The National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) invited me to speak at their annual meeting in Las Vegas April 5th . I was part of a roster of presenters all there to help the membership better manage and grow their businesses. Many of the topics were very specific and technical on topics like “Reviewing Reliability Statistics for Fire Prevention Systems”, etc. So why was I there? A few years ago a member of the association management group attended one of our trade show marketing seminars, “60 Tips in 60 Minutes,” and she asked me to re-present this material to the NFSA. Although my topic focused on event marketing and trade show displays and is hardly related to any technical aspect of their businesses, I found a very receptive audience eager to learn more about how to better manage their face-to-face marketing and trade shows.
What this tells me is that if the NFSA sees a need for new, better, more info on face-to-face event marketing and trade show exhibiting then the whole world needs our help! We take for granted that trade show exhibitors and face-to-face marketers know what we know. The simple trade show formula of pre-show promotion, at-show experience and post-show follow up seemed new to many in the room. The concept of timely follow up and a standardized lead management system was also a timely reminder. So, I’m encouraging those of us who, for a living, try and help exhibitors get the most from their shows to not forget to coach them on the “blocking and tackling” of good face-to-face marketing. If we fail to do so they may not get the ROI they’re looking for from the considerable money they spend, then stop going to shows, and we’ll have to get real jobs.