Archive for October, 2009

Don’t Just Sit There – Market!

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Trade show and exhibition marketing is not always handled in the optimal way by exhibitors. Despite that fact that there is enormous value through participation, many companies fail in the follow through. There are so many ways to maximize involvement beyond just the booth space. The most effective companies understand that exhibiting is not just a real estate transaction, but also a relationship one. Trade shows are a great place to forge all kinds of partnerships. This includes customers, potential customers and other exhibitors.

Yes, 2009 was a tough year in the exhibition market. What we saw was that companies are running leaner and sending fewer attendees. Still, interest was high and the attendees were very focused. This meant they were paying attention and learning – especially from those vendors who reached out. Face-to-face is still the medium for bringing B-to-B buyers and sellers together. Sign up for your sponsorship early – you’ll get a better placement on the floor, and you will have the benefit of the event marketing done by the host. Exhibitors should plan pre- during- and post-marketing campaigns. Have the host send relevant electronic and printed materials to the attendee list prior and post the show. Post information on your sponsorship on your website – preferably on the home page. Send a press release to the media on your sponsorship and include any announcements you will be making. (more…)

Negotiating for Meetings – Part II

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

In our last post we talked about the buyer’s market in the hotel market. That said, you still need to go into any negotiation with your homework done. Preparation is key. Understand your strengths and weaknesses, such as regarding dates/rates/space. For example, do you want the event held in the venues high season/low season/shoulder season? Are you negotiable on this? Non-peak dates, even at luxurious properties, will be less expensive. What about the day of the week: business hotels are busiest during the week, while resort hotels are busiest during the weekend. Go into the negotiation with an understanding for the other party’s perspective. What are their priorities/deadlines/pressures? Develop a list: what are must haves, like to haves, gifts; and keep focused on the goal. So, maybe they offered you free coffee, but what you really care about is the room rate. They’re dangling free limo service, but perhaps you need more breakout rooms. Another important tool is to share your historical data, this will show your worth and value to the hotel and make them more interested in your business. Ideally you should look at three properties to compare offers. Choose the one that gives you the best deal, whatever that means to you. (more…)