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  • Rick Dagenais

Event marketing - It's all about sales

I grew up in sales, and loving trade shows. When I was a kid my father would work at major broadcasting conventions, with the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show at the top of the heap. I would listen intently as he talked about the glitz and glamour, the wining and dining, people he met, and how he was going to use his new contacts to have a great sales year. Invariably, contacts from the NAB would turn into a big portion of the sales he made for the rest of the year.

I finally got to tag along with him at one of his shows. What that really meant was sitting inconspicuously at the back of the booth for hours on end watching him practice his craft, and eating room service meals as he entertained prospective clients. Frustrated, I challenged him... “I thought trade shows were supposed to be fun.” That’s when he gave me my first, and by far most important lesson about event marketing. He said, “There’s time for fun, but when we’re here, it’s all about sales.

Later on, as a sales-rep-turned-manager at a software company, I was tasked with showing one of our product lines at major computer industry shows.

It wasn’t very challenging to get a great booth designed; vendors were practically knocking down our doors to get our business. Likewise, there were plenty of people to walk us through the logistics of getting the display to the venue and setting it up. In fact, after a few shipping disasters that left us without our beautiful display, it became obvious that the booth was only a small part of putting on a successful show.

Going back to my father’s little pearl of wisdom, I was able to put on successful shows and events, with or without the booth.

It’s not about pretty architecture and brightly colored signs...

It’s not about the latest, greatest product announcement...

It’s not about how many people come to your booth...

It’s not about how many ‘leads’ you collect...

It’s not about just saying the right thing...

It’s all about sales.

Flash forward to today. Most events have gone virtual, with a wide variety of platforms available to deliver an engaging customer experience. There are new challenges in deploying event marketing technology, engaging prospects, qualifying leads, and generating revenue. I'm pleased to be working with a team of experienced event marketing professionals who are laser-focused on the one thing that matters in producing a successful event... It’s all about sales.

If you're planning a virtual event or physical trade show, click here to register for one of our event marketing bootcamps.


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