I just got back from visiting the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) and Kioskcom trade-shows in Las Vegas. While I saw lots of great gadgets and eye candy unfortunately I also saw plenty of poor marketing!
You are at the show to discover products and services that you will buy in the near future. You have some particular needs and you want to know if there are companies who can help.
As your eyes dart from booth to booth, you see company names, logos and slogans like “Quality is our Second Name” and “More Passion”. There are large pictures of electronic circuit boards and attractive people with badge scanners in hand.
There is obviously a marketing problem here. As a prospect you want to efficiently find solutions to your needs without having to ask each booth staffer to explain how they can help you. In some trade shows possibly 50% of the booths will give you little clue as to what the company does or how it can help you until you ask. And then you discover it is not what you are looking for anyway.
Good marketing helps weed out sales prospects who are not right for your company. Good marketing reduces the effort a prospect must make to buy. Good marketing makes it obvious the problems your products and services solve and the benefits of doing business with your company.
When you design your trade show booth, clearly state the problems that your products solve. Help a prospect quickly figure out if it is worthwhile talking to you or can quickly move on.
You don’t want to be tied up talking to an unqualified prospect because it means you may miss the one who has her checkbook ready to go!