Cutting Down Your Trade Show Budget
Whenever a recession or volatility threatens the economy, companies immediately look at where they can cut budgets. Without much forethought, the first to hit the block is inevitably training, followed closely behind by marketing. Why? Both are viewed on the balance sheet as expenditures rather than income generators, so obviously they're hot contenders for elimination.
This is a very myopic way of thinking, especially for companies who want to remain globally competitive. Instead, at times like these when resources are under severe scrutiny, look at this as a golden opportunity to analyze your strategies. Put your activities under a microscope and closely examine what you're doing and why you're doing it. Often during times of plenty, the finance reins loosen up and some highly creative juggling takes place when budgets exceed their estimations. Obviously, we enjoy the abundant mentality and wish that it could last forever. But just as with all things in the universe there has to be a balance, and shortages add stability to plenty. Whenever highs exist, lows are inevitable.
So, instead of reacting to the highs and lows of the marketplace, what can you do to maintain a steady balance? Marketing and training are definitely keys to your success, so let's examine five benefits and how they relate to your tradeshow participation.
1. Analyze your weakest links
When you take time to look examine your operation in more detail, you often discover that many of your actions are done out of habit rather than being productive and profitable. Think about some of the shows that you attend. How do they really fit into your marketing strategy? Are you attending them just because you've always done so, or because your competition is there? These are often your weak links, the shows that utilize unnecessary time and energy. Think about doing away with the "nice to be at shows" and rather opt at putting all your energy into the more profitable events that attract larger quantities of your target market.
Another weak budgetary link is associated with excessive employee spending at shows, such as dining at the finest restaurants and ordering the highest priced items just because the boss is paying. Consider setting up a per diem allowance and make employees accountable for expenses. You might even reward them with the difference if they under spend their stipend.
2. Exhibit a global competitiveness mindset
To be a contender in the global marketplace and establish a vanguard positioning, you have to be out there come rain or shine. And, tradeshows signify an essential marketing strategy when it comes to visibility. Exhibiting demonstrates that you're a serious player in the industry. However tough, it's important to keep tradeshows as one of your major promotional strategies. Rather consider reducing space than totally pulling out a show, provided of course, that it's the right show for you. Unfortunately, if you stop exhibiting completely, the "buzz" on the show floor says publicly that you must be in financial trouble. This may be completely false, but it's people's perceptions that count. They're the reality they believe. As the old adage states, "out of sight, out of mind." And, since memorability is a key factor associated with exhibiting, if you're not seen, how can you possibly be remembered!
3. Focus on long-term results
Investing in both marketing and training means that you're interested and willing to focus on long-term results. Neither is designed to give a "quick fix," rather using them continuously in an organized and planned manner, will produce results. They're like a dripping faucet, so long as the drops constantly fall into the tub, it will fill up. However, if you maintain a "turn on, turn off" approach, that is train and market in times of plenty and discontinue when there's a shortage, then your results are likely to mirror your actions. Look at how you can keep an operational equilibrium to avoid the highs and the lows. Develop a consistent marketing and training strategy.
4. Inspire loyal workers
Often companies are reluctant to invest too much in training staff for fear that once trained, they'll leave for "greener pastures." Since there are no guarantees in life, that's always going to be a risk, but does that mean you shouldn't develop your people to be the best they can be? Absolutely not! The reasons employees leave may be many. Employees may leave because of frustration or stress. They might feel unappreciated or undervalued. It could be that they believe your company is heading for an iceberg and want to "jump ship" before it sinks. Maybe they feel that their salaries are not in line with the jobs they are performing. Or they could feel that they don't have enough authority, growth opportunities, or direction in their careers. Training is often the key to help inspire loyalty.
5. Improve performance
Employees are the backbone of your company. Without them, your company cannot stay afloat. The relationship between employees and employers has to be a partnership; if they feel their needs are being ignored, they will leave you. But when both sides work on the same wavelength, share the same goals and ideas, the company will be on the right track for success. What better place than the tradeshow floor to exhibit this mentality. Your exhibit staff represents your internal customer-service team and your company ambassadors. They stand for your entire organization. These people have the awesome responsibility of making or breaking future relationships with attendees, prospects and customers. Their attitude, body language, appearance, and knowledge help to create positive or negative perceptions in the minds of visitors. Make sure that they're well trained and can do what you expect of them. Training shows that you recognize your team's importance in the company and look to develop their skills to improve performance.
Exhibiting is a powerful extension of your company's marketing strategy and your people are the backbone of your company. Eliminating your marketing and training budgets during times of recession is tantamount to profitability suicide. So consider looking at other places to make those cuts!
About The Author
Written by Susan A. Friedmann, CSP, The Tradeshow Coach, Lake Placid, NY, author: "Meeting & Event Planning for Dummies," working with companies to improve their meeting and event success through coaching, consulting and training. Go to http://www.thetradeshowcoach.com to sign up for a free copy of ExhibitSmart Tips of the Week.
Advertising by textad.biz
Go Ahead, click an ad, you know you want to.
What? You Havent Got a Capability Statement?
What's a Capability Statement?As the name suggests, it tells potential clients what you, or your organisation and staff are capable of. It highlights what your future capability is and reflects on your past successes.
Is The Traditional Press Review Still A Business Tool Of The Future?
Press reviews are a common and basic feature for surveying the market situtation, your company's public image and the coverage of your competitor's business. Only if you are well-informed about theses topics, you can make sound business decisions.
Marketing-Minded Financial Planners: Put Extra Content in an E-Zine
As you start getting more media-savvy, you'll find yourself coming up with more and more information and ideas to help the public. Not all of these ideas will strike the fancy of your media contacts, but don't let them go to waste-become a media person yourself by publishing an e-zine.
How to Write a Media Release That Wins You Coverage & Exposure
The Today show? The New York Times? Vanity Fair? What's your dream hit? While nothing inspires more fear and trepidation in public relations professionals than media relations, it doesn't have to be complicated. There are 2 keys to a press release.
Seven Tips To Get Your Press Release Noticed
If you're seeking to promote yourself or your new business on a limited budget, you probably cannot afford the benefit of hiring a public relations agency to work on your behalf - at least not in the beginning.You've probably spent considerable money to get to the point of your grand opening or new product release, which could easily fail if nobody cares that you exist.
Press Release, An Alternative For Paid Advertisement. Step 1
What's a press release? This is generally a one page story about your business, your product/service or an event happening related to your business that is about to, or recently occurred. These publicity stories are generally "shot gunned" to newspapers, radio, television and the trade publications.
Public Relations Strategies: Announcing News on a Press Tour
Gaining news coverage on a successful press tour requires planning, preparation, and follow up.Under the right circumstances, physically traveling to the media on a press tour is a great way to contact multiple media outlets.
Do I Really Need a Publicist?
Are you hesitating about hiring a publicist or, if you have one, do you stop before writing that final zero on the monthly check, and think "I can do that myself." Suuure, you can!But just to be certain, take this little test.
Got Publicity? How to Become a Household Name
Are you working as hard as you can in your area of expertise? Are you implementing creative ideas? Are you valuable to your clients? And now the tough question: Does the public know about you? If you're like most business people, you answered "Yes" to the first three questions, and then perhaps hesitated on the last question and may have ultimately answered "No," or sheepishly said "Well, not as much as I'd hoped."Getting your name "out there" requires getting yourself "out there.
How Video Production can be used in PR
At the core of any successful public relations campaign is effective communication.Yet in this technological era, there are now more methods than ever to convey important messages to different audiences.
Foolproof Publicity for Marketing-Minded Financial Planners
They'd hate to admit it, but the media is pretty predictable.There are some stories that will run in newspapers until the saints go marching in.
The Worst PR Mistakes
For a business, non-profit or association manager, they could be fatal, coming as they do in four bitter flavors.Mistake #1 - You limit your PR activity pretty much to placing product and service plugs on radio and in newspapers.
When Tactics Are Not Enough
Your public relations people are busy. The buzz is all about hits on a radio show or mentions in a newspaper column.
Is PR All About Image? NO!!
That's like asking if advertising is all about type faces and photography. The answer to both questions is a teeth-clenched "of course not!"What public relations IS all about, rather than hollow images, is the very real business of dealing effectively with target audience perceptions and behaviors that have a major effect on an organization.
Austin's Annual Charity Event with KVET
In my travels around the country while building my business I have had the pleasure of meeting some of the greatest community volunteers in our nation. I never missed an opportunity to meet community leaders and learn all I could about every market my company franchised in.
Top Ten Tips for Writing your Best Press Release Ever
Keep these few crucial details in mind when writing and submitting your press release to increase your chances of news coverage:1. If you are not the news: become the news.
Credibility Lost or Gained, Are you Prepared?
If a reporter approached you about an interview, would you know what to say do or even how to dress for one? Would you know how to answer questions? Have you ever wondered what the secret of working effectively with the media is? Do you wonder how to increase or even have quality coverage?Quite often, what you don't know can hurt you.Most people have no idea on how to prepare for questions.
Turn Your Business' New Year Resolutions in PR Revolutions
As eyes look forward to a new business year, many small business owners and entrepreneurs are hoping that this upcoming year will be the one that catapults them into success. But according to Shannon Cherry, APR, businesses often overlook a key element when making their business plans and resolutions.
Attention Owners of Food Related Businesses: How to Get Publicity Any Time You Want
Attention: Who Else Wants To Get Publicity Whenever You Want It?Publicity is when newspapers, radio shows, television shows, magazines, internet radio or pod casts want to feature you. Advertising is something you pay for.
Five Great News Stories You're Sitting On Right Now
Smaller companies don't always have the budget - or inclination - to retain a PR hotshot to tell the world about their business success, but that doesn't mean they aren't a ready source of news.The problem is it's often dull news which is ignored by all except the industry press and quite rightly so in most cases.
|home | site map|