Don’t Waste Your Resources on Trade Shows!
You receive an invitation to exhibit at “the industry’s premier trade show” – you know, the one you can’t pass up. And now, you try to decide if investing thousands of dollars, if not more, will pay off.
Exhibiting in a trade show should not be “just an event” or as we called it in a previous article a “random act of marketing”. Trade shows should be an integral part of your entire marketing strategy and should be planned meticulously. Otherwise, you would be wasting precious resources. The planning involves pre-show preparation and campaign, as well as post-show marketing efforts.
When we work with our clients in preparation for a trade show, we list and engage in over 50 distinct tasks to maximize the ROI (Return on Investment). Here are the main areas you should pay careful attention to:
- Pre-decision Information Gathering:
– All costs of exhibiting, travel, and materials needed
– Number of expected attendees and their profile
– Number of exhibitors and who they are
- Pre-Show Activities:
– Reservation of booth and travel
– Determination of the show’s goals
– Announcement of participation and invitation of customers and prospects
– Preparation of exhibit display and materials
– Scheduling booth coverage and breaks
– Scheduling meetings with prospects who will be attending
– Rehearsals of conversations with prospects who stop at the booth
– Devise a method (or secure a device/software) for easily and quickly collecting booth visitors’ contact information
– Shipping of exhibit display and materials needed at the show
– Planning all your post-show logistics and follow-ups
- Post-Show Activities:
– Entering all contacts into CRM
– Follow up with all prospects in order of importance/urgency
– Evaluation of the process from start to finish and documentation corrective of measures
– Assessment of ROI relatively to goals 30 days 90 days and 6 months after the show
Obviously, there is more to all of this, and the above list is a partial list of the main activities. If you have any questions about what needs to be done or how, feel free to contact us.
Duke Merhavy, MBA, Ph.D.
President & Chief Marketing Officer
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6 Tips to Keeping Your Website Up to Date
By Anna Kunz, Manager of Marketing Services at Fractional CMO & Marketing
No matter how good you think your website is today, the reality is that it will not last forever without a little upkeep. Given the number of changes and the fast pace of recent innovations, the lifespan of websites has fallen to one year, if that. The following 6 tips will help you keep your website fresh and timely.
- Evaluate Your Content Often
You spent countless hours preparing your website and when it’s finally launched, you think “Good, I’m done with this.” – but you’re not. Even if it’s been a short time, depending on your business and website, content could become irrelevant or outdated quickly. If the website’s traffic has dropped off, consider evaluating your content and present the information in a fresh new way.
- Test the Contact Information
Periodically, check the contact methods such as phone numbers and submission forms on your website, to assure they are up to date and working properly. If it’s been a year or longer, employees whose contact information is listed, may have transferred departments or left the company all together. One company recently discovered that all of their missed phone calls were going to someone in their warehouse who had left the company 3 years prior. Another important point, make sure submission forms (requests for information or samples, etc.) are going to the right people or department.
- Examine Design
Don’t forget that design evolves too. Not too recently, it was fashionable to have layouts that included background gradients and ‘gel’ or “3-D” buttons. Now, leading websites have embraced a flatter, square look and feel. From a technical stand point, evaluate how well your design is compatible with responsive web design to allow mobile compatibility. A responsive website allows your site to be displayed optimally on the many screen sizes available to consumers. If your website is not responsive, you can lose sales very quickly, as well as degrade your ranking with the leading search engines.
- Update the Software
Most websites use ‘themes’ and plugins for design and certain functionalities. These programs are updated rather often to ensure compatibility with browsers and to strengthen security, among other reasons. You should check for updates and new versions often, and update as needed.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Leading search engines are constantly updating their rules and algorithms for how they rank their results pages. Google makes up to 500 alterations per year. For example, recently Google announced that websites with SSL and responsive design will be ranked higher on their searches.
- Web Site Certificates
This is worth another mention: Since October 1, 2017 Google requires all websites to use HTTPS to make sites more secure, in order to be ranked and even considered. If you have not done so yet, make sure to obtain a Secure Socket Layer or SSL. By making sure a web site encrypts your information and has a valid certificate, you can help protect yourself, and your customers, against attackers. If you don’t have an SSL, you risk losing valuable business. Lastly, check your SSL certification annually, as it does expire every year or two.
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