Hosted Buyer Event Strategies - Elijah Logan Longview Texas

Hosted Buyer Event Strategies

1. Stand-alone: Create a new hosted/appointment-based event held in a unique destination environment.
2. In-show event: Create structured buyer-seller interaction in dedicated meeting spaces at your existing event, and generate additional revenue.
3. Co-located: Target a unique audience demographic by holding your hosted event at the same time and in the same city as another event. This can create crossover attendance and sponsorship opportunities.
Appointment-Based Hosted Buyer Model: A Different Value Proposition
Hosted-buyer events vary in a number of ways from traditional exhibitions:
1. Unique audience model: At a hosted-buyer event, the audience is prequalified and, typically, hosted (paid for) fully or partially.
2. Unique «supplier» model: «Supplier» vs. exhibitor. Suppliers are prequalified.
3. Unique business model: Event staff sells appointments versus booths.
4. Eliminate traditional uncertainty: A hosted-buyer event has a known quantity and quality of attendees. No «hoping» the best buyers will show up.
5. Go straight to desired result: Buyers networking face-to-face with high-quality vendors.
How to Get Participants
Because these events are usually smaller (with a limited number of buyers and sellers) than traditional shows, marketing must be done differently. Here are best practices for bringing the best buyers and sellers together:
1. Network one-to-one: Work one-on-one in a service fashion, developing relationships and learning about the specific business-development requirements of targeted attendees (buyers), and help identify solutions that your clients (sellers) can provide.
2. Use multiple contact methods: Contact individuals directly via phone and e-mail. Do not mass market.
3. Engage individuals online: Social media marketing can be used to generate brand engagement and produce additional leads.

Be sure to check out the blog at EliLogan.com, and connect at @EliLoganTx

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Conference or Exposition? Why Show Formats Should Influence Setting Trade Show Objectives

Longview Texas' own Elijah Logan
@EliLoganTx

Last week’s post covered who should be setting trade show objectives and when they should be set. An additional factor that should influence your trade show objectives is the format of the show and how the corresponding focus affects the amount of face-time you’ll get with attendees and new ways to spend it.

For the most part, industry events break down into two formats:

Conference series with a trade show attached
Trade shows/ expositions

How the show format factors into setting your trade show objectives:

Trade shows and expositions are focused solely on trade, the debut of new products and facilitating networking between industry professionals. Since attendees of these types of shows do not observe a conference schedule, your booth staff will have time to focus on qualifying serious buyers.
When it comes to exhibiting in trade shows that are attached to conferences, knowing the conference schedule and how it affects attendee traffic will help you set realistic objectives. Your goals will be based on educated projections of how much face time you’ll actually be spending with attendees.

What to consider if you’re exhibiting in a trade show/ exposition:

Are you qualifying attendees based on what stage of the buying process they’re in? According to Exhibit Surveys, 49% of tradeshow attendees surveyed planned to purchase in the next 12 months and 66% rate their booth visits as very or extremely valuable in comparing and evaluating offerings for future purchases.
Both of these statistics confirm that attendees of trade shows and expositions are actively engaged in one part or another of the buying process. But as an exhibitor, do you know which stage?
Potential customers who are in different stages require different types of information to progress through the initial stages and reach a buying decision. Discovering which stages they’re in and tailoring your sales message to them is the key to establishing a relationship early and winning the bid.
How to sell to customers in each stage:
According to A Guide to Understanding the B2B Buying Process, by the Inbound Sales Network:
«Communication during the ‘Awareness Stages’ should introduce your prospects to industry trends that point to developing issues and the business value of adopting change. This early consultative approach is crucial: Forrester Research reports that 65% of vendors that create the buying vision during this early stage get the deal.
Communication during the ‘Evaluation Stages’ should:

Find your unique point of view which can challenge prospect’s assumptions and create more demand

Create clear points of differentiation between you and your key competitors

Communication during the ‘Decision Stages’ should highlight customer success stories and demonstrate how your customers have achieved „successful project implementation and business value.“

What to consider if you’re exhibiting in a trade show attached to a conference:
Is the exhibit hall completely closed to attendees during conference sessions? If so, take the opportunity to find exhibiting companies with whom you can do business and set appointments with them, outside of the venue, during the time the show floor is closed. This way, you’re networking and gaining exposure with qualified leads while attendees are unavailable.

Does the trade show portion of the conference series remain open for attendees who have not paid to attend conferences? This is the most common type of conference series with a trade show attached. Although the show floor is not closed completely, attendee traffic tends to slow while conferences are in session.
When traffic slows, this is a prime opportunity to connect with other exhibitors who represent potential customers or partners. Again, knowing how to maximize these periods whereas an exhibitor, you’re competing with conference tracks for the attention of attendees is crucial to maximizing your investment. By networking with exhibitors, you’re interacting with potential customers regardless of the effect the conference has on the traffic flow.

Knowing the conference schedule will also help you plan the best times to conduct giveaways, announcements, product demonstrations and more. This way, promotions designed to draw a lot of traffic to your booth can happen when the conference schedule allows the maximum amount of attendees on the floor.

Does your business perform better at conferences with trade shows attached or trade shows and expositions focused solely on trade? Why? Share your story in the comments. Be sure to check out the blog at ElijahLogan.com, and connect at @EliLoganTx

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Outside Sales in a Tough Market - Increase Sales at a Fraction of the Cost. - Elijah Logan Longview Texas

For those companies whose bottom line depends heavily on product and service sales to a struggling sector, part of the weathering a tough market means finding new ways to preserve the revenue stream generated by outside sales, while managing the sometimes hefty costs associated with it.
Part of what has always made field sales worth the expense is how well it lends itself to consultative selling. Account managers are able to build relationships with potential customers, understand their business, and based on that information create an educated solution to a problem that potential customers didn’t even know they had. At this point, account managers are proposing a buying vision and encouraging change, instead of peddling product features. It’s consultative sales on steroids, but research shows it works: 65% of companies who relate to customers so early in the buying process seal the deal.

The current market lends itself perfectly to this approach. Among the gloom and doom lies a golden opportunity for product and service providers to identify areas in which potential customers can use their solutions to streamline operations and cut costs. That approach translates into a lot of face-to-face time between potential clients and account managers.

So, how do companies on a tight budget reap the benefits of this proven sales technique for a fraction of the cost? By changing the cost-per-prospect ratio, or more simply: seeing more potential customers per travel expense.
Exhibiting in a trade show is one way to do it.For the same flight, lodging, rental car, and per diem investment, exhibitions provide companies exposure to thousands of potential customers instead of just a handful. Industry-exclusive trade shows eliminate a potentially lengthy lead qualification process by drawing decision-makers who are actively engaged in the buying process. It’s no wonder that sales cycles launched from trade show leads cost almost 50% less to close and close twice as fast as leads gained through field sales efforts; $550 and 1.4 sales calls compared to $997 and 3.6 sales calls, respectively.

Trade shows are also an ideal environment for personal, consultative selling on the fast track. Michael Carmichael, a regional sales representative for Kuriyama of America Inc. and a participant in dozens of industry focused B2B trade shows, describes the benefit this way: «It usually takes two to three days to visit my customers in a certain region, but these shows put all of them under one roof to get that face-time.»
Elijah Logan of EEP, sees results like these as proof of the power of industry shows focused on networking, deal-making and trade.
«Companies can reap the benefits outside sales provide, for a fraction of the cost through exhibiting in an industry focused B2B trade show,» Logan said. «It’s the most cost-effective way for product and service providers to increase sales in the face of a tough market.»

If you have questions about incorporating the benefits of an industry focused B2B trade show give me a shout. Be sure to check out the blog at ElijahLogan.com, and connect at @EliLoganTx

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Outside Sales in a Tough Market - Increase Sales at a Fraction of the Cost. - Elijah Logan Longview Texas

For those companies whose bottom line depends heavily on product and service sales to a struggling sector, part of the weathering a tough market means finding new ways to preserve the revenue stream generated by outside sales, while managing the sometimes hefty costs associated with it.
Part of what has always made field sales worth the expense is how well it lends itself to consultative selling. Account managers are able to build relationships with potential customers, understand their business, and based on that information create an educated solution to a problem that potential customers didn’t even know they had. At this point, account managers are proposing a buying vision and encouraging change, instead of peddling product features. It’s consultative sales on steroids, but research shows it works: 65% of companies who relate to customers so early in the buying process seal the deal.

The current market lends itself perfectly to this approach. Among the gloom and doom lies a golden opportunity for product and service providers to identify areas in which potential customers can use their solutions to streamline operations and cut costs. That approach translates into a lot of face-to-face time between potential clients and account managers.

So, how do companies on a tight budget reap the benefits of this proven sales technique for a fraction of the cost? By changing the cost-per-prospect ratio, or more simply: seeing more potential customers per travel expense.
Exhibiting in a trade show is one way to do it.For the same flight, lodging, rental car, and per diem investment, exhibitions provide companies exposure to thousands of potential customers instead of just a handful. Industry-exclusive trade shows eliminate a potentially lengthy lead qualification process by drawing decision-makers who are actively engaged in the buying process. It’s no wonder that sales cycles launched from trade show leads cost almost 50% less to close and close twice as fast as leads gained through field sales efforts; $550 and 1.4 sales calls compared to $997 and 3.6 sales calls, respectively.

Trade shows are also an ideal environment for personal, consultative selling on the fast track. Michael Carmichael, a regional sales representative for Kuriyama of America Inc. and a participant in dozens of industry focused B2B trade shows, describes the benefit this way: «It usually takes two to three days to visit my customers in a certain region, but these shows put all of them under one roof to get that face-time.»
Elijah Logan of EEP, sees results like these as proof of the power of industry shows focused on networking, deal-making and trade.
«Companies can reap the benefits outside sales provide, for a fraction of the cost through exhibiting in an industry focused B2B trade show,» Logan said. «It’s the most cost-effective way for product and service providers to increase sales in the face of a tough market.»

If you have questions about incorporating the benefits of an industry focused B2B trade show give me a shout. Be sure to check out the blog at ElijahLogan.com, and connect at @EliLoganTx

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How to Build A Social Media Strategy - Elijah Logan Longview Texas

Social Media Expert Elijah Logan

Ask Yourself These Questions
Stahl suggests that, in developing your social media strategy, you ask yourself the following:
1. WHAT formats are we going to use? (Blogs, video, charts.)
2. WHY does anyone care about what we’re doing?
3. WHY does this provide business value?
4. HOW are we going to deliver the message? (What are the best social media platforms for reaching your audience?)
5. HOW should we say it? (Tone of voice.)
6. WHERE will we get the content?
7. WHERE can we syndicate the content?
8. WHEN will content be published?
9. WHEN will it need to be updated (and how frequently)? Set expectations. (For example, Twitter: one to two tweets per week starting six months in advance of your event, and three to four tweets per week from two months out.)
10. WHO is responsible for the content? Assign content to the appropriate parties, and assign someone to oversee the efforts.
11. WHO will maintain it over time?
Where Will We Get the Content?
An integral part of your strategy will be in determining what content you are going to post and where your social media team will get the content. Stahl suggests these areas are among the most valuable content sources:
1. Editorial: Magazine and online news.
2. Marketing and public relations: Printed pieces, website, and industry and event news.
3. Educational/learning: Session tracks and speakers.
4. Show-logistics updates.
More Hands-On Tips
1. Tweet each new speaker you book, using the speaker’s or his/her company’s Twitter handle to alert them of the tweet; Encourage all speakers to retweet your announcement (most will anyway). Also, tag them on Facebook mentions and via other social media channels you use. This can significantly expand your reach and expose your speakers’ followers to your show.
2. Tweet every exhibitor and sponsor you sign on, using the company’s Twitter handle. Same idea as above.
3. Organize Facebook chats or Twitter chats with select speakers; promote them to your audience via social media and e-mail alerts. Ensure that the chats include information your audience will find valuable.
4. Conduct Q&As with select speakers, providing information and teasing (soft-sell) the upcoming session and event. Publish it online and promote it via social media channels.
5. Conduct Q&As with select exhibitors and sponsors about emerging products and trends among their clients. Be sure these are not sales pitches.
6. Encourage your speakers and vendors to use their social media channels to promote their participation in your events. Provide them with event hashtags (e.g., #growyourshow) and industry hashtags (e.g., #expochat), as well as the event URL. Tell them how to shorten links (or better yet, provide shortened links).
7. Determine the leading tweeters (or people on other platforms) and bloggers in your industry and invite them as guests to your show to tweet and/or blog about it.

What are your thoughts? Be sure to check out the blog at ElijahLogan.com, and connect at @EliLoganTx

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Determining the Value of Potential Advertising Channels Online - Elijah Logan Longview Texas

Elijah Logan Longview Texas
@EliLoganTx

It’s important for any business to have an online advertising presence. Whether it’s Google AdWords, digital newsletters or industry websites, online visibility is a must in today’s business climate. It’s possible for any-sized business to gain online exposure without breaking the bank through properly evaluating advertising channels and a little Google Ad Words home work.

When you’re evaluating the quality of online advertising channels/ newsletters:

Get information on subscriber/ visitor demographics. In other words, who is visiting the website or receiving the online newsletter? Make sure the readership is in line with your customer base.
How many people visit the site each month? This number will help you determine your cost-per-contact. Just divide the amount you’re spending by the total readership.
Clicks and Click-through Rate: If you’re looking at buying banner space on an online newsletter or digital publication, getting clicks and click-through rate information will help you determine how engaged the readers are with that particular publication. What good is a monstrous readership number if most of them aren’t clicking on anything in the online newsletter?
Do you receive exclusive placement? Most banner ads are shared real estate, which means your ad will be one in a rotation. That effects the number of times your will be served to (or seen by) the readership. That will affect your cost-per-contact number.
Reevaluate cost.Take the total readership and divide it by the number of rotations the space will go through before your ad appears. For example, if your ad is one of ten ads sharing a single space and the website/ online newsletter has a readership of 10,000 your ad will be seen by 1,000 readers instead of the whole 10,000. That new number will dramatically affect your cost-per-contact.
So, what’s an acceptable cost-per-contact rate? It really depends. I know, I know; that answer seems like a cop-out. It’s not. If you’ve found a medium that effectively targets your customer base (especially if you have a product that serves a niche market) and if it reaches the people within that market that can make or influence purchasing decisions, a high cost-per-contact may be absolutely worth it. That’s why investing a little time in qualifying potential adverting channels is worth a try.
Next week’s post will cover information on Google AdWords and how to customize a campaign that delivers results and makes the most of your investment. To get a head-start, check out Google AdWords’ extremely helpful FAQ section at goo.gl/ZQyrO9
Be sure to check out the blog at ElijahLogan.com, and connect at @EliLoganTx

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Boost Trade Show Traffic Outside Exhibit Hall - Elijah Logan Longview Texas

To be competitive today, trade show exhibitors not only need to grab attention to their trade show displays inside the exhibit hall but also beyond the exhibit floor.

More and more, creative trade show exhibitors attract crowds to their trade show booth by using nearby venues as a springboard. Attracting attention at neighboring hotels where the trade show visitors are staying or public places where attendees frequent, is a good start. This goes for neighboring restaurants, bus routes, cabs and local night clubs as well.

Increasingly, instead of letting a custom or trade show diplay rental at the expo stand on its own, savvy marketers are adding value by identifying key places outside the trade show to tee up traffic to the trade show display arena.

Event Marketer Magazine spotted three brands that successfully made the tie-in connection to their trade show booth from sites outside the exposition hall.

The first was in Chicago. GE Healthcare launched their campaign, Healthcare Reimagined at the Radiological Society of North America trade show in Chicago in 2005. They were on the lookout for popular locations outside the trade show hall to enhance awareness of their trade show display presence. According to Sean Burke of GE Healthcare’s Diagnostic Imaging and Services, «We were looking for something different that would create word of mouth and buzz.»

The trade show had over 60,000 attendees staying in Chicago. GE came up with the concept of all-white-clad «molecule people» that roamed Chicago sites before and after show hours, in nearby hotels and on the RSNA bus routes, as well as at neighboring restaurants and night clubs.

Wearing branding for GE Healthcare, the all white molecule actors batted around giant inflatable molecule structures and used bubble machines to complete the look and feel of what they wanted to portray. They were able to visually and kinetically capture the health care aspect of GE Diagnostic Imaging. This played directly to the imagery created at their trade show exhibit.

The second was at a consumer oriented show in Washington DC. A month before the Auto Show, Chevrolet started its awareness campaign at sites around the capital city. They set up mini tailgating parties out of the backs of Chevy Silverado Hybrids at construction sites, George Washington University, Home Depot stores and commuter rail stations. Consumers got to drink coffee and play Xbox 360 games. Chevy representatives gave out cards to visitors they could redeem at the trade show for a chance to win a Silverado Hybrid.

Chevy wanted to drive traffic to the trade show display. It worked. The results were measurable and dramatic. Because the scan cards were handed out at dealers and at the tailgate parties, over 20,000 consumers visited the trade show booth or were able to scan their cards with Chevy reps in the convention main lobby. The scan cards brought in 1,900 dealer leads.

The third one was in Las Vegas. That city is a natural for all types of trade show display marketers every hour of the day. At the Specialty Equipment Market Association show in Las Vegas in 2005, Yahoo! wanted to draw attention to a custom auto web site among car enthusiasts. So they decided to customize two Mitsubishis inside their trade show display booth.

To complete their exposure they went outside to showcase their cars on the Las Vegas Strip. Yahoo! hit it big. Knowing that Las Vegas is always wide awake 24/7, they were able to shut down traffic on the Las Vegas Strip at 3 a.m. Even at that time, throngs of people watched their two custom Mitsubishis race down the strip. «We didn’t want to just do a booth and pass things out,» says Bennett Porter Yahoo!’s senior director-buzz marketing. Emulating Frank Sinatra, he continues, «We wanted to do it our way.»

The above are just a few of the examples of how you can use outlying venues to tie into your trade show display.

So let’s say your firm is in the electronics field and you want exposure for your upcoming trade show appearance in the San Francisco Bay Area. With the high tech industry so heavily concentrated in Silicon Valley, California, many of the high tech leaders live there.

There’s Yahoo’s headquarters in Sunnyvale, Apple Computer Inc. based in Cupertino, eBay based in San Jose, and Google headquartered in Mountain View, to name a few. You can focus on Silicon Valley executives and market to them within close access to Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Kaiser Convention Center in Oakland, and the Santa Clara and San Jose Conference Centers.

The hotels, restaurants, athletic clubs and other popular sites make them targets for high tech trade show tie in messages once the high tech trade show comes to town.

It’s smart to think outside the trade show exhibit hall box to compound your trade show exhibit investment — Elijah Logan Tx

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Hosted Buyer Event Strategies - Elijah Logan Longview Texas

Hosted Buyer Event Strategies

1. Stand-alone: Create a new hosted/appointment-based event held in a unique destination environment.
2. In-show event: Create structured buyer-seller interaction in dedicated meeting spaces at your existing event, and generate additional revenue.
3. Co-located: Target a unique audience demographic by holding your hosted event at the same time and in the same city as another event. This can create crossover attendance and sponsorship opportunities.
Appointment-Based Hosted Buyer Model: A Different Value Proposition
Hosted-buyer events vary in a number of ways from traditional exhibitions:
1. Unique audience model: At a hosted-buyer event, the audience is prequalified and, typically, hosted (paid for) fully or partially.
2. Unique «supplier» model: «Supplier» vs. exhibitor. Suppliers are prequalified.
3. Unique business model: Event staff sells appointments versus booths.
4. Eliminate traditional uncertainty: A hosted-buyer event has a known quantity and quality of attendees. No «hoping» the best buyers will show up.
5. Go straight to desired result: Buyers networking face-to-face with high-quality vendors.
How to Get Participants
Because these events are usually smaller (with a limited number of buyers and sellers) than traditional shows, marketing must be done differently. Here are best practices for bringing the best buyers and sellers together:
1. Network one-to-one: Work one-on-one in a service fashion, developing relationships and learning about the specific business-development requirements of targeted attendees (buyers), and help identify solutions that your clients (sellers) can provide.
2. Use multiple contact methods: Contact individuals directly via phone and e-mail. Do not mass market.
3. Engage individuals online: Social media marketing can be used to generate brand engagement and produce additional leads.

Be sure to check out the blog at EliLogan.com, and connect at @EliLoganTx

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Getting The Most From Attending A Trade Show - Elijah Logan Longview Texas

An Attendee Guide by Elijah Logan Longview Texas

Trade shows can be an excellent opportunity for you and your business, whether you are an entrepreneur or you’re representing the company you work for. Thousands of people set up trade show booths and trade show displays across the country at a huge variety of industry events. However, many people don’t know how to take advantage of the opportunities a trade show offers. Some plan on simply attending, setting up their trade show booth, and then staying there all day hoping to attract new business. Manning a trade show display is only part of the reason you should be attending a trade show. The other vendors at a trade show can provide you with a wealth of new information and contacts in your industry; all accessible in the same room on the same day—this is the unparalleled attraction of a trade show for your business.

If you plan to attend a trade show, make sure you are not the only person there representing your company, even if you are a small business owner with few employees or a sole proprietorship. You will need at least one person to staff your trade show booth, and another to walk the floor taking in the other trade show displays. If necessary, get your spouse or a good friend to come with you and give them a crash course on how to handle your trade show booth while you check out the other vendors – and only do so when it is slow so you don’t miss important business opportunities. When you make reservations for the hotel you will stay at during the show, try to find a room as close as possible to the actual location—preferably within walking distance. That way, you won’t have to bring anything with you to the venue other than the materials for your trade show display.

Before you attend a trade show, go over the list of vendors who plan to put up trade show booths. Make lists of the vendors you must see, the vendors you would like to see, and those you can live without seeing. You may even be able to schedule appointments with your top priority vendors. Research the companies and determine ahead of time what you would like to find out from each trade show display and what your goals are regarding each vendor: are they competition, or a potential contact? If they are a potential contact, how would they specifically benefit your company? Have questions ready to ask vendors to save yourself time walking the floor. Another good timesaving strategy is to obtain a map and a directory of the trade show when you arrive on location, before the show begins. Use the map to plan your route, and check your prioritized list of vendors against the directory to find out whether any vendors have been added or dropped out.

During the trade show, be active in your quest for information. Don’t feel bad about passing by trade show booths that don’t interest you. Like you, they are attending the trade show to generate new business, and they don’t want to waste time talking to someone who isn’t a potential customer. Visit your targeted trade show displays, engage in a dialogue with the vendors, and ask questions. If the trade show booth offers handouts, samples or other materials, take only those you actually want to find out more about. It can be difficult to tote a loose stack of glossy brochures, catalogues, and bulky product samples around a busy trade show floor. If possible, arm yourself with an empty briefcase or duffel bag to stow materials. Use your time wisely to gather intelligence on your competition and make new industry contacts that will benefit your company.

When the trade show ends, especially if it is a multiple-day event, take the time to make notes and organize the materials you gathered before you leave the event. If you need to mail reports, brochures or other materials to your colleagues, prepare the mailings right away while «who gets what» is still fresh in your mind. Make sure to store your trade show display safely so nothing is damaged and you can find everything you need the following day. When you return from the trade show, remember to follow up with the contacts you have made—and start preparing for next year’s trade show!

For more trade show and marketing tips visit blog.ElijahLogan.com and connect @EliLoganTx