Your staffing firm has decided to make the investment and attend a trade show, but is there a way to realize a return on your investment (ROI)? Social Media for your BusinessTrade shows are perhaps the most costly form of marketing, but if handled correctly, lead generation is going to offset those costs and result in new business for your staffing firm. Buying a top-of-the-line booth and securing the best location on the trade show floor does not guarantee a successful experience. Start out by creating a lead generation plan and setting realistic goals and targets for your team. In order to generate high-quality leads from your next trade show, it is imperative that you carefully choose a trade show theme that is attractive to your target audience. You must also take the time to create a comprehensive plan, decide on your messaging, carefully choose your booth staff and properly track your leads.

Great Booth Staff = Great Guest Experience
While attending a trade show, staffing firms must strive to replenish their sales pipeline and increase their exposure within the industry. It is important to remember that without great booth staff, you are never going to reach your goals and realize a return on your marketing investment. Make sure your booth staff have reviewed your lead generation plan and are well-briefed on the brand messaging you hope to convey to attendees. Remember that trade shows are a big investment, so be sure to have your best sales people represent your staffing firm. Reward staffers who secure the greatest number of qualified leads. Encourage your booth staff to be outgoing, genuine and confident when talking with attendees. Develop a series of open-ended, engaging questions for your sales staff and make sure they are comfortable initiating conversations on the trade show floor. Arm your booth staff with a list of possible responses to common objections and educate them on ways to show clients that your staffing firm is prepared to solve their problems.

Be Proactive
Once you have chosen and prepared your booth staff, make sure that they are proactive in their efforts to generate high-quality leads from your next trade show. Before the trade show, set up appointments for potential clients to meet with your executives and sales staff and use social media to alert your followers to your booth location. Take advantage of opportunities to present during conference sessions or be a member of an expert panel. Speaking at events is a great way to build your credibility and establish your authority within your niche of the staffing industry. Encourage your team to get out from behind booth tables and engage attendees on the edge of the aisle. Draw attendees to your booth with attractive giveaway offers and create an interactive experience within your booth space that engages multiple senses.

Drive Engagement through Interactive Experiences
Design your exhibit booth to include natural lighting elements and inviting graphics that incorporate your company logo and brand message. Utilize technology to create interactive exhibits and set up a comfortable lounge area if your booth space is large enough, to encourage guests to engage in conversations with your sales staff. Rather than giving away all of your valuable marketing materials to trade show attendees, limit the number of case studies and whitepapers available at your booth. Instead, collect their contact information and send the literature after the show. Do you want to really make attendees stop in their tracks and engage in a conversation with your sales team? Offer in-booth massages and provide refreshing drinks or snacks to your trade show visitors.

Know When to Say When
Although your booth staffers must strive to engage attendees in conversation, they also need to know when to say when. Remind your booth staff to carefully listen to guest responses in order to determine whether trade show attendees represent a strong potential lead. Agree on a list of non-negotiable, qualifying factors: size of company, type of industry, region or location, etc. In order to generate high-quality leads from your next trade show, it is essential that your booth staff are properly trained in how to efficiently identify unqualified attendees and politely disengage when needed.

Ensure Prompt Follow-up
One of the most important parts of trade show lead generation is establishing a plan for lead tracking and follow-up. Provide business cards and badge scanners to allow your booth staff to efficiently collect pertinent data in a timely manner. If possible, set appointments with pre-qualified attendees prior to the end of the trade show. Upon returning to the office, pass on the most qualified leads to your sales team for immediate follow-up and to ensure that you do not lose any momentum, built up from your trade show attendance. Keep track of the leads generated during each trade show in order to gauge ROI and be in a better spot to make decisions on future show attendance.

Key Takeaways for Generating Quality Leads from your Next Trade Show:S.J.Hemley Marketing

  1. Ensure that the best and brightest members of your sales team are present in your booth
  2. Encourage your booth staff to proactively engage with trade show attendees
  3. Use interactive experiences to draw attendees into your exhibit space
  4. Teach your booth staff how to politely disengage unqualified attendees
  5. Establish a post-show plan that includes prompt follow-up on the most qualified leads

About S.J.Hemley Marketing
S.J.Hemley Marketing is a marketing and sales consulting firm focused on driving tangible results for professional services firms. Brand matters, but not without ROI. With over 20 years of sales and marketing experience within staffing and recruiting, we have helped to drive successful branding, sales training, lead generation activities as well as defining marketing strategy for top organizations.