Here in IIA HQ we are very excited about a new event on our calendar for 2011. For the first time ever we are running an Internet Expo! It’s the first trade exhbition for the internet industry in Ireland and we are delighted to be partnering with Ireland’s premier exhibition company Irish Services Ltd. on this project. They know a truck load about exhibitions and I, for one, have learned lots from them.
I’ve worked on our own stand on a number of occasions at conferences all over the country and it’s something that I have always enjoyed and at which we achieved great results whether it be new members, new newsletter subscribers, referrals for our members or event registrations. I’ve always attended these conferences with a specific aim in mind, not least of these being exposure at a grassroots level. Much of the time I spend answering industry related queries where I can or as mentioned I refer the visitor to a member who might be able to help them. Every time we’ve taken a stand at conferences like this we have usually invited members along to join us.
Trade shows and expos can be big business not least of all in the states and I found stacks of videos on YouTube offering advice to the sales and business development teams who look after the stand on the day. To summarize them very swiftly it seems to be important to
- make sure exhibiting fits with your marketing and sales plan and
- once that’s decided it is essential to have an pre-, during and post-exhibition plan,
- have definite goals and activities,
- measure the team’s success and
- follow up on leads and connections developed at the exhibition (and that should be the really easy bit for all you geeks with your email marketing, eh?).
Many of the videos I came across give ideas for attracting more traffic (free coffee or other treats, discount vouchers on business cards, demos etc.); some of them talk about the success killers and there’s even a sample from an Association of Events Organisers training video with Jack Dee sharing some of their 30 Trade Show Secrets (and I thought the sellout Rick Spleen in Lead Balloon was based on fiction. Apparently not…!) This video is well worth a watch whether you’ve already booked your place at our Internet Expo or are thinking about it. And it’s funny too! You’ll also find other tips and tricks in the How To Secion of their Facetime website.
The video below is simple but I think this chap, Sam Manfer, sums up the experience of taking care of business at your company stand with five tips to make the most of your investment in an exhibition stand.
If you think you’d like to discuss the idea of exhibiting at this cool event get in touch with Roseanne or Vicki in the IIA offices today at 01 5424154 or firstname.lastname@example.org
This review is part of a series of reviews that you can expect to see over the next while from the Social Media Working Group. This first one is by Eamonn O’Brien, Founder of The Reluctant Speakers Club. Here he reviews The New Handshake: Sales Meets Social Media, by Joan Curtis and Barbara Giamanco:
This book offers an introductory guide for people who need to figure out how to both understand and harness social media in a world where traditional sales techniques may have had their day. As such, it probably won’t serve as more than light reading for seasoned social media pros.
The authors spend the first half of the book outlining the revolution that has occurred in the way businesses and customers/consumers communicate – and why companies need to learn how to adapt to a new sales era, dubbed Sales 2.0. They argue that since customers are now more in control of what they buy, and have instant access to more information prior to when they make purchase decisions, that a modern form of consultative selling (which integrates the power of social media to develop better relationships, trust and customer collaboration) needs to be used as a replacement for traditional push based selling techniques.
While there are many nuggets to be found in the first 8 chapters, including author observations, examples of how politicians and companies are adapting to/benefiting from communication changes plus a quite interesting potted history lesson on the evolution of selling approaches from the 19th to the 21st century, much of the information provided at the outset of the book appears to be rehashing of stories and observations that have been doing the rounds for some time (online and offline). Also, many of the points made in the first half of the books seemed be endless variations of a single theme; “Embrace the new technology… move away from old sales approaches, they won’t work any longer with the 21st century buyer”.
That said, the second half of the book (when the authors get into a more ‘how to’ mode) is likely to prove both interesting and genuinely useful to anyone who needs practical suggestions on how to harness social media for sales and marketing purposes. The authors did an especially good job on how Sales meets LinkedIn and Sales meets Twitter, including really helpful ‘do’s and don’ts’ tips.
Also, their observations on how to use blogging to drive better Google site rankings together with their suggested ‘rules of engagement for bloggers’ are spot on. But the real value in this book comes at the end, with a case study style 30 day social media sales challenge. This blow by blow demonstration of how social media can be used and why – together with suggestions re goal setting and performance measuring – sold me on this book, all on its own.
My Overall Book Rating: 4 out of 5
Thanks a million Eamonn! More from the authors on their website.
Sharon has 12 years’ technology experience with international and indigenous tech companies. Sharon will be responsible for sales development across the company’s offices in Dublin, Cork, Waterford and Kildare.
“Her technology industry experience makes her ideal to resource and match the growing IT staffing needs of companies,” commented Caroline Godsil, joint managing director, HiberniaEvros. “Despite the bad news on the employment front in general, there is very strong demand for qualified IT people across the board.”
Hibernia Evros Technology Staffing Solutions provides high calibre candidates for contract positions within the IT industry across a variety of roles including system administrators, infrastructure consultants, project managers, test engineers, DBAs (database administrators), developers, helpdesk engineers and business application consultants.
Further information from: http://tss.hetg.ie/
Aedan Ryan of Puddleducks recently attended the IIA event “How to do Business Online – Securely” and even though he was completely exhausted after taking in all that information he wrote this summary of all he heard on the day. Thanks Aedan – we’re glad it was a worthwhile trip for you.
Today I have learnt the word telematics from one of the IIA’s newest members, Celtrak. Celtrak offer a telematics-based Operations Management Solutions for Companies with a mobile workforce. Founded in 2000, they are based in Galway. August was a busy month for Celtrak: not only did they join the IIA but they also featured in not one but two articles in national newspapers about how the hi-tech solutions that Celtrak offer are helping business tackle rising fuel costs.