We all know that events can be a time management nightmare and keeping on schedule to get the most out of attending can be hard. It is also difficult for those exhibiting an event to ensure that the time invested yields positive business results whether that be revenue and/ or brand recognition. Let’s face it, the pressure is on to leverage attendance in ways that benefit the overall business.
Meeting with prospective customers seems like a natural and logical means of ensuring a positive return on your show investment. Yet, more often than not sales spend time waiting around the booth for their meeting attendees to arrive only for them to be stood up like a bad first date. It is a costly and a futile exercise having your sales people standing around waiting for a meeting that might never take place.
With 15 years experience empowering exhibitors to create better interactions at Mobile World Congress, follow ELEVATE’s 5 top tips to reduce your meeting no shows and optimize your event attendance.
You wouldn’t travel half a day to meet a new prospect without having spoken to them (or someone that represents you company having spoken) to established an interest in your solutions or products. It’s a potential big waste of time. So why is an event different, to risk your time and the prospects.
A properly qualified lead is one who has shown a need for your services, has the authority to make a decision or at least has influence over the primary decision maker, and is looking at your offering in a reasonable timeframe in relation to your sales cycle.
This BANT Qualification is probably second nature to the sales team’s daily activities, and just because we’re at an event, we shouldn’t discard best practice and process. By properly validating your prospects will ensure a discussion that is both meaningful and compelling to your prospect and will improve your chances of them attending a pre-arranged meeting with you.
If you’ve never spoken to someone, the chance of them honoring the appointment is 2.5x less likely than if you’ve built a relationship. With over 2,300 exhibitors slated for this year’s event – there’s a lot of potential distractions. If your close friend was at the event who you hadn’t seen in years, you’d make the effort to go from one side of the Gran Via convention center to the other to catch up.
Use the lead up to your meetings as an opportunity to build rapport and befriend your prospect. Learn about their interests and hobbies. Connecting on a more personal level makes people more invested in the relationship and less likely to disappoint.
Set an Easy Location to Meet
Too often face to face meetings at events are no shows because the meeting location is too complicated to find or it is not convenient for the prospect. Your meeting place should make sense to your prospect and be easy to get to from anywhere on the show floor. Sometimes this is a bit of an impossible task. Think about meeting up with your prospect and bringing them onsite to your booth for the meeting. This way they see the power of your brand and the booth can accommodate a quiet discussion.
Put the Meeting into the Calendar
When you set a prospect or customer meeting make sure you send them a follow up email with a calendar request. Seems easy enough but more often than not, this doesn’t occur. This will limit any confusion on the date, time and place of the meeting. It doesn’t guarantee that they will show up but it does reduce your chances of them not. Make sure you also set up an automatic reminder for the day before to ensure your meeting is top of their mind.
Also, don’t leave it too long from having agreed the meeting before sending the invite.
Reconfirm by SMS
A hour before your meeting, send the prospect an SMS as a reminder. 83% of all text messages are opened and read within the 1st hour. This is when you want to be top of mind. Consider sending a quick note reminding of the location you are meeting. Provide your cell number in case they are running late.
Given the amount of effort and marketing dollars spent getting in front of your prospect for meaningful discussions in Barcelona, keep your communication channels open. The time before and during the event is just as important as the meeting itself.
Events like Mobile World Congress 2018, can be overwhelming and demanding so make sure your meeting calendar and sales people’s time is optimized with prospect meetings and networking opportunities. If you need assistance in pre-scheduling meetings for your sales team at the booth, contact the team here and we can help you drive the best overall results and customer engagement.