Surefire tips that will help you get the most out of the RE Expo — or any Expo for that matter!
OK, so you’re finally at the Expo and you’re ready to kick butt and take names – no pun intended. Here’s what you need to know and do to make your exhibit successful.
The classic boy scouts motto still holds true to this very day. Often, you’ll find that a little preparation beforehand can mean a huge difference in your desired results in the long run.
Take a moment to think of the things you’re going to need in order to be successful. This should not be complex. Start by simply asking yourself what you can do in order to better help your customer. By focusing on your customer, you’ll be better able to come up with simple solutions to your needs.
Also, think about how many people you’ll need there with you in order to accomplish your mission. You can never have too much help.
Other things to consider will be what kind of information to take for your prospects and how much. Like with help, you can never have too much. Oh, and don’t forget to bring plenty of pens!
One last thing — come mentally prepared as well. Be sure to bring a good and positive attitude with you. The results you get at the Expo can be greatly influenced by your attitude. Remember, just like Napoleon Hill said, “thoughts are things”. Think success and you’ll have success.
Sounds simple enough, but you’ll be surprised just how many people don’t do this. Having goals in mind will greatly increase your chances of success.
The RE Expo is a venue for you to apply your craft just as you do in your normal business setting. If you have goals or quotas you have to meet in your business, it shouldn’t be any different at the Expo.
Break down your goals into event duration target goals (2 days for the RE Expo), daily target goals, and hourly target goals. For example, your event duration target goal may be obtaining 300 leads. Take this 300 and divide it by the number of days in the event. In this example we’ll use 2, which is the number of days the Real Estate Wealth Expo runs. You now have 150 leads each day. Now break down the 150 by the number of hours the event runs for one day (usually 8 – 10 hours).
Your final tally is roughly 15-19 leads per hour. Thus, in order to meet your target event goal of 300 leads, you should be signing up about 15 to 19 leads per hour. This is pretty conservative when you take the amount of people that actually go to the Real Estate Expo — 46,000 in 2005 for LA alone. Do this and you’ll outperform your competition by leaps and bounds.
Get creative to attract leads. Get creative to keep y-o-u on their minds. You don’t have to follow the crowd. Everyone gives away free pens with their company’s name and logo.
Give away free mouse pads instead — with your company name, logo and contact number on them of course! Have a raffle drawing. Say the first 100 people to sign up will be entered in a drawing to win a FREE ipod or something. You’ll be amazed how a little creativity can go a long way.
Bring as Many People as You Need to Help You
You’ll get much more accomplished if you have the right amount of people with you at the Expo. How many people you need depends on the size of your booth and what you are trying to accomplish at the Expo.
Remember that you have to eat and take restroom breaks. If you’re a smoker, you’ll probably want a stogie break too. In addition to this, you have to prospect, answer questions, give demos, take contact information, etc.
There is no magic number as to how many people you may need to help, but if you take the aforementioned into consideration, you’ll come up with a number that’ll both help you accomplish your goals and is also easy to manage. As a general rule, err on the side of safety. It’s always better to bring one person too many as opposed to one too few.
You’re probably going to be on your feet for a greater part of the day at the Expo. Not to mention that you may also be moving around a lot setting up shop and eventually going back and forth between prospects. As you can imagine, this is going to take its toll on your feet and lower back.
That said, wear comfortable, soft rubber-bottom shoes or sneakers. I’d personally lean towards wearing sneakers. If you must adhere to a dress code and can’t wear sneakers, then consider black tennis shoes. Yes, these are actually sneakers, but they look like regular black, rubber-bottom shoes. Black Reeboks would be my choice.
In addition to wearing comfortable shoes, you also want to dress comfortably. You might want to wear casual slacks, a skirt or Dockers and white shirt. Guys, unless you have to, don’t wear a tie as you’ll probably wind up loosening it or taking it off anyway. As a general rule, the way you dress at the Expo should match the industry you’re in. So, if you’re exhibiting at a tech Expo, then dress according to how techies dress.
Remember that you’ll be speaking with many potential clients so you want to look professional. You are representing your company or business. Dressing comfortably, yet properly, will not only give your prospects a good first impression, but will also help you perform your best.
Save Money! Forget the Padded Carpeting
Want to save some money right off at bat? Then forget the padded carpeting most convention centers offer. If you remember to wear comfortable shoes, then you won’t need the carpeting. However, if you forget to wear comfortable shoes, then definitely get the carpeting. Your feet and lower back will thank you. However, since you’re smart, I know you’ll opt to wear the comfortable shoes.
Meet and Greet People… And Don’t Forget to Smile!
OK, so you’re standing there at your booth and a potential client (and they are all potential clients) appears to be walking towards you… What do you do? That’s right, smile and say hello! Ask how YOU can help them, but don’t stop there. Strike up a conversation.
He or she is there for a specific reason. They’re already pre-qualified and are just ripe for the picking. Give them personalized service. Give them a reason to want to do business with you and not anybody else. Do this and you’ll reap a bountiful reward when they ultimately sign on the bottom line and eventually refer all there business associates and friends to YOU. And to think, it all started with your smile.
Work the Floor — Go After Your Market
Now let’s take meeting and greeting to the next level. Since you were smart enough to bring enough people to help, you can now split your team into two groups; one to work your booth and the other to work the floor.
That’s right, you’re not only going to allow your future clients to come to you, but you’re also going place members of your team in strategic areas of the exhibit floor. Your floor team’s mission: to meet, greet and interact with potential clients and send them directly to your booth. The end result: more leads coming your way.
Bring the Tech Tools Necessary to Collect Contact Information
You should have some type of information collection and storage system already in place in order to collect your prospect’s contact information. This can be as simple as having ready-made forms for your prospects to fill out, using a PDA, or using a database program on your laptop. Each one has it’s pros and cons.
Using a PDA is convenient for walking around, but will require you to be a fast one-finger typist. Collecting information on your laptop is faster, but isn’t as flexible as a PDA for porting around without having to rest it somewhere (it’s a LAPtop, remember?). Offering prepared forms for your prospects to fill out frees you from doing this task, but is prone to illegible (and sometimes unintelligible) writing.
The good thing about using a PDA or a laptop to collect information is that you can automatically export it to MS Outlook, LotusNotes and other contact management software systems. Thus, you’ll save hours of time in data entry work.
Ideally, you’ll want to use the most efficient method for collecting information. Whatever you decide to do, keep it simple. If you can’t decide, try all three and stick with the one that works best.
Don’t Forget to Eat
You’re at the Expo. You’re excited. You’re fired up. The leads are coming in like a swarm. Your tummy is asking you for food, but you’re too psyched up to notice. You look at your watch and it’s now 3 in the afternoon! No wonder you’ve probably been feeling cranky for the last hour or two.
Do yourself a favor and eat throughout the Expo. Your body needs fuel in order to stay sharp and focused. Being sharp and focused means your prospects get better attention from you. Getting a bit more attention from you may be all they need to say YES to YOU.
Expos can be a fun getaway from your normal everyday office setting. Laugh often. Meet new people. Network. Enjoy the moment. After the show, enjoy a night out on the town. Doing the aforementioned will make any event a pleasant and memorable experience.
Register Early for the Next Real Estate Wealth Expo
I’m sure you already knew this one.
There you have it. Applying these tips will not only help you be more successful, but will also ensure you have a good time. Use them at the Real Estate Expo and you’ll be rewarded with more sign-ups and ultimately more sales. — (c) 2006