IMEX America – Why Changing Best Practices is the Best Practice
Oct 12, 2012
With so many years in the industry, we like to think we know it all. We’ve all discussed, “best practices,” to death and have all agreed on the most efficient way for exhibitors to engage with buyers on the trade show floor.
Let’s review a few:
- Never eat in your booth.
- Don’t sit down in your booth.
- Work the aisle and watch for the proper color badge.
- Engage, qualify and disengage (if they aren’t our target customer).
Sound familiar? Just reading these make us feel comfortable because it’s what we all know so well. That is, until IMEX America came to the United States from Frankfurt, Gemany. They brought along something called a, “hosted buyer” program. I’m not talking about the fast food version that we’ve created here in the states, but rather the “proper program” as the Brits like to say.
Here’s how it works…
The show organizer works in conjunction with industry experts and anchor exhibitors to create a list of the most powerful buyers in the industry. The buyers are then qualified to ensure they meet the criteria established and are invited to the event. The show organizer pays for flights, hotels, meals and transportation. Buyers in return set up their profile of needs and arrange appointments on the exhibitor’s private website. Exhibitors reach out to buyers and start discussions about their needs in order to be better prepared for the appointments. By the time the meeting takes place, we have already established a relationship and true productive conversations are then able to take place. Talk about measuring ROI.
So, what happens in the exhibitor’s booth at IMEX America?
- Serve food to your guests – It’s what you’d do in your home isn’t it?
- Everyone sits down – Exhibitors and buyers are on their feet all day. We want our buyers comfortable and relaxed because they’ll stay longer.
- Manage your pre-arranged appointments – No need to “work the aisle” looking for the green badges while ignoring the blues.
- Engage completely – The buyers have been pre-qualified and you know their needs before they arrive.
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By: Craig Hoffend← Back