Monday, January 9, 2017

Top Tips for SHOT Show (Or ANY Trade Show) SUCCESS!

Trade shows.

Love them? Hate them? Either way, you might benefit from some quick lessons on how to improve your results.

The annual SHOT Show is a great place for connections and to get a lot of business done in one place at one time. Ace Luciano recommends this and other industry-specific trade shows to ALL of his clients and followers.
Is held annually in Las Vegas Nevada In January
We are a little over a week away from the biggest event of the year for people in the shooting hunting and outdoor world – the annual SHOT Show.
 For me, it is the biggest show of the year. One of my business partners has already attended the Dallas Safari club convention, shortly after shot is SCI, and then, in February is the Great American outdoor show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The Archery Trade Association is sandwiched in-between DSC and SHOT Show- so there’s a good chance many of you will not be home except for a few days from January through the end of March!

…Of course, in the meantime you still need to run your business, service your sales accounts, etc…
During my 20+ year career in executive sales, I set record after record for trade show lead generation – often developing and bringing back double the amount of leads as entire teams attending other shows. 

How was I able to do that?

 As with most things, having a specific plan and a system will always outperform just "showing up and seeing what happens."

You can START with the following advice:

1. Have an absolutely COMPELLING REASON for someone to meet with you or stop by your booth. Often this is in the form of an “Irresistible Offer.” This should be tied to a deadline- at the show or, even MORE SPECIFICALLY at EXACT TIMES during the show. (Hint: See all those RSR carts wheeling around the SHOT show? I’ve often wondered why they are the only ones to do that…)

2. Say what you do in one clear sentence.  One of my favorite things to do is to walk around the floor and see so many companies with  what I call "marketing mistakes.". If you’re not Coke, Pepsi or Nike then you probably should tell people what you do upfront. If your company makes machinery that reads your mind, don’t spend money on a sign that says “technology for you”  –
State CLEARLY: WHO ARE YOU? WHAT DO YOU DO? As uncool as it might be, you’re better off saying something like “Our Machines read your mind”.

3. Set up as many meetings as you can ahead of time. Is your business (as mine is) with the vendors at the show? Set your meetings "geographically." Try to spend your day on each area whenever you can. Are you a vendor? You should have your pipeline full before you even get there. Many times My entire schedule was booked from the moment I landed until I fly back home. Many times I eat on the run between appointments.
 If you have a break, you’re doing it wrong. If you haven’t set up meetings ahead of time, go do it now. Jump on LinkedIn, email, go walk the floor. Don’t wait for these people to find you, go hunt them down

4. Go to events. After the floor closes don’t go back to your hotel room, get out there, go to the after party, ask around as to who is where. Get with industry "insiders" for drinks at the bar and pick up a round. Mostly, get out there and shake some more hands. It's always worked well for me.

5. Throw a party.
This one is great, and can really bring results. Invite all of your IDEAL prospects to a “hospitality suite” for an hour. It’ll cost you a few hundred dollars, but if your  average customer is worth several hundred to several thousand dollars, ONE customer makes you money and has opened the doors to potentially hundreds of others.

6. Focus your efforts. Is your biggest push to get into retailers? Negotiate contracts or orders with distributors? Interview manufacturers about their newest and greatest product? Sell to factories? Find potential partners? Pick your focus and stick to it. The time in Vegas flies and SHOT Show is huge. You’re better off spending all of your energy on that one focus, making sure it happens than spreading your resources thin and not having an impact anywhere.

7. Have a post-SHOT plan. Don’t just take your fistful of business cards and go back to your office in Wherever Town. Make sure you have a clear plan of action for after the show is over. How are you following up with your leads? Did you discover a product and is there a bigger story to tell? Make sure it aligns with your focus and get it done asap. The longer you wait to follow up, the less likely it will be to ever turn into a deal.

This one should be obvious, as everyone likes to have fun, right?
There’s more to it, though. People like to be around people that are fun. They like to do business with people that they like. I’m amazed at how “serious” some people are at the show- and that includes the people trying to sell tickets, raffles, etc.

Any trade show can be a massive opportunity for those who do it right- and a massive expense to the rest of them. It’s really not all that complicated – sticking to the basics really works.

If you want trade show secrets to success, contact Ace Luciano at today
SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range has grown popular with a large number of vendors- allowing influencers and buyers to "test out" products and then attend SHOT Show the next 4 days. It is also a great example of "Hosting a Party for your Prospects! 
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  1. Excellent tips from an obvious trade show expert. Thanks!

  2. Great tips! Thank you. Hope to meet you at DSC next year and Shot show in 2019!