Before the Tradeshow: Choosing & Preparing the Right Employees
Choosing & prepping staff for optimal results
Rocklin Manufacturing has been giving manufacturers an edge since 1934. By delivering high quality industrial electronic equipment to customers worldwide, they are a solid, valuable partner to many in the machine tooling industry. IMTS (International Manufacturing Technology Show) is one of Rocklin’s top shows where the team exhibits equipment that enhances gripping, repairs injection molds, and marks equipment. IMTS is a bi-annual show that attracts an international audience.
Tradeshows are a marketing feat. They take months of creation, design and preparation. The marketing team spends countless hours preparing not only the tradeshow booth but the entire campaign surrounding it. However, when it comes to working the show floor, there is a disconnect. The attendees at IMTS are engineers, operation managers, and technical professionals. While these attendees are attracted to a creative, polished booth, they really are most interested in what’s inside the booth – the product. For Rocklin, this meant it had to send their marketing team as well as its engineers to the tradeshow. However, did the engineers have the skills to “work a booth”? Both departments needed to be able to do each other’s jobs – attract people into the booth, effectively communicate the value proposition, keep the attendee engaged, qualify them, and capture the lead.
Could marketing learn engineering and engineering learn marketing? Yes, if they worked hand-in-hand. Two critical steps had to take place – cross training, and a plan. On a basic level, all team members were trained on engaging questions to entice attendees into the booth. All team members were also trained on the booth flow, marketing communications, and rules for lead capture. A plan was set for once an attendee entered the booth. Key questions were rehearsed and asked in order to qualify the attendee. If the questions lead to a higher technical level, it was planned out to have one floating engineer who was always available to speak with the prospect. Marketing and engineering seamlessly worked together to attract attendees, engage them, and be able to capture a qualified lead.
By cross-training the team members, Rocklin saw a 14% increase in the number of qualified leads. Not only did more attendees enter the booth, the leads were more qualified and interested.
“Deb [Venable, MYB2BCOACH] did a fantastic job of getting our engineering and marketing employees to talk the same talk and bring in leads. She helped us create a plan with scripts, key questioning and a path to take the customer on so they stayed engaged. Everyone working the booth was working in unison and it created a very welcoming and comfortable feeling.”
“Where normally our engineers would wait for show attendees to approach them, with the booth training all members turned into sales machines.”