Phil Zamloot, Author at Metro Exhibits
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Posts by Phil Zamloot

Trade Show Lead Forms

What is more important for your business than new leads? The answer, is “not much.” New leads are, of course, the lifeblood of business, as they allow you to acquire new customers or clients. This means growing your business.

Choosing the Right Trade Show Lead Form

Attending a trade show, simply stated, is an investment in your business, and you want to do everything possible to get the most out of that investment. This means that is is essential that you effectively capture your trade show leads. Letting your trade show leads slip through your fingers is paramount to letting money slip through your fingers!

Paper vs Electronic Trade Show Lead Forms

You can capture your trade show leads through paper or electronically. There are pros and cons to each of these approaches. Paper forms are a little more personal, and there is no doubt that this approach, is of course, inexpensive. Also paper forms will continue to work even if the Internet goes down, which should always be treated as a possibility. Plus, you can easily write notes on a paper form or attach a business card. With paper lead forms, you can use checkboxes so people can quickly fill them out.

With a paper trade show lead form, don’t waste your space on pointless questions like “Are you interested in our products? If they weren’t interested in the products, they wouldn’t fill out the form. Asking these kind of questions don’t serve to put you in the best light. Instead ask questions that will help you decide what approach to use with them in the future and what their current and future needs may be. With your paper lead forms it is possible to ask prospects about their budget, purchasing timeframe and preferred contact method. In general, this is the kind of information you should be seeking.

Lead Retrieval Systems

There is also the possibility of a lead retrieval system that you can rent from the trade show organization itself. This will scan people’s badges, and you will be able to print a form with contact information. This procedure can make things more accurate. That is unless the basic attendee data is wrong. Another potential issue with a lead retrieval system is that you won’t be able to customize the information you get. Of course, you will also be at the mercy of potential power issues.

Software and Lead Generation Apps

Another way to handle the trade show lead form is through computer software. In recent years, the introduction of the tablet computer and smartphones have served to make this process a bit easier. Nearly everyone is online so being able to get Lead generation for contractors on the web too can make contacting potential clients much easier. Either your staff member or the visitor can fill out the form. However, if you have a computer crash or an Internet failure, you won’t be able to use the form. This is why a good old-fashion paper backup is a good idea. If you do choose to use a software approach, it means that all of your data is in one place with easy access. You could also then put all of that data into a PDF for an easy read too, making the lead generation process a little simpler. You could use a PDF splitter between each lead so that you know which information goes with each lead but still have all of your leads in one place. The data is also less likely to be damaged in any way, compared to a piece of paper that will degrade if it accidentally gets wet or may get lost.

Of course, there are also lead generation apps on the iPad. Also with an iPad, your staff can conveniently carry a tablet around to grab leads throughout the trade show, while demonstrating that you are up to date on the latest and greatest consumer technology.
The bottom line is grab your leads. Further, it is necessary that you take steps to have a backup method of gathering leads. In this regard, paper will never fail you. Just don’t lose your paperwork!

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Trade Show Attendance Statistics 2013-2015

Explore trade show attendance trends for the past few years from industry leading research organization. Get trending information on attendance, exhibiting companies, net exhibit space, and much more.

Trade Show Attendance Statistics 2013-2015

Arguably, the most important trend in the trade show industry is attendance. The number of people traveling and participating in conventions is paramount to the continued viability of events as a communication and marketing channel. Many have begun to wonder whether widespread technological advancement has made tradeshows obsolete: with the easy availability of information and communication, is there any need for face to face events. According to the CEIR, the Center for Exhibition Research, trade shows are still growing:

  • For 9 quarters in a row, trade shows have seen attendance growth ( as of Q4 2012)
  • Attendance is forecasted to continue to increase from 2013 to 2015
  • CEIR estimates that the government sequester on travel could impact attendance in certain industries
  • The sectors that saw the most convention growth last year were:
  • Finance/Legal/Real Estate
  • Transportation
  • Communication/Information Technology
  • Food

Trade Show Booth Rentals

Attendance Trending

Let’s break down some of the numbers. The chart below is CEIR’s index of several important factors metrics: exhibiting companies (EXH), attendance (ATT), gross revenue (REV), net square feet (NSF)

As the graph clearly displays, the 2008 economic downturn hit trade shows especially hard as travel and marketing expenses were dramatically reduced. This trend continued until 2010/2011, when all metrics started to see increases. Interestingly enough, it was attendance that recovered first and has outpaced the growth of net square feet and the number of exhibits.

In 2013/2014, all metrics are forecasted to grow at an increasingly large rate. The forecast model is based on historic trending along with estimates of general US GDP growth and economic recovery. It should be noted that the US government sequestration of 2012 will have an impact on trade show attendance, as government employees often attend conferences nationwide. The sequester has put stringent travel limitations that will most likely preclude attendance.

CEIR Chairman of the Board, Greg Ortale, states that “There is no question that the economy hit the exhibition industry hard, and the CEIR Index accurately identifies the specific impact on the 14 sectors. We have recognized this, and we know that there are economic cycles, and while some are longer than others, over time we will recover and so will the convention and exhibition market.”

Sector Growth

When comparing 2012 to the prior year, specific trending emerges for the various industry sectors. The sectors that saw the most growth were Finance/Legal/Real Estate, Transportation, Communication/Technology and Food. Conversely, Government, Education , and Building/Construction all saw decreases.

For 2013/2014 the expectation is that the sectors that saw growth in 2012 will continue to see net gains. For last year’s net decrease sectors, losses will continue for some while reversals will be seen for others: government should see a bigger loss moving forward, while Building/Construction should see positive movement (given the improving housing marketplace).

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Are Trade Shows Worth It?

Ever since issues with the economy have occurred, more and more professionals are wondering are asking are trade shows worth it? The decision to attend a specific trade show depends on many diverse variables. However, in terms of whether or not you should be attending trade shows in general, the answer is most definitely, “Yes!”

When it comes to trade shows, a significant cost is involved, but this shouldn’t in and of itself scare you off. The reason is that trade shows stand as major way for you to grow your business. Yet, trade shows are not free. After all, you need to pay for exhibits, travel and even sometimes loss of income if your business will not be up and running while you are away. Plus, you need to rent booth space, ship equipment and deal with electricity costs. Trade shows are a great place to interact with potential customers, you could help them feel at ease at your trade show with your own coffee cart. If you are creating a show it might be worth looking into something like a corporate coffee cart hire.

Analyzing Your Investment

In short, trade shows are an investment. Like all investments, be they the ones you learn more about in your free time (like stocks and day trading) or more internal-based ones, you need to be sure that your involvement is worthwhile. That means performing due diligence so that you can be certain that the specific trade shows you are considering are, in fact, worth your time, effort and expense.
While trade shows are indeed expensive, they present a unique opportunity. This is especially true when direct sales are involved. Again, however, taking the time to attend a trade show is an investment, and this means that you want to make sure that you maximize your presence. Otherwise, you will not get all the bang for your buck. That is no way to make a solid investment in your company and your company’s future!

Maximize Your Presence

If you don’t send a knowledgeable team and your display is sub par, you may as well not go. Poor displays and a lackluster team isn’t going to impress too many people. Whether or not the investment is sound depends largely on making the right impression and presenting your company and your product in the right light. Using fantastic displays at a trade show can really help you stand out and make the right impression on potential business clients and customers. Thus, a key part of your trade show investment should be making certain that you send the right people and have the right displays.
Ultimately, there is no other way to grow your business quite like a trade show. Where else do you have a room full of people who are your targeted audience? This helps to make a trade show a singularly unique opportunity for most businesses. While this can offer you unique business opportunities, you may not be in a position to start attending trade shows and are in need of cash injection; using a service like to get finance for your business should help you grow when you need it most.

Choosing the Right Trade Shows for Your Company

Also be sure to pick the best shows. This can be tricky, but the time that you invest in find the ideal trade shows for your business is time well spent. Obviously, it is unlikely that you can attend all shows, so choose the ones that are most popular and have a good reputation.
Don’t take chances on unproven trade shows, as this could leave you with the false impression that trade shows are not right for your business. In short, by investing the time to find the right trade show, you are making an investment in the future of your business as well.

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