3 replies
Is anybody using conventions to generate new leads?

It's the next step I'm considering.

I've done 'booths' before when I was in the corporate world, and for the most part it is mainly people going from table to table trying to get a free pen, or a free pack of gum, whatever it is.

When you take into account the cost of a booth, the cost of the display (assuming you are trying to go 'professional'), and the cost of promo material, collateral, it could get expensive quite quickly.

I am thinking a better way to go about it is to actually put on a presentation at one of their breakout sessions.

Is anybody else doing this?
  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    I've done a lot of speaking at conventions. And I sell my services from the front of the room. In fact, if they won't let me offer my service, I won't speak..even if they pay me.

    Booths? No.

    Working the crowd? Absolutely. At every conference I go to see (whether I'm speaking or just attending), I talk to individuals on breaks, in the halls, at dinner..asking what they do, and giving then a teaser about what I do.

    The teaser leaves an opening where they can ask "How do you do that?" and I can get their card (or talk to them there, privately).

    Also, "working the convention" costs nothing except the ticket price, and you don't have a booth that keeps you prisoner. You can also leave if you get bored.

    Have you ever gone to a Dan Kennedy event? A third of the people attending, are there primarily to sell the other two thirds.

    Most are terrible at it. But a few make real money. The last few years, I've upped my game, talking to attendees. Before that, I was just like the other guppies there...waiting for a Piranha to snatch me up.

    At every conference, there are sharks, piranha, and guppies.

    Most are guppies. They think the piranha are just bigger guppies. They think the sharks are just very big guppies.

    10% there are piranha. They see the other piranha, and recognize them, and see the guppies as food. Piranhas eat guppies. And guppies never see it coming.

    1% there, are the sharks. These are the speakers and the event producers.
    Sharks know each other too. Sharks eat the piranhas and the guppies.

    I'm a piranha...and very occasionally, one of the sharks. My guppy days are over.

    People that paid for booths? They are guppies, that the sharks have convinced are also sharks.

    I love watching the game.
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    • Profile picture of the author Shane F
      I have done all 3 as Claude mentioned in restaurant industry trade shows selling SMS services and offline marketing services.

      4 years ago when we launched the SMS company, we were the only SMS company at the two largest pizza industry trade shows. The cost is massive to attend. It cost almost 10K for the Pizza Today trade show in Las Vegas. But since we were the only ones selling SMS, we recouped our investment.

      At the smaller regional shows the ROI is easier and again not much competition. Now we will not return to national shows because there is 10+ competitors there.

      I have also spoke at regional food broker and distributor shows. We partnered with the distributors and they offer our product to their restaurants for a commission. This is an easier lead in and each time we speak, not hard to pick up multiple customers because at the smaller shows, you are often one of a few speakers and each has their own specialty or niche.

      Going as an attendee is much cheaper and can be really effective if you are there to make connections, network and again search for partners who can market your service to their customers and vice-versa.
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  • Profile picture of the author Peter Lessard
    Claude love the analogy and the way you summed it up. Very accurate.
    20% Commissions For Referrals.
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