Friday, January 17, 2014

To Make the Most of Trade Shows, You May Need a Friend

Trade Shows are generally a major expense for companies.  There are concerns about planning, presentation, travel, getting the “right” visitors to your booth and especially, making sure that they leave with the “desire to buy” from you.

One of the major decisions is “who to send to represent the company” at a trade show. It is unproductive and expensive to bring everybody.  Still, customers like to see friendly, familiar faces.  According to Susan Friedman in an article at on “The Secret Weapon Every Savvy Exhibitor Should Use”: 

While starting new business relationships will always be important, a new emphasis has been placed on strengthening and maintaining existing relationships.

“Consider your current customers.  Ask yourself -- or even better, ask them, how they feel about your products and services.  How about your customer service? What makes doing business with your organization unique, enjoyable, and/or remarkable?

Sometimes customers prefer to see their trusted, local representative, who has been “so helpful” in the past.  Nowhere is this more important than in Customer Service.   

I have been in Customer Service situations my entire career, no matter the particular job title.  Focusing in on those repeat, satisfied customers is one of the best ways to create “word of mouth” referrals that typically are critical to landing new business.  At trade shows, I cannot count the times when it was important for customers to bring an observation or complaint to the show floor.  Despite all the sincere demonstrations of the show floor personnel that they will get some “action”, customers usually leave with a feeling like “maybe this time it will be different, but don’t count on it.”  They feel this way, because they know show floor personnel have many other responsibilities, they are working long hours and they tend to forget things.  They may have the best of intentions.  But, results here are not really counted.  Nonetheless, it was very important to the customer and the relationship to your company.

Also, it may be important to be nimble, accurate and flexible in presenting your product to a specific customer need.  Or, financial decisions need to be made that can make or break a sale at the trade show.  We use what we can, spotty cell phone service, conference calls or email – none of which is immediate or reliable. 

Telepresence offers robust, HD videoconferencing services that can connect to any device, any OS on any network.  What better way to contact the home office and bring your expertise into the conversation?  We event connect to any legacy videoconference system with a public IP or SIP connection. 

Whether you are in your hotel room, hotel meeting room, on your iPad, iPhone or Android device you can all be connected together with low-latency, high quality videoconference that will not drop the call and share a desktop or other materials on your computer. 

What better way to impress a customer with a service problem than to meet in a private room and put him in direct contact with the person that can assist with the situation?

What better way connect from anywhere to your home office videoconference system to make executive decisions based on factual information from your home office experts?

Holding training sessions on site during the convention?  Bring in the best experts remotely to make your training more memorable and effective – even if the presenter is a continent away.

Is this difficult to accomplish? 

No, state of the art videoconference systems make it simple to connect, stay connected and add in as many participants as you need.  It is simple to share content and simple to privately “chat” with select participants to emphasize or clarify a point, or record the conference for future reference.

Is this expensive?

It is surprisingly affordable and with so many value-added attributes, it will help make your trade show experience a success.

Dave Desmarais is President & Founder of Perinata Inc., a firm specializing in cost-effective remote solutions for Communications, Broadcast and Electronic Events.

No comments:

Post a Comment