Last time we established that trade shows are many things, among them giant cash-sucking machines, that are terrible at lead generation.
Before we dive into the Very Simple System, let’s remember that trade shows exist for one reason: to make money for someone who isn’t you. It can be a private event company or, in B2B, it’s often an association that uses the trade show as a way to offset the costs of the talking bits of their conference and to give Bill Clinton something to do.
Why do we bother? Brand is why we bother. The right events have the people whose faces we want to be all up in. This is good news if you are trying to break into a market space, and it’s great news if you are already there and plan to stay.
So how do we pick which shows to go to? In the first place, ignore your Sales Squirrels. They want to go to all of them since it beats picking up the phone. Next, you will need a few dry erase markers, one of those giant year-at-a-glance laminated calendars from Staples and your stack of emails, brochures, and post-it notes with all the events you’re considering. Read the rest of this entry »