TradeshowsIs your staffing firm realizing ROI from industry tradeshows, or do you feel like you are taking a shot in the dark each time you attend one? Each and every event represents an opportunity for tradeshow lead generation and a chance to establish your staffing firm as a thought leader within your niche, but only if you do your homework. In order to take the guesswork out of tradeshows, you need to make smart decisions about which shows to attend, and know how to present your firm once you are there.

Preparation is the #1 Priority
If you are looking to put your best foot forward at every tradeshow, you need to do your homework and start with a solid marketing plan. Approach every show like it is your first one, and make sure that you are not overlooking any important details. Who are the proposed attendees? Do they fit into your niche of the staffing industry? What are the expected costs for your staffing firm and are there any other obvious risks associated with tradeshow attendance? Are your competitors planning on exhibiting and if so, is there a booth space that is in a separate area so that you are not fighting for the attention of the same guests? Always try to position your staffing firm in the best possible light, and that includes making sure that your booth layout and collateral are up-to-date and reflect a positive brand image.

Is ROI Guaranteed?
Let’s be clear about one thing; ROI is never guaranteed from any tradeshow. An event that yielded hundreds of leads one year may suddenly drop off of attendees’ radar due to economic limitations, industry trends, etc. Noteworthy speakers or a change of venue can help to boost tradeshow lead generation and renew interest in an event, but remember that you need to do everything possible to project a positive brand image and highlight your services through your booth design. Take advantage of the opportunities provided at each tradeshow and consider hosting breakout sessions or presenting some of your work in order to expose your staffing firm to a wider audience. Assess the strengths of your team members and carefully select exhibit booth staffers who have expertise in the appropriate areas.

Booth Priorities
Once the marketing plan is in place, it’s time to shift your attention to your staffing firm’s exhibit booth. How long has it been since you set up the booth? If it has been packed away for a while, you definitely need to clear some space and put it together. Find out whether anything is broken or worn out, and take the time to replace it. Is the overall color palette in line with your brand identity and is your logo incorporated into the design? Does the layout make sense, or would additional open space or technology create a more inviting area? By updating your exhibit booth, you are investing in the future of your staffing firm and guaranteeing a more successful tradeshow lead generation effort

No Collateral Damage
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that a top notch team and an updated exhibit booth are all that is needed to generate tradeshow leads. The best staff standing in the best tradeshow booth may draw the attention of attendees, but the real proof is in what they experience once they are there. Are your booth visitors going to be impressed by 10 year old, irrelevant case studies? Are your brochures tired looking? Do your handouts help to express who you are as a company and serve to highlight your staffing services? If you are unhappy with what you see, overhaul your materials in order to avoid any collateral damage that might sabotage your tradeshow ROI. Remember to always include accurate information in your handouts and to never stretch the truth, as inaccuracies have the potential to derail all of your staffing firm’s brand-building efforts.

Lead Nurturing 101
Now that all of your ducks are in a row and you are ready to embark on your next tradeshow lead generation effort, be sure to carefully track your analytics. Begin by collecting baseline figures so that you have a point of comparison. Work with your team to ensure that they have the equipment needed to efficiently gather relevant contact information from attendees who approach your booth. If possible, integrate your CRM software in order to allow for a seamless delivery of information to your sales and recruiting staff members who are back in the office. By carefully qualifying your leads and immediately assigning them to priority groups, your chances of nurturing and converting those leads into new business drastically increase.

Key Takeaways for Taking the Guesswork out of Tradeshows:S.J.Hemley Marketing

  1. Create a comprehensive marketing plan and do your tradeshow homework
  2. Extra work is always needed in order to maximize tradeshow ROI
  3. Update your booth design and assess the overall layout to ensure that your space is approachable
  4. Make sure that your tradeshow collateral accurately reflects your brand and is relevant to your target audience
  5. Collect contact information and qualify your leads by assigning them to priority groups

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.