Expert's Panel

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    What type of trade show promotion has caught your eye?

  1. The show business is a very funny business. If you're not there people think you are going out of business. But I don't think anyone has said, "Gee I saw it at Semicon West and I think I'll go buy one." Also, people never come to trade shows to see materials companies - I can't just pore photoresist out on the floor. What people come to see are machines that go wacka-wacka-wacka. If you are in the materials business and using a booth at a trade show, try to get it as close to a booth where there is such a machine. Now to the issue of promotion - if you go to a trade show and expect SEMI to bring customers by your booth, you will be disappointed. You need to determine, in advance, who your customers are and go out and get them ahead of the show. Ask each one, "could you please come to our booth at this trade show at 3pm because Dr. Smith from our R&D department is there and he has asked if he could see you to give you a couple of papers along with a nice little gift?" That is how you make the show work!
  2. What gets the customers to the booth is giving them things. The number one thing people like is something to take home to their family. How many of you have at home one of those spungy little balls that Allied Signal gave out a few years ago? You know how many they ended up buying? -100,000. They started out buying 8,000 and in the first trade show they were gone buy the start of the second day.
  3. I'm totally opposed to what he just said. For Allied Signal that worked because they wanted to convince a large number of process engineers that spin on glass was a good thing, so they had a large audience. Normally you don't want a give-away that everybody wants, but one that your target audience wants. You want to get a mailing list of your target audience and offer them, for example, a chance to win a trip to Hawaii if they come to your booth. You don't want your booth cluttered up with a lot of people that will not be potential customers.
  4. I think the most important thing is to have a consistent message. It starts not just with the show, but with the strategic marketing plan and it ends with the product introduction that carries on after the show. If you have a new product, arrange for a press conference at the show, which SEMI makes available. You could also rent a conference room and have a technical session if you feel you would have enough draw. It has to be a concerted campaign - press releases before the show; direct mail before the show inviting customers to the booth; program directories; etc. But, it all has to be part of an overall planned campaign. You should be able to get to your customers at lease three times before the show - pre-show mailer, invitation to the show; personal follow-up, etc.