Trade Show Meeting Playbook

Updated: Feb 28



Hey hey..🤟


you might wonder why we write a Playbook around trade shows? 🤔

Aren't trade shows dead in times of COVID? In a time where everyone is afraid of traveling?


Well, according to FORBES, "companies that ignore trade shows will fall behind"


AND we agree with that!.. do you? 😁

We see that trade shows returned already, they come in a different form and companies will be more careful which events to attend...


BUT they'll be back! 🤟




What will change then? 🤔


The Return of Investment will play a bigger role as the costs for such are very high and there is a clear trend towards hybrid events.

How could that look like?.. Attendees don't have to attend but could also join remotely via Zoom, Google Hangout, Microsoft Teams, etc.


BUT there is one thing that will remain in order to succeed...


PROPER PREPARATION! 😎💥


We dedicated this Playbook to everyone who wants to run successful trade shows / hybrid events and earn more money than they spend!...


... Simply rock every trade show and be prepared for the post COVID era! 🤟


So what does this Playbook include?


The processes of some of the best Startups which went through YCombinator. Those principals are proven and used by top marketing teams every day.


they focus on the amount of sales conversations they have during a show..

...The more, the better.


Cause the more you have, the higher the likelihood that you will sell something.💰


We will not focus here on the planning part of the booth, how the design should look like, what checklist to prepare, etc. BUT we can also share this with you if needed. Simply contact us here 🙃


OK are you ready? then let's start 🙂



The Playbook


So how do we get more meetings and prepare properly?

Let's take a look at the standard operating process that other companies use for all of their trade shows (FYI this method can also be used for virtual events / meetings) ⚡️



Set Clear Goals

What a surprise 😉 As always, we have to start with the goal. Like Arnold Schwarzenegger already said.. If you don't have a goal, then you keep drifting around and end up no where. 💪


Put your goals into words.


You should write clear goals for your trade show down in advance.


Define your number of sales meetings and the number of opportunities you want to reach. 🎯


That way, you can visualize your goals, you will have a clear structure and you can work your way towards them.


This is important as everything we do, will help to achieve that goal and later, after the trade show - we will look at it again and make a decision if we should visit this show again.


Here is an example of the goals we track:


Be sure to communicate and share your goals with the rest of the team..


YES that also includes everyone involved from sales 😁

You all need to agree and focus on the goals. So feel free to over communicate them.. Check them every other day, remind the team and hold them accountable.


Do you have already your goals in mind? Then it's time to prepare our Outreach. 🤟



Ideal Customer Profile


Let's first think of who you want to meet 🤔


It is super important to answer this question AND to figure out if that audience is even attending the show. If the answer is NO, then why even going? 🥴


In case you don't have your Ideal Customer Profile yet, then let's build it.

Start with asking the following questions:

  • ☁️Who is already my customer?

  • ☁️What Industry are they in?

  • ☁️What challenges do they face? And can my solution help them?

  • ☁️What job titles do they usually have?

  • ☁️Where can I find them? where do they hang out?

  • etc.

Here is a template that you can use to track your efforts.



Try to keep it simple. AND it is ok if you don't have a perfect profile yet. Just keep working on it over time and you will improve it from event to event.

BUT let's assume that the right people are attending for our example here.


So now we need to FIND THEM, before we contact them. AND how do we find them? 👇

Prospecting

Start with the EXISTING LEADS.. the people you already know... who could that be?

  • Existing Customers, Prospects, Partners, etc.

  • Attendees, Speakers, Exhibitors of previous events


If you haven’t saved any leads or you have never been at an event, then let's start to find new people 😉


Where can we find NEW LEADS?


a) Use the Organizers data!

Exhibitors and attendees of a trade show sometimes have access to the show’s online platform which the organizer is running. (Note: not every event provides this kind of information)


This platform is a data goldmine.💰


You usually get access to lists with all the fellow attendees and exhibitors of the show including their first/last names, company names and even their positions.


Most of the people I know are attending these conferences without even knowing about this possibility.


It sounds too good to be true, right? On top of that, all the speakers of the event are most often provided as well.


These people are experts in their industry and they could also be potential leads for you. 🧙🏼‍♂️

You can usually find all of that information on the organizers Website.


It can include information such as the ⚡️Event Speakers, ⚡️Exhibitors, ⚡️Partners, ⚡️Sponsors etc. You can almost always find the leads of the current years but sometimes also from previous years.



b) Use Social Media:


There is usually also buzz around the events on social media platforms where you can find more data about visitors of the show.

  • Twitter: For example, companies do have Twitter accounts where they often announce their attendance. You can go the extra mile by looking up your direct competitors and going through their followers. OR look up hashtags of the show (e.g.: #nab2021, #nab2020, ...) which makes it a lot easier to find your target clients because everybody is using them. Also, don't forget groups!


  • Linkedin / Linkedin Sales Navigator: Linkedin is a huge source of professional contacts. Create a list with your target companies and LinkedIn will provide you not only with the names but also with the position in the company of the desired persons. You can be sure that the information on LinkedIn is up to date because it’s also in the companies’ interest to keep their profiles relevant. Just look at all the filtering that you can do within that database 😳


But what other sources should you definitely use? Here are some!

  • Linkedin Groups

  • Twitter Groups

  • Facebook Groups

  • etc.

Is that all? ...Of course not 🙂I am sure that you have more in mind where you'll find your audience.


But next we should start to talk on how to approach them. 🙃


AND in order to do that we will need to work on our messaging.


Messaging: Build Templates


Your goal is to meet people which are of interest to you and to provide value to them as well.


Now it's the time to grab the ideal targeting profile that you have created in the steps before. 🙌

Who is it and what are they interested in?


This is important because we want to provide value to them.. 🌈


AND replies will only come.. if we are able to communicate the value.


So let's make sure that your text doesn’t sound like a mass email sending and consider that mass email sendings without a business reason are prohibited by GDPR. 😨


The secret is to formulate your message like a normal conversation which you would have with a business partner or even a friend.


Also, you should provide value in your emails


Or a solution to a perceived problem of the recipient. That's the only way to get higher opening rates and that to get peoples attention.


So what are the must have ingredients of each email?

  • ⚡️Keep it simple and short (if possible)

  • ⚡️Add as much personalization to each email as possible

  • ⚡️Start with a catchy Intro (personalize)

  • ⚡️Provide value, create curiosity and get to the point

  • ⚡️End with a clear call to action


Now lets look into detail on how this could look like for an event 🤓:


So give it a try.. create your own templates 💪😁


Feel free to look at our email playbook which includes email templates.


BUT what else influences the number of your replies? .. the followups 😎


The likelihood of getting an answer from a potential client increases after every step. Here is an example that shows that you can get replies with each further email


Being persistent pays off! In the following, you will see an example of a drip campaign.


Tooling: Build an Email Drip Campaign



At this point, you are all set to build your personalized email templates by using email automation platforms.


But where to start and which one to use? 🤔


We recommend using a simple platform such as lemlist.com but you can also go with a bigger platform such as Outreach.io in case you lead a team of +20 people. 🤓


Lemlist is a self-explanatory and easy to use platform..


Something that you can start quickly with.


This program will save you time by automating your email outreach process.


You can create templates that allow you to personalize your text by inserting variables such as {{first_ name}}, {{last_name}}, {{company_name}}. ⚡️


These variables will be automatically filled with the data from your contact list.


You can even use them in your subject line to make your sendings even more personalized.


Another trick is to use it for automated follow up emails. This saves you a ton of time because you don’t have to compose these manually.


Here is an example of such a template:


I think the best way of approaching this is by simply signing up to Lemlist and trying it yourself.


It's easy to use 🤓


So, that's it. The end of this playbook! I hope you enjoyed it. You can also signup for free to our platform where you will receive this process as a step to step guide


Enriched with Video how-to's as on the example below 👇






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