Wisconsin Agri-Business News Quarterly - Winter 2021

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8 Ways to Get More from Trade Shows Greg Mar nelli, Ag Sales Professionals

4 Ways to Get More from AƩending And 4 Ways to Get More from Working a Booth •

If you really want to connect, send them an email ahead of me and let them know you would like to meet them. Not sell them. Not tell them about your products. Just meet them.

#2 Walk the show floor: •

I know it’s temp ng to stay in the breakout rooms and avoid the high-pressure sales tac cs at the booths. Or, if you do wander the floor, you go fast to avoid being caught up in a salesperson trying to sell you. If this sounds like you, then you are missing out.

Relax. No one can make you give them your email address nor make you spend 20 minutes at their booth. You can always greet a vendor, and let them know you need to keep moving. Let them know, “Maybe, we can visit later.”

Keep in mind that booths provide a large por on of revenue for the show. Some mes all of it. The vendors need to feel they are engaging with a endees or they won’t come back to the show again. You really don’t want that.

A ending a tradeshow As in-person conferences come back, we can once again a end our local, statewide and even na onal tradeshows. Pre-Covid, we really took them for granted as there were too many for us to a end all of them. Many producers and salespeople simply quit going to most. However, during the absence, I frequently heard salespeople regret missing out on the shows. Well, they are back and what a great opportunity to see all the new products, services and technology, as well as a chance to hear some great presenta ons.

They are back and what a great way to see all the new products, services and technology, as well as a chance to hear some great presentations! Here are four ways to get more as an a endee.

#1 A end with a purpose: •

Review the agenda of speakers and the list of vendors.

Circle those presenta ons you really want to hear and list out the vendors you want to make sure to see. This will be especially helpful at the really large shows.

Do your homework on the vendors/speakers and have a purpose for visi ng with them. Homework might be as simple as Googling the company or speaker and learning a bit about them.

30 WINTER 2021

#3 Get away from your friends: •

No, not permanently. Just for the me period when you are at the trade show. Most of us office from home, travel to farms or remote agribusinesses, don’t hang out in large crowds, and do our jobs quietly. A tradeshow can ramp up our social anxiety. So, we tend to find our home team of co-workers and covey up like quail.

As one sales manager said to a group of his salespeople, “We flew you in from all over the country to learn and network with the top companies and experts in the industry. And, you found the same salespeople you work with back home and covey like a bunch of quail.” I couldn’t say it any be er. You’ll see them next week and every week therea er. So, take this me to get out there and network.

#4 Network…Network…and Network some more: - Three segments to network with: speakers, vendors, and other a endees. This can happen just about anywhere at the show. Networking opportuni es: Trade show meals – sit with people you don’t know.

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