You get back from that week long trade show and your boss drags you into his office to start extracting information from you. You are tired, your back hurts and you are pretty sure that is gum in your hair from that kid that sat behind you on the plane ride home. But if you want to keep your job, then you need to debrief the boss immediately on what happened. Here are the seven things your boss wants to know about your trade show experience.
Where is the booth?
Sometimes plans get made on the fly for trade shows and, well, arrangements to get the company’s $100,000 booth back home were a little sketchy. The best thing you can do, since you know the fate of the booth is in your hands, is to make solid arrangements to ship the booth home well before the trade show even starts. When the boss asks where the booth is, you can provide a tracking number that he can check for himself.
How much traffic did you get?
One of the things that justifies participating in trade shows is foot traffic. Without visitors to your booth, you really have no reason to be there. When the boss asks about foot traffic, all you need to do is show him the stack of business cards you collected and just wait for the smile to slowly develop on his face.
How were sales?
If trade show booth workers forget one thing, it is to sell product when they are at a trade show. It can get really easy to get caught up in talking about the future of the company that you forget the company’s present revenue needs. Make sure there is a way to close sales at the trade show and prepare a report for the boss on trade show sales on the way home.
Who did you meet?
When the boss asks who you met at a trade show, he is not talking about the models that worked at the trade show booth across the aisle. When you are at a trade show, you must make time to network with significant contacts within your industry. This means talking to potential new vendors, making contacts with large customer prospects and talking to employment candidates who could take the company to the next level.
How much did you spend?
Yup, the boss will want to see your expense report the moment you walk into the office. While you should never be hesitant to spend money at a trade show, you should be prepared to justify every penny you spent. If you are trying to buy your kids some gifts at the hotel gift shop on the company’s nickel, then you may find yourself looking for a new job.
What improvements does the booth need?
Your trade show booth is what you use to lure in foot traffic and create revenue. As you talk to traffic at the trade show, pay attention to what the very popular booths are doing and also pay attention to the suggestions visitors make on how to improve your booth.
How can we do better next year?
Was there a particular part of the trade show floor that got more traffic than others? Was there a certain type of marketing giveaway that attracted more people to a particular booth? Pay close attention to the ways that your company can improve its presence at that trade show next year and prepare a full report for the boss when you get home.