Let’s dive into a common scenario, my friends. When I ask prospects about their goals for their trade show program, I’m often met with a recurring response that doesn’t quite hit the mark. They start talking about their limited budget and how they’re concerned we won’t be able to bring their vision to life.This response tells me their mindset is all wrong. You see, what they’re missing is the real value that trade shows can bring. Let me tell you why this is important and how we can reframe the conversation to set you up for success..
Marketing Spend Vs. Value
Repeat after me: marketing is not an expense, but an investment! Similarly, trade shows are not an expense, but an investment. The truth is that, when handled well, most businesses can get wild trade show ROI. As such, their event programs should be seen for the marketing value they provide, rather than the line item they are on a budget.
The Unique Opportunity
Let me put it a different way. Think about what it would cost to personally send an individual salesperson to visit 1,000 of your customers and prospects, sending them to each and every office around the country- or even world. Consider the airfare, the hotels, the transportation. Factor in the opportunity cost of having that salesperson’s time dedicated to this effort, which means they can’t contribute to other efforts. Pretty damn expensive, right?
It’s like magic, folks! Instead of interfacing with a1,000 customers over the course of weeks or months, you can do it all in one fell swoop. And the best part? It all goes down at one convenient location! Your team only needs one set of airline tickets, lodging and transportation arrangements. It doesn’t get much better than that. And to top it off, your prospects and customers are actually excited to meet with vendors, meaning they’re primed and ready to purchase new products. The value you’re getting here is astronomical. Can you even put a price tag on all this trade show goodness? Just think about the potential returns. Mind-blown yet?
Upgrade Your Mindset
To get more out of your trade show program, you have to start viewing these events as value-rich opportunities, instead of trying to nickel and dime them. How? When you step into that initial meeting with a creative agency like Highway 85, make sure you banish the budget talk from the spotlight. Did that sink in?Do not enter a meeting talking about your budget. Shift gears and focus on the bigger picture. Save your worries about how low you think your budget is for another time and place. Trust me, this is a strategic move that sets the stage for a fruitful and productive discussion.
Don’t worry; we will talk about your budget. but it’s only one piece of the puzzle. So let’s address it when necessary and then dive into the juicy stuff – I’m talking about the 19 other vital aspects of your trade show goals and needs that are crying out for attention!If you start with a budget and get all wrapped up in it, we won’t get to discuss all of the other things, which are way more interesting and impactful, to be honest.
When you upgrade your mindset, you can zero in on your goals. What you really envision success looking like. What would constitute as a freaking home run for you? Let’s start there. We can always back into a budget that works for you from that point, but it never works the other way around.