Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Exhibitions and making your data work for you

The aim of this blog is to try to give some advice and help people avoid one of the biggest errors made while taking part in events or exhibitions. Based on my previous experiences, I hope to give you some pointers which will enable you to make the most of any future events.

Exhibitors spend a huge amount of money on stands for exhibitions to make sure they look state of the art; they make sure they have their best sales personnel present to establish and build new customer relationships, and finally they make sure they gather as much data as possible on prospects. However, all of this time and money can be wasted if you do not act on a few key points!

The key objective for exhibitors when venturing in to any event should be to gain a deeper customer insight, generate leads that can be turned into monetary value, and increase their company’s profit.

Exhibitors normally gauge how successful a show has been by the amount of data and leads they collect. All this is extremely valuable, but unless this data is used quickly and accurately, it could be a waste of time collecting it in the first place.

Making better use of the data you worked so keenly to collect can be the hardest part about taking part in a show. It’s sometimes difficult to find the time or resources within your company to do simple things such as data capture the information from an exhibition into your sales and marketing database when you get back to the office. However, what people often do not realise is within that data can be the key to your future success.

Information that can be extracted from data and information captured can offer customer insight that will open your client base in so many ways. Handled by the right people, it can be of significant benefit to your company, placing you leagues ahead of any competitors.

By enhancing this data you can build relevant propositions, it can affect future decision making, you can cross sell, track the behaviour of your clients and know when they are more likely to place orders with you.

What you do at the show does not have to change, you know what you are selling, you are the expert in that, what needs to change is what you do after, so let an expert get the most out of the hard work you put in.

At the show make sure you are asking for the correct information from your prospects so you can make the most of your data. If in doubt ask an expert for some advice on the data to be captured and how to go about it, it can make the process a lot less painful in the long run and remove the need for manual data capture.

You have spent a lot of money on the show so you need to get the best return on your investment; by allocating a small amount of your budget to outsource your data management really will bring you the return you deserve.

If you have any event advice or tips please post them for us all to learn from.

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