great draw and attentive reps.
Step 1) Proper Signage and Trade Show Display: After 30 years working in trade shows, it’s amazing to me how many companies don’t utilize proper signage in their trade show booths. I’ve been at some shows where you could barely find the name of the company or the messaging is so complex that attendees have no idea what the company is offering.
Even if the trade show display or booth design company suggests a cleaner look, sometimes these suggestions are overridden by the client who just wants a “few more messages.” Trade show booths with too much messaging only force attendees to ask, “Now, what do you guys do?”
Follow the 3 C’s – keep your messaging clean, clear, and concise. Don’t overload the booth with tons of sales & marketing messages. Focus on 3 - 5 main points and push those properly via your trade show display and signage.
On your signage, focus on the benefits of what you have to offer and not your recent awards. You can mention your awards, but remember, attendees don’t really care what “your company” has won; they only care “what you can do for them.”
Step 2) Great Draw: It helps to have a draw that will effectively attract attendees to your trade show exhibit. The draw should bring excitement and energy to your booth, while getting your sales & marketing message out at the same time. Additionally, your draw should be sophisticated enough to be able to pre-screen attendees so that you not only have a higher quality lead count but that, if you have demos, your reps are only giving demos to qualified attendees and not just attendees who want giveaways.
There are a few draws that will inform, entertain, and pre-qualify attendees such as a trade show magician. Your draw should reinforce your main messages, while still being entertaining and involving the attendees. Make sure that the messaging that the draw uses are the same ones that you have on your signage. That way, you double the impact of your messaging and provide ample leads for your reps.
Step 3) Attentive Reps: Make sure that your reps are ready to give demos and talk to the prospects that your draw brings into your trade show exhibit. I can’t tell you how many times I have had a huge number of prospects waiting to talk to reps after my presentation and the reps have “gone to lunch” or are talking to other reps, fiddling with their computers, etc.
A pre-show meeting should highlight the need for not only going over the “do’s and don’ts,” but also what is expected from the reps to make the sure the show is successful and profitable for your company.
These 3 steps can help you to not only have a more effective trade show booth and bring back to the office a higher quality lead count, but also provide your reps with more solid leads to follow-up on via their quality demos and attendee interaction.