In the last article for our IMTS 2022 exhibitor marketing series, we talked about the importance of IMTS exhibitors beginning to reach out to visitors now. The show is only a few weeks out, and it’s imperative that you are marketing to registered visitors and your own customer base to drive them to your booth where they can see the latest and greatest that you have on display. But what if somebody doesn’t register or let you know they will be there in advance? What happens if they just show up and register on-site? In today’s events environment, that is becoming increasingly common; but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with some helpful tips.
Understanding On-Site Registrants
Before we dive into communicating with this unique audience segment, it’s important to understand a little bit about them. In 2018, there were over 10,000 visitors who registered during the week of the show. That’s almost 17% of total visitor registration that year, a significant number. More importantly, most of those were from the United States (over 8,000), and of that domestic group, over 30% were from the state of Illinois. Essentially, they are local, and that likely means a couple things.
First, they are likely only there for a short period of time, perhaps just a day. Their time is limited, and their attention will be pulled in a lot of different directions. Second, they may be bringing a team that includes different roles in the buying process, including people who are just there to look and learn. That’s important to know as you talk to people on the show floor because your staff can tailor the conversation appropriately.
Train Your Booth Staff
This is the most important tip I can give: Make sure your booth staff is trained on your product and how to capture leads. For attendees that register on-site, you won’t always have the chance to market to them pre-show. It’s important that your staff knows not just your product details but also how to collect and qualify a lead from people who stop by your booth. This is crucial to feeding your sales funnel.
Key to this is using a lead capture system, and IMTS has a great option with the Xpress Connect app from Convention Data Services (CDS). The system allows badges to be scanned and provides tools for your booth staff to input notes, qualify with questions, and more. Using this system means data is pulled directly from the visitor’s badge and gives you additional insight into their demographics, which can help your salespeople sort leads.
But this technology isn’t a replacement for well-trained booth staff; it just supplements and enhances their abilities. It’s still important to have pre-show training with anybody that might work your booth so they understand the organization’s goals for participating in the show and how you plan to extract value out of it. The lead retrieval app will allow them to capture data and add relevant information from their conversation with the visitor, but they need to be trained on what to include in that conversation in the first place.
Get the Right Tools
Another important thing to remember is that all exhibitors have access to the IMTS Exhibitor Passport app for a small fee. The benefits this provides you during the show are immense. Registration info on visitors is updated every 15 minutes during the week of the show, and your leads collected from the Xpress Connect app are put directly into the tool. Additionally, it provides all visitors’ registration demographics so you can tailor the conversation like I mentioned above. Passport allows you to market or reach out to on-site registrants almost immediately. And if you collect a lead, it allows you to follow up with the visitor quickly after the interaction.
Follow-Up After the Show
Speaking of follow-up, my final tip is to make sure to do so. Now this tip holds true whether the visitor registered on-site or ahead of time, but doing so is much more important for an on-site registrant that you meet at the show. You don’t have the same opportunities to do pre-show marketing to on-site registrants, so it’s important to introduce them to your brand and get them into your sales funnel immediately following IMTS. The show is the largest lead generator in the manufacturing technology industry, and it’s key that your team follows up on each one of those leads.
This is the final article in our series before IMTS, and I’m sure all our teams are in overdrive to get prepared. The show is a big investment – be sure to go back to the other articles in our series for tips and tricks to maximize that investment and get the most ROI. The show is the biggest event in our industry, and it’s important to remember that it’s a marathon – not a sprint (if you’re looking for a race, sign up for the Miles for Manufacturing race!). Don’t forget to take some time to explore the new technology for yourself and foster relationships with others in the industry. We will return after the show with one more article (consider it our own follow-up), and I hope you and your team have a great IMTS!
This is the fifth article in our series on exhibitor marketing for IMTS 2022. Be sure to check out the other articles here: