Cutting Down Your Trade Show Budget
Whenever a recession or volatility threatens the economy, companies immediately look at where they can cut budgets. Without much forethought, the first to hit the block is inevitably training, followed closely behind by marketing. Why? Both are viewed on the balance sheet as expenditures rather than income generators, so obviously they're hot contenders for elimination.
This is a very myopic way of thinking, especially for companies who want to remain globally competitive. Instead, at times like these when resources are under severe scrutiny, look at this as a golden opportunity to analyze your strategies. Put your activities under a microscope and closely examine what you're doing and why you're doing it. Often during times of plenty, the finance reins loosen up and some highly creative juggling takes place when budgets exceed their estimations. Obviously, we enjoy the abundant mentality and wish that it could last forever. But just as with all things in the universe there has to be a balance, and shortages add stability to plenty. Whenever highs exist, lows are inevitable.
So, instead of reacting to the highs and lows of the marketplace, what can you do to maintain a steady balance? Marketing and training are definitely keys to your success, so let's examine five benefits and how they relate to your tradeshow participation.
1. Analyze your weakest links
When you take time to look examine your operation in more detail, you often discover that many of your actions are done out of habit rather than being productive and profitable. Think about some of the shows that you attend. How do they really fit into your marketing strategy? Are you attending them just because you've always done so, or because your competition is there? These are often your weak links, the shows that utilize unnecessary time and energy. Think about doing away with the "nice to be at shows" and rather opt at putting all your energy into the more profitable events that attract larger quantities of your target market.
Another weak budgetary link is associated with excessive employee spending at shows, such as dining at the finest restaurants and ordering the highest priced items just because the boss is paying. Consider setting up a per diem allowance and make employees accountable for expenses. You might even reward them with the difference if they under spend their stipend.
2. Exhibit a global competitiveness mindset
To be a contender in the global marketplace and establish a vanguard positioning, you have to be out there come rain or shine. And, tradeshows signify an essential marketing strategy when it comes to visibility. Exhibiting demonstrates that you're a serious player in the industry. However tough, it's important to keep tradeshows as one of your major promotional strategies. Rather consider reducing space than totally pulling out a show, provided of course, that it's the right show for you. Unfortunately, if you stop exhibiting completely, the "buzz" on the show floor says publicly that you must be in financial trouble. This may be completely false, but it's people's perceptions that count. They're the reality they believe. As the old adage states, "out of sight, out of mind." And, since memorability is a key factor associated with exhibiting, if you're not seen, how can you possibly be remembered!
3. Focus on long-term results
Investing in both marketing and training means that you're interested and willing to focus on long-term results. Neither is designed to give a "quick fix," rather using them continuously in an organized and planned manner, will produce results. They're like a dripping faucet, so long as the drops constantly fall into the tub, it will fill up. However, if you maintain a "turn on, turn off" approach, that is train and market in times of plenty and discontinue when there's a shortage, then your results are likely to mirror your actions. Look at how you can keep an operational equilibrium to avoid the highs and the lows. Develop a consistent marketing and training strategy.
4. Inspire loyal workers
Often companies are reluctant to invest too much in training staff for fear that once trained, they'll leave for "greener pastures." Since there are no guarantees in life, that's always going to be a risk, but does that mean you shouldn't develop your people to be the best they can be? Absolutely not! The reasons employees leave may be many. Employees may leave because of frustration or stress. They might feel unappreciated or undervalued. It could be that they believe your company is heading for an iceberg and want to "jump ship" before it sinks. Maybe they feel that their salaries are not in line with the jobs they are performing. Or they could feel that they don't have enough authority, growth opportunities, or direction in their careers. Training is often the key to help inspire loyalty.
5. Improve performance
Employees are the backbone of your company. Without them, your company cannot stay afloat. The relationship between employees and employers has to be a partnership; if they feel their needs are being ignored, they will leave you. But when both sides work on the same wavelength, share the same goals and ideas, the company will be on the right track for success. What better place than the tradeshow floor to exhibit this mentality. Your exhibit staff represents your internal customer-service team and your company ambassadors. They stand for your entire organization. These people have the awesome responsibility of making or breaking future relationships with attendees, prospects and customers. Their attitude, body language, appearance, and knowledge help to create positive or negative perceptions in the minds of visitors. Make sure that they're well trained and can do what you expect of them. Training shows that you recognize your team's importance in the company and look to develop their skills to improve performance.
Exhibiting is a powerful extension of your company's marketing strategy and your people are the backbone of your company. Eliminating your marketing and training budgets during times of recession is tantamount to profitability suicide. So consider looking at other places to make those cuts!
About The Author
Written by Susan A. Friedmann, CSP, The Tradeshow Coach, Lake Placid, NY, author: "Meeting & Event Planning for Dummies," working with companies to improve their meeting and event success through coaching, consulting and training. Go to http://www.thetradeshowcoach.com to sign up for a free copy of ExhibitSmart Tips of the Week.
Slow Day? Create News
Sometimes there seems to be no client news worthy of coverage. That's when the savvy PR pro digs deep into the old bag of tricks and pulls out one of these ideas to perk things up:
Why Good PR Warrants Your Attention
Because good public relations can alter individual perception and lead to changed behaviors among key outside audiences. And that can help business, non-profit and association managers achieve their managerial objectives.
Media Releases - Helping Grow Your Business
Business people often spend time and money trying to find new ways to stand out from the crowd or craving recognition and exposure for their organisation and its achievements.
Do You Have Issues?
Every organization has issues that could affect its operation. The following are some thoughts on issues management and some of the tactics available to us in this discipline.
Publicity - How to Write a Headline That Will Garner Free Publicity
Taking your ad and turning it into paragraph-style prose is not a press release ? chances are it will only lead the publisher to call and invite you to run it as a paid ad. A press release is for news or for information about a topic the audience needs to know.
A PR Question For Chinese Managers
As the practice of public relations in China continues to mature, it seems appropriate to ask whether Chinese business managers ? tutored as they have been by European, North American and other PR specialists ? continue to apply major public relations emphasis to print and broadcast communications tactics. In other words, do they still see PR through the lens of simple publicity, as many in the West still do?
VIP Database; Does Your Company Have One?
The VIP databases are fun to create and can be an excellent source for your small business. You say; VIP database, "what is that; who would I put in it?" It will contain things like mayor, city council persons, city managers, service club board members, campaign contributors in previous elections, human resource directors, P.R. directors and presidents of large companies, etc. And anyone who's anyone in your market or trading area should be put into your VIP database for easy reference. We recommend using a Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet as a format.
How PR Makes a Managers Life Easier
Things are pleasant for many business, non-profit or association managers when their public relations people deliver newspaper and talk show mentions, informative brochures and videos, and special events that attract a lot of people.
How To Get FREE Publicity Whenever You Want !
What you are about to read is a step by step guide to getting FREE publicity. Simply, this is advertising that costs nothing, yet can bring in regular and substantial orders for your products and services.
Getting Articles Published - Eight Steps for Trade Publications
Trade publications present an excellent opportunity for organisations to gain thousands of dollars worth of free publicity by having articles published. As they are regularly looking for articles to fill space and they are often used as a forum to promote new products or services to specific audiences. In addition to this trade publications are often tailored to specific markets and widely read, offering a tailored communication channel.
Public Relations: The Fundamental Premise
It seems difficult to believe at the dawn of the 21st Century, that there exists a major discipline with so many diverse, partial, incomplete and limited interpretations of its mission. Here, just a sampling of professional opinion on what public relations is all about:
How to Make Publicity Work for Your Business: Six P.R. Strategies to Use Right Now
Public Relations (or P.R.) is a wonderful, yet often overlooked marketing tool. P.R. is an intangible ? making it a tough sell for many P.R. professionals. It is our job to sell the concept and show the client how it will enhance marketing efforts and, in many cases, replace costly or one-off advertising. Public relations is just that ? relating to the public. Every outward communication should be carefully executed and the mission of the company should never be compromised. How do your customers find you? How does the public perceive your business? These points can be incorporated into a P.R. strategy that maintains consistent messages to your customers, thereby keeping your company top of mind and, in turn, growing your business.
Marketing-Minded Financial Planners, the Media Wants to Give You Free Publicity
In this great country of ours, there are basically three ways to get yourself tons of media coverage.
Making Press Releases Work - Creating News Where None Existed
Aren't you tired of hearing how extremely easy it is to get free publicity? Have you tried the suggestions that most public relations "gurus" give you? The hard, cold truth of the matter is that you cannot write a press release about any old aspect of your business and have it end up on the home page of the Fortune Small Business Web site. It just doesn't work that way. So how does it work, and what do you do if you need publicity but have nothing "newsworthy" to share?
Financial Planner Marketing - Problems Are Good (For Financial Planners Seeking Free Publicity)
A common complaint you'll hear is that the media is fixated on negative stories.
There Is No Such Thing as Competition
A wise friend of mine has often said, "There is no such thing as competition." I happen to agree with that philosophy. In fact, I have many solid business and social relationships with people you might consider my "competition". Some of my best friends are "competitors"!
Two Donts for Financial Planners Seeking Free Publicity
Many of my clients have had the misguided perception that they won't be able to get media coverage from a publication that their larger competitors advertise in. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Got Publicity? How to Become a Household Name
Are you working as hard as you can in your area of expertise? Are you implementing creative ideas? Are you valuable to your clients? And now the tough question: Does the public know about you? If you're like most business people, you answered "Yes" to the first three questions, and then perhaps hesitated on the last question and may have ultimately answered "No," or sheepishly said "Well, not as much as I'd hoped."
Media Exposure Validates And Legitimizes Your Business
Although repetition is extremely important, there are times when advertising can help bring you a fast response.
Writing A Press Release
News releases (also called press releases) are an important part of a public relations campaign. They are also an important part of marketing your business. They are the primary means of "selling" your story to the media. All press releases are structured the same way. Make sure youanswer "yes" to these key questions when writing your next press release:
|© Athifea Distribution LLC - 2013|