Participating effectively in trade shows and conferences requires significant investment of time and treasure. I always encourage my clients to do only as many as they can afford to do thoroughly. What does "thoroughly" mean?
Essentially, have a plan and a purpose. Start early, months before the conference. Have the right people at the conference with the time, attention, and resources necessary to work the plan. Be ready to follow up after the conference. Everyone returns from these with lots of ideas and good intentions that whither the first day back at the office. It's up to you to pick up the thread and maintain the momentum.
Have a clear goal or purpose that is consistent with your marketing message and sales targets. One way to formulate the goal is to answer the question, "If I could magically place one thought into people's minds what would that thought be and into whose mind would I plant it?" Once you have an answer to that question it is much easier to come up with strategies and tactics to work this magic.
If you want to curry favor or access with particular people, named or just job titles, it can be useful to work with,...
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