Acquiring leads and prospects at EXPO

The Mississippi Business & Technology Expo 2012 provides an opportunity for many different types of companies to present themselves to several thousand potential clients in a consolidated effort.

“They acquire leads and prospects in a face-to-face setting, and that is hard to beat,” said Tami Jones, advertising director for the Mississippi Business Journal. “It could take a sales force many months, or even years, to meet personally with that many prospects. Exhibitors also find one of the most valuable assets of Expo is networking with the other exhibitors. Many alliances are formed across the aisles each year.”

Jones recommends that any company that is going to the effort to appear at the Expo needs to consider going a few steps further to maximize the benefits. Exhibitors who invest in a professional display attract more attendees into the booth with a good visual presentation.

“Exhibitors who stand and greet attendees as they approach are going to get more conversations going than those who sit and wait for attendees to come into their booths,” Jones said. “Most exhibitors bring specialty items with their names imprinted, so attendees have objects in their offices to keep those companies’ names on their minds.”

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Giving door prizes is another way exhibitors get more mileage. Each time a drawing is held, the exhibitor’s name is announced, so all attendees in the building are aware of that company’s presence.

The work isn’t over when the Expo ends and the booth is taken down.

Following up on the leads from the Expo is the single most important element of converting the experience to a measurable success.

“Turning names of leads into qualified prospects, then developing relationships with the prospects to meet their needs can convert them to new clients and add new profitability to the exhibitors’ bottom lines,” Jones said.

She adds that the Expo is also extremely valuable as an image builder and public relations tool. Some exhibitors find that business networking helps put a personal face on their companies and gives the business community more confidence in them.

Another tip is to make sure that staff is trained on the techniques of trade show selling and marketing.

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