Monkey Innovators! Wait…What?

Get ready to get your Innovation On!

Get ready to get your Innovation On!

Are we running or flying in 2014! The afterglow of the holidays did not even get a chance to occur before I was flying to the first show of the season. I hit a smaller show which was as well attended as ever even with all the weather delays and cancellations. Next on to the big decider for the year!

Yes attending CES for 7 years in a row has proven my theory! Tradeshowgypsies are great watchers and purveyors of the show scene and energy, even with the said, 150,000 in attendance. All the hustle and bustle and booth antics come to a stop when that eagle eye of tradeshowgypsy takes over, to not only see what is going on but feel the energy! Yup, it was buzzing at a high-frequency and in vivid HD-3D-with voice commands! WOW! What a great start to the year!

What does this mean? It means hold on to your magic bag gypsies it is going to be a wild year of “innovation” new 2014 buzz word! There are so many great start-ups who have grown and are now in the running with everything they can get their hands on to either be a part of or support the large food chain of electronics. Granted this is one show and it has an international appeal and maybe your market is not quite there. It doesn’t matter, the fact is that once innovation hits, it is like wild-fire, everyone gets inspired and the energy changes and companies who have had R&D back in the depths of your trade show equipment closet, are now asking you to move your stuff, they need the space to “innovate” or get left behind.

If you get into the 100th Monkey Effect; which some say is a false set of data, etc. etc., and can be found on Wikipedia (such a valuable resource of somewhat correct information) with several people cited as saying, yes or no if you have not heard the theory. Basically the gist of it is, one day said monkey washes his sweet potato and after a time monkeys on an island start washing their sweet potato too. How does this happen? I think that when innovation and inspiration spark it lights more than one candle! But as a gypsy, what can I say, I am with the Monkeys! As an observant tradeshowgypsy, watching one company design a (whatseewhoozit); and traveling to Europe to see a similar (whatseewhatsit) sitting on a counter of a start-up; well could be copying, could be the nature of the product and the industry next step; could be anything, but no matter what that innovation is moving!

That is how my year began! This week is still moving at warp speed – this time it is me who is in the innovators position!

I wish you health, happiness, luck, and a GREAT, GREAT, GREAT trade show and event year!

(Image used in this post is from http://www.hundredthmonkey.org/)

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Show justification….wait what?

ROI or Leads...Chicken or Egg?

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard, trade shows are too expensive, we cannot justify the ROI, we won’t get any leads, etc. etc, etc.

So is it the chicken or the egg first? Are the leads and networks forming through online resources only, or is there some human interaction needed?

Shows are meant for interaction and you get what you put
into a show. If you are expecting the organizers to get customers there that you want to see, you are asking for the gypsy crystal ball method.

The organizers work with publishers sometimes or they have
their own lists, but only you know your customers or those hard to break into clients that you want to see.  Let the organizer know, send them a “SPECIAL” invitation, or let the organizers know you would like to see a speaker from that company, you would be surprised how effectively that request can be accommodated.

Now that you all are shaking your heads and saying, “oh no way, they are MY customers; I don’t want the competition to talk to them”.  Well I am here to tell you, if you are that fearful of the competition taking your customers, you need to check your product and your confidence level. Step-up to the plate and walk them around the show floor if they are your guest don’t just expect them to come in with their pass and find YOU, humm who was the guest again?

Have a meeting prior to taking them out on the show floor preparing them for what they are about to see; even if there is a new product release you were not expecting, do some due diligence when YOU get to the show. There is a high probability that the customers are already talking with your competitors.

Now for the leads,” new customers, we want new leads”!

When I have my trade show buying shoes on, I justify shows 3 ways – Lead Shows; Branding Shows; and Industry Shows.

Lead Shows – Generally the shows that are kind of
multi-industry/market segment where you have a show that has either heavy traffic and you know your organization has marketed to target companies to get them there or you are in cities that have a pretty good saturation of your customer-base.

Branding Shows – These shows are those shows that might have several of your competitors there, and market(s) you may want enter, this is an
excellent way to have a campaign or a new product release.

Industry Shows – These shows are important are often smaller
more niche shows that have a vertical audience but most importantly speakers from industry providing market intelligence to get the facts for short and long-term planning. It also does give the opportunity to discuss with peers, partners, and industry experts products/solutions.

ROI – Well you save money by having a captive audience of several elements for marketing, sales, and business development all in one
place.

Leads are not the only way to generate ROI, networking and
branding are critical to long-term revenue.

How many times have you said, yeah I talked to this person
at such and such show, or I saw them speak at such and such conference? Even at shows where I could roll a bowling ball down the aisles often I have contacts from the other exhibitors that are new to a company or have changed companies and I have been able to reach out to them at a later date because I met them there, ROI just paid off for the future partnerships/business.

Face-to-face events put contacts in memory much stronger and
longer than a phone call or even virtual event; you know that guy with the
crazy tie and thundering voice, or that woman with all the show crates, hanging off the edge of her booth, with a hammer in her mouth…ah yet another tale of the trade show gypsy to come.

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