Tradeshows – Maximizing Your Effectiveness

October 27, 2009

Everyone knows that tradeshows are a great source of leads, but here are some tips to make your next tradeshow a true success. Here are some thoughts on choosing the right tradeshow, maximizing your presence at the show, and measuring the effectiveness.

Choose Wisely

It’s important to look at a number of factors:

  • Relevancy-Does the attendee profile fit the profile of the person we’re wanting to talk to? Do not just look at pure attendance numbers.
  • Competitive Presence-Look at if there is a strong competitive presence at the show and how much they have invested in the show.
  • Conference Strength-Make note of opportunities in the conference, and get involved.
  • Past show performance-Double check your results from the previous year.

Think Outside of the Booth

To maximize your exposure at the show, don’t just worry about your booth itself. Take advantage of:

  • Conference-Call for papers, speakers, etc.
  • Sit in on Show Advisory Board- Show management will see you as a key player
  • Business Partner Activities-Do joint-marketing with partners or customers
  • Press Activities-Check out the press list and make appointments
  • Sponsorships-Great way to generate awareness

Measure Yourself

Finally, how do you know if your show was effective? The show is not over when the hall lights go out! You must measure the show effectiveness, including:

  • Lead Quantity-If this number is lower than expected-why?
  • Lead Quality-How was the fit? Did the attendees seem to respond well to your offering?
  • Hot Leads-These are your lead that require immediate sales attention.
  • Inbound lead activity-One of the best metrics to gauge the quality of your leads
  • Percent of New Contacts-It is important to rely on trade shows to constantly add new names and contacts to the database.
  • Article Placement/Press Opportunities-How many editor appointments did we secure? What about article placements?

Tradeshows are a lot of fun but also require a lot of effort. Picking the right show, expanding your presence beyond your booth walls and using good metrics tracking will help you make the most of your tradeshow dollar.


Creating a News Release

October 21, 2009

Distributing a news release is an opportunity for your company to announce a new product, service, technology, or collaboration with another vendor to the media, investors, and customers. For our National Instruments Alliance Partners, we hope that you take advantage of these opportunities to tell your story in a meaningful way.

Some things to keep in mind

Your news release should announce something fresh and newsworthy and have an eye-catching headline that summarizes the main news and is benefit-oriented. Editors receive hundreds of news releases daily, so you should refrain from creating releases that are merely disguised advertising. It is much more effective if you focus on your company’s new developments and relate those developments to popular industry trends. Not only should you think about your news, but you should consider how it relates to the media you are targeting. Research the publications on your distribution lists to ensure that you are sending the most appropriate news to each outlet.

A Helping Hand

If you are planning to distribute an NI Alliance Partner news release, the NI Corporate Communications Department can help by reviewing your release for technical accuracy and appropriate content as well as providing quotes from NI spokespeople. Please send drafts of your NI Alliance Partner news releases to pr@ni.com.


A Table of Contents

October 13, 2009

Building Stronger Partners

General Management

Business Foundation

Part 1 – Why are you in Business?

Part 2 – Establishing Guiding Principles

Part 3 – Creating a Business Plan

Part 4 – Annual Strategic Planning

Part 5 – Putting Plans into Action

Alliance Partner Business Strategies

Part 1 – Overview

Part 2 – Generalist

Part 3 – Specialist

Part 4 – Products

Part 5 – Systems

Customer Selection

Business Infrastructure

Organizational Structure

Assessing Organizational Efficiency

Facilities and Equipment

Computer Systems Management

Protecting Your Company

Loss Protection

Insurance Plans

Loss of Key Personnel (The Bus Problem)

Dealing with the Economy

Alliance Day – Surviving and Growing in Trying Times

Review of 2009

Outlook for 2010

Plans for 2010

Surviving and Thriving as a System Integrator

Strategic Planning in a Recovering Market (1-3)

Strategic Planning in a Recovering Market (2 of 3)

Strategic Planning in a Recovering Market (3 of 3)

Alliance Days and CSIA

CSIA Conference – A Great Event to Share Best Practices

NIWeek 2009 – Alliance Day Keynote

CSIA Post Best Practice Criterion

Back from CSIA 2010

Business Development

Marketing Fundamentals

Creating Your Marketing Strategy

Creating a Marketing Strategy – Part I

Creating a Marketing Strategy – Part II

Segmenting and Targeting Your Audience

Positioning Your Product or Service

Five Most Important Marketing Investments

Drip Marketing

Marketing Techniques

Creating a News Release

Stating Your Case (Study)

Direct Marketing

Tradeshows – Maximizing Your Effectiveness

Beyond Traditional Marketing – Part 1

Beyond Traditional Marketing – Part 2

Search Engine Optimization

Sales Tactics

Selling is Key to Your Success

Requirements Gathering

Requirements Gathering (cont.)

Project Estimation (1 of 3)

Project Estimation (2 of 3) – Pricing

Project Estimation (3 of 3) – Risk

Proposals (1 of 3)

Proposals (2 of 3) – Terms and Conditions

Proposals (3 of 3) – Warranties, ….

Sales Negotiations

Project Management

How to Avoid Project Failure

How To Ensure Project Success

Top Ways to Lose Money On Projects

Project Planning

Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan

Project Set Up

Project Resources

Project Scheduling

Project Communications

Project Development

Start With a Good Design

Stay on Task

Project Completion

Project Commissioning – Part 1

Project Commissioning – Part 2

Project Close – Engineering Perspective

Project Close – Commercial Perspective

Project Tracking

Project Tracking

Change Management

Reasons for Change Management

Project Cost Accounting

General Administration

Finances

Project Cost Accounting

Financial Management

Basic Accounting

Accounting and Budgeting

Billing and purchasing

Managing Cash Flow

Final Housekeeping ….

Human Resources

The People Advantage

Performance Management

Quality Management

Applying Lean Manufacturing Principles to Your Company


Project Close-Out – Part 2

October 6, 2009

Some companies make the mistake of only considering a project close-out from an engineering perspective.  Your project close-out procedures should also consider business aspects.

Commercial Pause

You should also stop and consider commercial aspects to your close-out process. From a financial perspective, there should be procedures to ensure that all billing has been completed, including change orders. In some cases, Alliance Partners require that all payments are received, even client authorization to close the project.

Marketing and Sales Opportunity

Finally, there are marketing and sales considerations during project close-out. Some Alliance Partners require that a customer story be written, even if it will only be kept internally. Ideally, it can be used in future marketing efforts. Satisfaction surveys are also a common practice – not just as a mandatory quality process, but as a chance of looking for the next opportunity. Some Alliance Partners ‘require’ the salesperson to meet with the client to complete the survey. If the feedback is good, then it is certainly a good time to ask about the next project or a customer reference. Even if it is not good, you can reinforce your professional approach and desire to do better the next time.