Eric Misic is the VP of Business Development and Co-Founder of Bear Analytics. Serving as Bears’ data evangelist, he uses his 15 plus years of trade show, conference and large association event experience to ensure Bear’s solutions are actionable for the marketplace and can be easily translated to accelerate growth in marketing, attendee acquisition, and sales activity.
Stop Selling Exhibit Space, Start by “Selling” the Data First
Recently, I was reading a blog for sales professionals: 4 Trends Dominating Customer Engagement That Sales Teams Need to Know About. It highlighted the fact that customers are more informed than ever about the product or service you (the sales professional) are attempting to sell them.
The information age has increased the transparency of the consumer -sales person dynamic. This transparency also, logically, applies to your competitor’s product/service(s). The standard practice today is to Google everything before getting on the phone with you or your company. You and your brand are going to be scrutinized and reviewed for social media profiles, reviews, and referrals, all resulting in more information about what others think of your brand (gulp). So what can you do?
Why are companies coming to events?
They believe that during the 2, 3, 4, or even 5 days of your event, they are going to receive some return on their monetary investment and time commitment.
The dreaded and overused term: ROI.
So, your customer is more informed than ever, they are focused on increasing ROI, which can be done by reducing the spend. However, some seasoned, successful, and smart exhibit sales professionals are leading the conversation with “we have a great space available at the front of the trade show floor”.
Stop selling exhibit space. Start “selling” the data. Data = differentiation!
What data about your event is relevant to your customers? Whether you are selling exhibit space, membership,sponsorships or widgets, the same rules apply. Some of you are already doing it – pie charts with job title breakdown ring a bell?
Know the information that your customer is craving about your product and service and deliver it in spades.
Some data delivery ideas for event sales professionals. Hint: Look to your event partners
Do you have an event App? Can you harvest the interaction data and create custom reports for top attendees?
Social engagement. Does your event have a hashtag? Are you aggregating that data to identify key program sessions?
Face-to-face meeting tools? Are you supplementing your sponsorship deliverables with an engagement report?
Show your attendees you value their investment and are watching to ensure they are operating efficiently in your event environment. When you do that, you’ll find that you are selling data first and that dreaded term… “ROI” will finally have an answer.
Until recently, the opportunity to have a celebrity attend an event, attach themselves to a name-brand or endorse a certain product or idea was untouchable. The thought of paying a person to promote a product was seen as something only Fortune 500 companies could afford. Social media has changed all that with brands and businesses utilizing celebrity influencers to connect directly with their demographics and increase sales and profits.