Jon’s planning for the event should not have stopped at pre-event activities. To be comfortable with the portrait Jon was painting of his business, Jon should have planned what would happen during the event. Granted, not every possibility can be planned for but Jon could have planned for what he has control over. This includes the Message, the Staff, and the Game.
- The Message - When you have a booth at an event, what you say is as important as how you say it. Having a consistent message allows you to present the best possible image of the business. Tell the story of the business and what the business can do for your target market. This is the place where imagery can paint the picture of the business in the minds of your target. It can be done well in advance so that you and your staff have the opportunity to make it your own. To help your staff retain clarity on the Message, one recommendation would be to give them a list of bullet points for them to reference during the event.
- The Staff - Will this be an all hands on deck event or will you pick and choose who attends the booth during the event? You certainly want the staff that will best represent the business. Confident and professional, the staff will help paint the picture you discussed in the Message. Be sure to have a work schedule for manning the booth. By rotating the employees, you not only keep them fresh to talk with prospects, but it keeps them from getting bored. If the staff is bored, they look disinterested. If they look disinterested, the picture they paint won’t make any difference because your prospects have already formed an opinion. Ultimately, you will need to set expectations for the staff. Not just on appearance and behavior, but on activity as well. Set goals for the number prospects talked to or the number of qualified leads generated. The staff needs to have a clear set of desired results that need to be achieved. If you don’t set those expectations, you have nothing to hold the staff accountable too.
- The Game - How you engage your prospects at an event needs to have value. Giving away promotional items can be effective, but do they have any connection to your product or service? Are you providing a sample of your product or the opportunity for the prospect to experience what your company does? Having your Message clear and your Staff trained, frees the business up to be creative in the way it engages with the prospect. Leverage the knowledge of what you do and why you do it to bring the prospects into your world and show them why they need your product or service. While there is no one way to engage the prospect, the result of the engagement needs to be clear. That result could be a list of leads generated, a stack of business cards, or even scheduled follow up appointments.
Be sure to look for next week’s segment to see what systems Jon needed for After the event to maximize his results.