Decrease your pre-booked appointment no-shows
For the average company, it is likely that only about 12% of your trade show attendees have had any contact with a member of your sales team within the past year. And considering that 70% of trade show visitors are there with plans to purchase one or more products, you may be missing out on some serious sales potential.One way to ensure you get a piece of that pie is to pre-book appointments—especially with those who may be considered high-value clients. But, how do you ensure you keep these appointments and don’t end up with a slew of no-shows? Keep reading to find out.Keep your appointments from standing you up
Exhibit day is finally here. Your booth looks great; your staff is ready to go, equipped with everything needed to make a great presentation and your calendar is filled with pre-booked appointments. Sure, a few cancellations or no-shows are expected … but by following these simple tips and tricks, your day will be buzzing.

  • Reminders:  When you initially schedule your meeting, email a calendar invite to your client. You may want to follow up by mailing a product brochure, magnet business card and pad of Post-its® with a handwritten note as an added reminder. Then, the day before the show, send a friendly email reminding the client of the meeting and the time slot. This is a good time to recap the client’s pain points and how you may be able to help them.
  • Be prompt:  Make sure you have adequate time set aside for each meeting in order to not keep clients waiting, and in turn, communicate this to your clients so they know they’ll have your full attention. If for some reason a client has to wait, make sure another staff member is there to offer a welcome, a seat and something to drink.
  • Reward kept appointments:  Be sure to show gratitude to those who made an appointment and kept it with a nice token of thanks. An engraved pen and pencil set presented in a gift box or a leather padfolio de-bossed with your company name and logo is a great way to show appreciation.
  • Relationship building:  Clients are more likely to keep appointments with those they have a good relationship with—the importance of good customer service and great rapport-building are priceless. If your clients are staying in a hotel, send a chocolate gift box to their room with a note letting them know you are looking forward to your meeting.
  • Give the VIP treatment:  Show your clients you value them and their business by offering trade show VIP treatment. Reserve a private conference room away from the expo floor to host special, private product demos or to entertain VIPs. And provide an extra special giveaway… one that is only available to those who pre-booked an appointment like a logo’d tool set or a BBQ kit.

Remember, people attend trade shows to find a solution to a problem … and if the belief is that you can help solve that problem, you stand a better chance of keeping your pre-booked appointment. Hopefully, by implementing a few of these tactics and tips, you will reduce your no-show rate at the next trade show and make that big sale!

How Trade Shows Can Boost Your Business.” Industry Market Trends RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 June 2013.

Trade Show Exhibit Marketing Tips and Advice.” Decrease the No-show Rate of Pre-booked Appointments. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 June 2013.

Sales Tips for Scheduling Appointments That Will Show.” Small Business. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 June 2013.

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