Are you ready to dive right into your event?

Image: US Navy

Now that you are ready to participate in some events, here are a few little tips that can help your event experience go a long way. These event tips are guaranteed to draw a crowd to your booth and assist you in gathering sales leads. Keep in mind that these tips are meant to generate an audience, but you and your representatives should ultimately be making the effort to drive sales with every encounter. Try a few of these ideas and watch as they guide you towards a successful event!

Raffles
If you don’t already own one, think about purchasing a lead generation box. These are perfect for holding all of your raffle entries. DISH branded Lead Generation Boxes are available for purchase through the DOW Electronics Website under Tradeshow/Event Items. Once you have purchased your lead generation box, simply print out the Lead Generation Form and the Lead Box Header Template (also available under Tradeshow/Event Items on the Dow website) and you are ready to start receiving your first leads.

Another great idea to help generate leads is to advertise that you will have a drawing, giving those who enter a chance to win a special prize. Not only will this spark the interest of people walking by that are looking to win something, but it also provides you with contact information for potential customers. Let everyone that participates know when you will be having your drawing and that they should stick around to claim their prize. If they are interested in winning the prize, then you are guaranteed at least two opportunities to interact with them– first when they enter their information and again when they come back to see the results of the drawing. Make the best out of both of these opportunities.

Newsletters
You can use the information from the lead forms that you gather at your event to create a mailing list of potential clients. Even if you do not send out your newsletters and only make them available in your showroom or at events, make sure that all information is up to date. Keep track of all of DISH’s promotions and disclaimer expiration dates as they are subject to change and you do not want to provide customers with incorrect or outdated information. Have newsletters available on your table with all of your contact information. It’s a great idea to have your business card either stapled to the newsletter or in a business card holder nearby.

Sending newsletters to both your current and potential customers is a great way to keep them updated with all of the products, services, and promotions going on at your store. A well written and eye-catching newsletter will not only keep your customers informed about your business, but it also serves as a constant reminder of the positive interaction that they had with you and shows them that you care enough about their business to keep in touch. When they are in the market for another product you offer or know someone who is, yours will be the company that comes to mind! Word of mouth is always a great means of advertising and the message will be stronger if your customer has a newsletter to pass along to their friends. Kick it up a notch by offering a referral program to really get your current customers spreading the word about your business!

Snacks
Let’s face it! Who attends an event or trade show and does not build up an appetite? Furthermore, who is not looking for a free snack?! This is the perfect chance for you to get people to stop and to strike up a conversation with them. Draw them in with the delicious smell of fresh buttery popcorn or help them cool down with a nice cold beverage. Your snacks may vary, but make sure that they are snacks that are easy to prep and low maintenance. You can purchase a popcorn machine at your local super center and DISH Coolers are now available on the DOW Electronics Website under Tradeshow/Event Items.

**Consult a representative or the rules and regulations on your event contract to ensure that it is okay for you to give away food and drinks.

Videos & Entertainment
As a satellite TV provider, you should be prepared to show your product’s capabilities. If you are selling Hopper & Joey products, this is the perfect time for you to display how the system works. Make sure that whoever is conducting the demonstrations is thoroughly knowledgeable about the product. Any programing you display during demonstrations should be family friendly– you never know who could be approaching your booth!

It’s always smart to bring backup cables, surge protectors, and other devices just in case something goes wrong. You should test your product to make sure that it is working correctly at least 30 minutes to an hour before your show. This will ensure that if there are any errors that you are able to have them resolved before the show begins. It would be unfortunate if you had to spend most of your time troubleshooting while the event is in progress.

Special Deals
Enough said! In this economy, people are increasingly excited at the mention of a deal. Let them know what you can offer them. This can be as simple as a gift card or a voucher for store credit. You can even send notices to your current customers encouraging them to upgrade their purchase and the ability to receive a gift card with their upgrade. If you are creating an ad that includes the potential to receive a gift card and plan to submit for a co-op reimbursement program, be sure to consult the appropriate Co-op Guidelines to ensure that you are following all necessary steps for reimbursement.

Remember the success of your event depends on you and your representatives! Do not limit yourself to these tips as there are tons of great ways to generate leads for your business. Find the techniques that work best for you and expand them over time. Use these tips as stepping-stones and in no time you’ll be generating the business that you always knew you could! Make sure to share your event tips in the comments below, we want to know what’s working for you!

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Get Something for your Giveaway

We often refer to promotional items as “giveaways,” but should we really be giving them away to just anyone who walks by? Too often, people forget that there is a purpose to these items. They are meant to bring people into your booth, to generate leads, and to create awareness of your brand or company. By setting out a bin of free key chains or handing out a personalized pen to anyone who comes within range, you are really just telling people that they can come to your booth to get something for nothing. 

This method of distributing your “free” goods is not particularly effective. You shouldn’t just stand back and allow people to come by for a free item and then just walk away. Instead, stand out in front of your booth and greet them as they walk by. Let these people know about your business and what you can do for them! After a brief and  friendly exchange, you then hand the passerby your promotional item and let them walk away with a physical reminder of your business and a positive memory of the exchange that just took place. They will remember you each time they use the item, making chances greater that they will become your customer in the future.

Here’s another alternative to giving away these items at random: make a trade! Have them fill out a lead form for your personalized magnet (or keychain, or hand sanitizer, or T-shirt). When purchasing promotional items to distribute to potential customers, you should expect a return on that investment in the form of leads and, eventually, in sales. Once again, the potential customer has a tangible reminder of you and your business, and with a personalized item they will have your contact information at their fingertips. Not only do they have your information, but you now have theirs and can take the initiative to follow upon the lead after the event is over. 

The key to using giveaway items effectively is to not simply give them away for nothing in return. This doesn’t mean that you should demand that passersby make a purchase on the spot or provide you with personal information, but you should be implementing lead generation tactics with these items. Think outside the box with your promotional items. Will a simple balloon distract a child long enough so you can tell their parents about your business? Is a keychain enough, or will it take something more innovative to draw in the kind of people who will be interested in your product? Think about the audience you want to attract and select promotional items to cater to their needs or to compliment your product or service. Using promotional items isn’t complicated. By putting a little thought into the items you’ll bring, who you want to give them to, and what you want in return for them, you can make sure to get a return on the investment that you put into those items!

How do you distribute event giveaways? What items are crowd favorites? Tell us in the comments!

Does your event staff have the right stuff?

Having the right staff for your events can help to make or break people’s perception of your company. Your staff is representation of who your company is and you should always keep that in mind whether it be for staffing your store or a booth at the county fair. There are a few major qualities and characteristics you should look for when choosing your staff. With these traits you are sure to catch the attention of the crowd and be well on your way to making sales!

TIP 1: ACT HAPPY TO BE THERE

Your event staff should always appear happy and enthusiastic about the event. Potential customers want to be approached or to approach someone who looks friendly. If your staff is friendly and looks like they are having fun, potential customers will see how excited everyone is about your product and they will get an outstanding first impression of your company. They are likely to recall how fun and easy-going everyone was and that gives them a sense of how easy you are to work with. Remember that a negative attitude is easily recognized, and in some cases it may even be contagious.

TIP 2: HAVE GREAT COMMUNICATION SKILLS

Your staff should not only consist of people who are high energy and kind, but it should include people who are easy to approach and that have great communication skills. Keep in mind that these are the people who will be representing your company. You should make sure that your staff is able to catch the attention of potential clients and summarize the capabilities of your products quickly and completely.

TIP 3: KNOW YOUR STUFF

Knowledge is power! It is important to make sure that your staff knows the ins and outs of your products and services. They should also know your marketing strategy and how to recognize a potential lead. Based on a customer’s needs, your staff should be able to steer the conversation in a direction so that the customer can relate, thus creating the potential to make a sale.

TIP 4: DRESS PROFESSIONALLY

Always make sure your staff looks professional. This means having tamed hair, wrinkle free clothes, natural looking makeup, and a fresh appearance. To assist in this, make sure your staff is well rested and prepared the night before. Potential leads will judge you initially off of two things: how well put together you are and how well put together your booth is. If you would like for your staff to have a uniform look, logo branded shirts for DISH retailers are available and co-op eligible on DISH STUFF via the Retailer Care Site.

Remember that even if you choose to represent your business yourself, these tips still apply!

Have something to add? Tell us in the comments below!

Keys to a Great Event Setup

When setting up for an event there are a few things to consider. You always want to make sure that your booth is pleasing to the eye and that you allow enough space for potential customers to interact with you. Here are some things to think about:

  • Easy Flow: Design a layout for your table and shelving. Preferably with all tables and shelving being in a U-shape along the back and sides of your space or allowing enough space for people to move around freely. This will allow customers easy access in and out of your booth. The worst thing you could do is have a cluster of people in your booth that can’t move around and really see what you have to offer.
  • Clear Display: Keep your display clear and tidy. You don’t want to clutter your display space or people won’t want to enter it. Keep smaller items on the table or on shelves and make sure everything is visually appealing. You can group like give away items together. Once you have set up your area, take a step back and view your booth space as a whole. Is it inviting? Is it cluttered? If you were passing by this booth would you stop in?
  • Cover the Tables: Covering your table with tablecloth or a bed sheet adds an extra decorative touch to your booth. This will also help to hide an ugly folding table and to create additional storage space underneath for boxes and other items you don’t want out in the open.
  • Add Signage:  Signage tells customers who you are and what you have to offer. Make sure to have some kind of signage that displays your business information including your business name, telephone number, and/or website. This is a great opportunity to brand yourself as a local retailer! Choose a bright sign that clearly states your name– and make sure that the font is simple and bold! Fancy fonts may look nice, but they are harder to read.

What about Outdoor Events?

Outdoor booth setup is almost the same as an indoor booth. In addition to the items above, some things you may want to have in your outdoor booth include: chairs, tables, tent, balloons, display shelves, and signs. Here are some additional tips specifically for outdoor events:

  • Talk to the Event Coordinator: Find out the details as to how early you can set up your booth. Sometimes you may be able to set up the night before. Things may get hectic in the morning with all of the other vendors attempting to set up. You don’t want to forget anything the day of your event!
  • Set up a Tent: Having a tent helps to protect your products and your staff from most weather conditions, whether it’s sun, wind, or rain. Co-op eligible DISH tents can be purchased through www.DOWElectronics.com or www.abovealldish.com.
  • Arrange Your Tables and Displays: As mentioned before, set up your tables and shelves so that people can easily walk around your tent or booth. Bringing your tables towards the back of your tent with displays on it brings people into the area for a better look. Chairs make a good place for you to spend any downtime as well as for potential customers to sit while you explain your product in more detail.
  • Balloons: Tie balloons to your booth to attract attention to it and make sure that they are bright and coordinate with the color scheme of your booth.  Balloons also provide a fun diversion for restless children while you speak to their parents. Have a few prepped so that they are easily accessible.

What special touches do you add to your events? Tell us in the comments below!