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Trade Show and Event Marketing
by Ruth P. Stevens
Thomson © 2005, 340 pages, $59.95 (ISBN 0-324-20624-0).
How to Plan, Promote and Profit
Trade shows can be either failed sales and marketing exercises, or they can be productive business events through which many opportunities are realized. To help companies make the most of their trade shows and business events, marketing consultant Ruth P. Stevens offers invaluable marketing and management advice. Along with numerous examples from some of the most effective trade show exhibitors, Stevens provides tips on how to maximize the potential of every aspect of these events, from pre-show preparation to post-show follow-up.
Trade Show Improvements
Stevens starts her book by explaining that a trade show must be utilized as part of a company’s entire go-to-market strategy. Any trade show strategy can be vastly improved with a few simple actions, including:
• Researching the nature and needs of those attending the show.
• Setting measurable objectives for everyone involved in the show.
• Creating pre-show promotions to drive the solid prospects to the trade show booth.
• Making advance appointments with prospects and current customers.
• Training sales representatives on how to effectively work the booth.
Stevens explains that trade shows and corporate events “provide an efficient opportunity for face-to-face contact with customers and prospects — an essential component in the business-to-business sales and marketing process.” She adds that these events also provide support for the bridge between the sales and marketing efforts of a company while identifying high-potential prospects, accelerating the sales process, introducing new products, assisting in the entry into new markets, boosting public relations, and nurturing relationships with existing customers.
The Trade Show Industry
After describing the various types of business events in which companies can become involved, and defining the terms of business-to-business event marketing, Stevens offers the latest statistics about trends in corporate trade shows. For example, she points out that corporate events are on an upswing, and increased from 844,100 business meetings in 2001 to 890,994 in 2003, with a substantial growth in their expense as well.
In this comprehensive book that details the trade show industry and how participants can capitalize on their investments in them, Stevens offers the many way that trade shows and corporate events can be improved as business marketing tools.
After Stevens describes how trade shows and corporate events are similar, she demonstrates how they differ. For example, although they both focus on identifying sales opportunity, trade shows focus on prospects, and the attendee population is arranged by the show organizer. Corporate events, on the other hand, focus on current customers and are arranged by the corporate marketer.
Breaking down trade shows into basic steps for exhibitors to follow, Stevens describes how they can set specific objectives, connect them to metrics, and calculate realistic goals. By providing an objective checklist as well as real survey results, she offers helpful tools that can make prior planning easier. She also details the best way to select the right show and provides a checklist that highlights considerations that should be made. Case studies from IBM and others, as well as a sample trade show budget spreadsheet, highlight how it is done right.
Trade Show Booths
Stevens also describes the best trade show booths in all of their various types and manifestations, how a booth can be managed with the right staff, and how events can be promoted. She also describes business event marketing beyond the trade show booth, how lead generation and qualification are done correctly, and how to analyze the results of a trade show. ~
Why We Like ThIs Book
The comprehensive nature of Trade Show and Event Marketing makes it a valuable reference guide for anyone looking for expert advice on making a trade show or corporate event more effective. With photos of trade show booths that worked, checklists for organizing people and paperwork, and numerous case studies and sample forms to provide guidance, Stevens offers readers a complete resource for making trade shows and company events successful. ~