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Traditional trade shows, virtual or both?

We just got back from DesignCon in Santa Clara, California, and I am happy to report that traditional trade shows ARE alive and well. I must confess that as a consultant I have encouraged our clients over the past few years to revisit their trade show schedule and ROI before re-signing any contracts. Here are a few things to think about as you review your trade show schedule for 2012:

1)      What is your ROI? Have you closed leads from this venue in the past? If you have good results, renew. If you have no past results to review, create some for this year, and track them.

2)      Coordinate a complete campaign for the event that will deliver your message and engage your prospects. Make sure the content from your sessions (if you have some) encourage people to stop by the booth next to see more, and at the booth talk about the sessions and cross promote.

3)      Tweet! Tweeting is a great FREE way to highlight things at the event for attendees you don’t want them to miss, and get great content out to prospects and customers who did not make the show.

4)      USE your CRM or SFA tool! If you don’t have a Customer Relationship Management or a Sales Force Automation tool, GET ONE today!!! These tools today are a “must have” for sales people and the only way to measure if your marketing is working, or NOT working. Top “Social CRM” on the market today is www.nimble.com , Top “SFA” is www.netsuite.com , and Top “Free” starter (not long term solution but a baby step with no out of pocket dollars) is www.zoho.com.



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