How Exhibitors and Speakers Can Profitably Partner
Exhibitors: here’s a surefire way to attract more warmed-up prospects to your booth, learn about their needs and bond with them as a festive part of the conference. As a speaker, I’ve forged value-building alliances with exhibitors that you can adapt to your kind of exhibiting.
“Make Every Moment Count” is the title of a CD that a pharmaceutical company gave away at their exhibit booth at two major conferences.
Half of the CD covered the company’s new product highlights and “how-to’s”; the other half featured companion tips to those I offered in my opening keynote on communicate to connect. The person who introduced me announced the CD gift from the exhibitor. At the end of my talk the introducer drew attendees’ attention to the descriptive gift cards on their seats. He added that they could get their gift (“limited number available”) at the company’s booth right after my talk, and that I would be at the booth for 30 minutes to answer questions.
At the booth, exhibitors offered a bonus gift: a free copy of my autographed book (with the company’s sticker on the front) to those attendees they pre-qualified as possible prospects who agreed to “take three to five minutes” to fill out a 15 question survey. (Speakers are thus able to bulk sale their books to partnering exhibitors as I did.)
Exhibitors: Identify a popular presenter in the key conference and tradeshow in which you participate. Recruit that speaker to co-present a proposal to conference and exhibit staff at those high priority shows, one that leverages value for all parties.
For example, your firm could underwrite all or part of a speaker’s fee in exchange for this integrated outreach. As well, work with the speaker to co-create two PDF e-books, with a print version of each. Offer the printed version as a meeting souvenir, combining the speaker’s tips and your company’s advice about buying and using your kind of product or service (with a special offer to the first 50 attendees who visit the booth).
The eBook can have links to many parts of your web site including one with an online survey and follow-up offer.
As part of your agreement with the organization hosting the conference, a reference to these free souvenirs could be placed on the their web site page with details for the upcoming conference.
Ask that the printed booklet be placed on attendees’ seats prior to your sponsored speaker’s presentation. Provide the second eBook and printed booklet to customers throughout the year.
Reduce your costs and increase your credibility and visibility by joining forces with one to three other non-competing exhibitors who often participate in the same trade shows as you do. Identify the speaker. Ask that you have adjacent booths. Combine your tips into blockbuster eBooks and printed booklets. That way you gain a warmed-up introduction to each other’s booth visitors.