Hot Pants or Hot Qualified Leads?

Posted 29/05/2011
Hot Pants or Hot Qualified Leads?

Marketing Specialist, Lee Ali explains why professional Promotion Staff are worth their weight in Lead. Original Article was Published in Exhibiting Magazine March 2009

I am going to describe two scenarios which I have recently experienced within the tradeshow industry.

Scenario 1 – New York  Jacob Javitz Centre. The visitor numbers were apparently 50% down from the previous years show, however one exhibitor using one promotion person doubles the number of leads they generated from last years event.

Scenario 2 – London  Earls Court. The visitor and exhibitor numbers were approximately 20-30% down from last years event. An Exhibitor using 3 promotion people complained that their leads were down from the previous year in line with the reduced numbers.

So the times are tough; the exhibition visitor numbers maybe down; the marketing budgets may have been cut, especially the exhibition spend but what did the exhibitor in scenario 1 do differently to the exhibitor in Scenario 2 to experience such a vast difference in the returns from their respective shows?

The difference was the strategy of how both companies used their respective promotion staff.

Let us have a look at a typical promotion model scenario from both a visitor’s and the exhibitor’s perspective and see if you can guess which the above mentioned scenario this applied to.

You have three very pretty promotion models; dressed in outrageous outfits standing at the booth and their objective is to smile; hand out leaflets to passers by and to create attention to the booth.

As an Exhibitor the average cost for 3 girls over 3 days may well be over 2,500 US Dollars.

Using the above approach your return is already unquantifiable from the start.

Questions for you to consider as an Exhibitor using the above strategy:

  • Are you attracting the right kind of audience to your booth?
  • Is that audience interested in your products or in the promotion models?
  • How will you convert that audience into qualified sales leads?
  • How much will the models really know about your company or the product?

You should consider the show visitor’s perspective when they see 3 pretty promotion models:

–       Are they thinking about the exhibitor’s products or the girls vital assets?

–       Is it going to make them want to talk to the exhibitor because they have these great models at the booth?

–       Will they walk over to the booth; take a closer look; smile; make some small talk, take the leaflet and move on?

As you will realise – the possibilities of getting a return from this investment of $2500 is open to debate and there is no way of measuring of how effective this strategy really was. Yes the girls might be the talk of the show floor; but will your company be  remembered?

The Recession Busting Promotion Staffing Approach.

To generate results at exhibitions especially when using external promotion staff you must think of a basic but fundamental sales principle using simple people skills.

The client in scenario 1 described above, deployed this strategy to enable them to achieve double the results in a show where there were 50% less visitors and you can too.

The AIDA principle is proven and applied to the Exhibition scenario; it generates results every time.

So how did the Exhibitor in New York make this process work?

They created ATTENTION by hiring a beautiful female promotion model (dressed in normal business attire) pro-actively approach the visitors with a smile as they approached the booth; as apposed to hiring an “attraction” and wait for visitors to come to the booth.

She sparked the visitors INTEREST by asking him/her a qualification question for his/her objectives for visiting the show  to see if they could be a potential customer for the company. This also qualified the visitor to see if they are a potential client.

She created a DESIRE within the visitor for him/her to learn more about the company by giving them a Compelling Interest Statement about the Exhibitor Company and positive reasons as to how they can benefit from using the Company’s products and/or services.

Once the visitor had been qualified she took immediate and positive ACTION by introducing them to a senior member of staff from the Exhibitor Company to demonstrate or present the company products further or by recording the visitor’s contact details and agreeing a follow up call or meeting with the Exhibitor’s sales team.

This approach took a maximum of 2 minutes each time. It is targeted; it is specific, it focuses on pro-actively speaking to as many people walking past the booth as possible and it is measurable. It is not a long drawn out sales pitch; there are no leaflets handed out. It is a process to generate new qualified business leads. It helps your sales team by giving them real qualified prospects to talk to. Most importantly for you as an Exhibitor/Sales or Marketing Director it enable you to measure and track the return on investment in real numbers.

Of course you need to be thorough in terms of choosing the right promotion staff to enable you to implement this approach. This kind of promotion person needs to look good in a business suit; have self confidence; bundles of enthusiasm; be adaptable and intelligent to learn about the company’s product, they must have a pro-active “can-do” attitude and a smile.

So in summary; Using external Promotion Staffing can be a great investment; and can pay substantial dividends if used in the right way even in tough times.


Posted 29/05/2011