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.
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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.