Plan carefully to maximize trade show ROI

Selling to exhibitors in the midst of a trade show requires planning, discretion and respect.

A new webinar from AEM featuring associate members Michael Barr of QDI Strategies and Scott Nelson of Rev B offers non-exhibiting vendors (NEVs) helpful tips to maximize their connections at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017.

In addition, Dana Wuesthoff, AEM senior director, event technology & services, provides information on new NEV registration policies and show features to help you plan for visiting the show.

Listen to the complete presentation or read more below:

Michael Barr – QDI Strategies

Based on his experience at past shows, Barr says he has learned the following:

  • Some people he wants to meet with may not be at the show
  • Some may be there, but not in the booth the minute he walks in
  • Just a one-time touch (walk in, have a conversation and leave a business card) really leads nowhere
  • He really doesn’t have time to talk to hundreds of exhibitors

Barr says that in a typical day at a trade show, he has time for around 12 meetings, including conversations from five to 30 minutes in length, plus time to jot down results and items for follow-up.

Well prior to the show, he establishes clear objectives for meetings with existing accounts, new accounts and prospects. He says his goal is not setting up meetings at CONEXPO-CON/AGG for the sake of keeping busy, but rather to move each relationship forward.

Eight weeks before the show, Barr has established a list of contacts and begins to work on a schedule, including education sessions he would like to attend and exhibits he would like to visit, such as the Tech Experience.

At six weeks out, he begins calling or emailing his contacts to see if they plan to attend the show and if so, what they would like him to see. If they don’t plan to be there, he asks if there is someone else who can show him around, perhaps an another influencer within the company.

By the time he is ready to leave for the show, Barr says he has a three-part list:

  • Hard-scheduled meetings
  • Invitations to “stop by when you have a chance”
  • Plans to connect over a specific technology, education session or exhibit to see what’s going on

Scott Nelson – Rev B

Nelson says trade shows are a great place for discovery and keeping up on new technologies. Exhibitors will frequently display product enhancements that are not yet on the market and this is a good chance to see them.

The equipment and personnel at the show represent a significant investment for exhibitors, Nelson says, so the time they have available to interact with you is very valuable to them.

Booth personnel at trade shows are generally sales professionals and want to help you. Be sure to introduce yourself and don’t make them guess who you are. If you are a current supplier, let them know what you do for them.

Use your time wisely. Take advantage of the opportunity to understand what’s important to the exhibitor and how they differentiate themselves from their competition. This is not the time to sell your solution, Nelson says.

If possible, meet your contact outside the booth at an area like the Tech Experience to be inspired by new technologies that are driving the industry.

New Policies for Non-Exhibiting Vendors

Wuesthoff said the following new policies will apply to non-exhibiting vendors at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017:

Member NEV *

  • Admission Fee is $549 per registrant
  • Allowed access on all Official Show Days
  • Limited to 4 registrants per company
  • Return admittance as NEV allowed for future shows

* Member companies of AEM, NSSGA, NRMCA, NFPA & PTDA

Non-member NEV

  • Admission Fee is $749 per registrant
  • Allowed access on March 9-11, 2017
  • Limited to 2 registrants per company
  • No return admittance as NEV for future shows

New Badge-Packs Offer Added Value

New Badge-Packs will offer added value and convenience for attendees, Wuesthoff said. Badge-Packs include access to the Tech Experience, a free multi-day Las Vegas monorail pass, deluxe coach bus transportation between most official hotel partners and the shows, as well as discounts at Las Vegas bars and restaurants.

For added convenience, pre-registered attendees can pick up their Badge-Packs at 10 Las Vegas hotels and the Las Vegas McCarran International Airport. A third full-service registration area has been added onsite.

For More Information

For more information, visit the CONEXPO-CON/AGG registration page or contact Dana Wuesthoff, AEM senior director, event technology & services (, tel: 414-298-4163).