B2B Marketing Blog

When Less Means More in B2B Trade Shows

Jan 24, 2012 2:30:40 AM / by Lisa Shepherd

Recently the CEO of one of my clients was approached by a company that runs B2B trade shows for very specific industries that are based on pre-scheduled meetings. He quickly transferred the call to me so that I could suss out whether or not this was legit and if it could be a good marketing tool (ie, deliver strong ROI) to get involved with. Having limited experience with these types of shows, I had to rely on my investigative powers. So I spent a considerable amount of time questioning the sales rep, checking out personal business profiles and scouring the web for any negative press on the production company.

After I felt satisfied that there may be a possibility that they could actually honour what they were promising, we decided to enter the trade show and pay the hefty fee. About six weeks before the show we were sent a catalogue containing the profiles for all of the delegates who were attending and interested in participating in these pre-scheduled meetings. We were asked to choose our top 14 companies from a list of 30 with whom we’d like to have a 15 minute pre-scheduled one-to-on business meeting. Each and every one of these companies were directly in our target market and businesses that we would have otherwise had a tough time getting in front of.

Our package included seven pre-scheduled meetings so just before the trade show we received the particulars regarding the companies that we were meeting with. Only mutually agreed upon meetings were organized so it was great to know that these seven companies were interested to learn more about our offering.

In the end, the show was extremely well run and worth the investment. Included with the package was our booth, keynote speakers, round table sessions, interactive workshops and other networking opportunities. Every single one of the events was well attended, professional and newsworthy.

Just from the seven one-to-one meetings my client had, four meetings ended up being very strong leads. Due to the long buying cycle, none of them have closed yet, but they are all tracking to close in the first quarter of the New Year.

The average trade show results in 76 leads. Although this particular show was small in terms of traffic (maybe 50-100 attended in total), and did not generate a large number of leads, the leads that we did obtain were hot and allowed us to meet with key decision makers in our market that can sometimes be very difficult to reach. Conversely, the delegates were able to maximize their time spent at the show and explore a greater number of opportunities than if they were to try and search for options on their own.

If you are interested in learning more about trade shows specific to your industry that include pre-scheduled meetings I would be happy to help you; send me an email and I can arrange an introduction!

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Topics: Outsourced Marketing, Marketing Tactics

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