From HuffPost: How to Strengthen Your Sales Funnel Via Trade Shows

Too often businesses will pay good money to exhibit at a conference or trade show, including purchasing expensive backdrops, displays, brochures and other materials – and then neglect to invite their contacts to attend and visit them.   This makes even less sense when the business is presenting a workshop or seminar, when showing off their expertise is exactly the way to nail a potential client.


Participating in a trade show generally requires a significant commitment of your time, money and resources. However, if you plan well, you can supercharge your sales funnel through trade shows.

At Jifflenow, we have powered meeting management solutions for dozens of Fortune 500 companies for the last few years at some of the major trade shows and conferences. We have observed the best practices followed by these companies on winning the mindshare battle at trade shows. This article will share some ideas from what we have learned so far.

A Quick Refresher on AIDA Model

One of the common models to describe a sales funnel is the AIDA model. AIDA an acronym for:

    • Awareness: Get the person to know that you exist.
    • Interest: Raise the person’s interest about your offering.
    • Desire: Convince the person that your offer is what they need.
    • Action: Move them towards taking action to make the purchase.

Working with the Model

Trade Shows provide an amazing opportunity to move your prospects and customers through this sales funnel. Here are some ideas to consider:

1. Raising Awareness:

Participation in a trade show provides a perfect excuse to touch those people in your list (prospects) that you have not touched for a while. A simple email asking whether they plan to be attending the trade show can break the ice and lead to a few more conversations either via email or it might even get upgraded to a phone conversation.

A small percentage of the outreach will result in positive replies and some of them even may be attending the trade show giving you an opportunity to invite them to a meeting that will move them from Awareness to Interest.

2. From Awareness to Interest:

This is where all your investments in building thought leadership will come into full use. Here you are targeting people who are familiar with what you do but have not taken keen interest to take a deeper look. The core strategy here has to be “Education.”

Invite these people to one or more of the following:

    • Breakout sessions about trends in the industry
    • To meet with industry experts on your staff
    • Demonstrations of cool new product offerings


Conversations at these educational sessions can determine which of the prospects might move into the next sales stage.

3. From Interest to Desire:

This is where you are engaging with “real” prospects that have shown interest but have not decided to proceed with one or more of your offerings.

The goal of your salespeople should be to get these “hot” prospects to meet with your star solution architects, product managers and combine them with one or more members of the management team.

The agenda of those meetings has to be to discuss specific projects and opportunities how your offerings can bring a significant value to their present situation.

4. From Desire to Action:

This is where you are engaging with prospects that are in the “last mile” of discussing specific deals with your organization. This is also the “power play section of the trade show activity. You need to bring key management team members to show the commitment to the relationship.

The goal of salespeople is to get the right decision makers from both ends (prospects and your organization) to the table. Not just that, they need to brief the internal team and arm them with all the information

What Next?

Think about the above for the next trade show you are planning to attend. What you have to work with is a superset of all the prospects that you can reach related to the topic of the trade show. Categorize these prospects into various buckets (A.I.D.A) and create a plan of attack to for each category of prospects to move them to the next stage in the sales cycle.

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Columbus Day Weekend Specials – Bangor & Andro Conferences

Bangor Landlords Poster - Updated - Oct 2013Andro Housing Show - Updated - November 2013
If you’ve delayed buying your tickets to either the Greater Bangor Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Conference with Trade Show (Oct 31-Nov 01) or the Greater Androscoggin Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Conference (Nov 08), this weekend is the time to buy!For just 48 hours, from 12:00 noon on Saturday, October 12 to 12:00 noon on Monday, October 14, all tickets, exhibit spaces, sponsorships and conference program ads are at least 16% off… that’s one heck of a savings!  And there are other specials, too.Here’s the scoop on tickets….

Deal #1.  One day conference tickets to either the Bangor or the Androscoggin conference are presently $89 (and a few days before the events will increase because of the logistics of working with our venues, ordering food and so forth).

For 48 hours, we’ll knock 16% off those 1-day tickets, bringing the price down to $74.76, saving you $14.24 per person.  We’ll do the same for all of the other conference tickets, too… so in Bangor, two days that would ordinarily be $139.00 will be $116.76… saving you $22.24!

Deal #2.  If your office buys tickets for 4 people, one additional person will get to attend for free!  That’s a 20% savings – or $17.80 in savings per person!  (That means that if 5 people from the same office were to attend the entire Bangor conference, it’s a total savings of $189.00 – or $37.80 saved per person .. not too shabby.)

Deal #3If you’ve already bought your ticket, and can sign up another person to attend, we’ll refund you 20% off your ticket price… and will do that for every single person you sign up.  (So sign up 5 people, and get in for free!)

Bangor Housing Conference Thursday WorkshopsBangor Real Estate Conference Friday WorkshopsAndro Landlords - Workshop Grid - as of 08 October 2013
Now, for sponsorships, exhibit spaces and conference program ads…The deal is pretty similar (except the Androscoggin show is sold out of exhibit spaces).Deal A.  If you sign up for exhibit space in Bangor, or a sponsorship or ad in the conference program for either conference, we’ll give you 25% off the regular rate cost (that’s even better than the Early Bird Rate, which ended a few weeks back).  In Bangor, the savings on a $399.00 exhibit booth will be $100.. so the cost to you is only $299.00!

Deal B.  If you sign up another person to buy an ad, exhibit space or sponsorship at the same time as you’re buying your own ad, exhibit space or sponsorship, we’ll give them 25% off the cost, and give you 33% off! (Now that’s sweet.)

Deal C. If you’ve already bought your exhibit space, sponsorship or ad, and can sign up another, equivalently-priced (or more expensive) space, sponsorship or ad, we’ll give them 25% off their cost and we’ll refund you 33% of whatever you’ve already paid.  (You must already be paid in full.)

Remember, these deals are for 48 hours only, and will not be available on the Eventbrite website; you’ll have to call me directly with a credit card (or arrange to hand-deliver a check or cash over the weekend).

What are you waiting for?   Call me this weekend!  (And if you happen to get this before the “sale” starts, I’ll gladly honor it.)


P.S.  Don’t forget, both conferences offer 8 CEUs approved by the Maine Real Estate Commission for real estate agents!


For 48 hours only, tickets and exhibit spaces/sponsorships/conference program ads will be reduced in price.

The reduced prices will NOT be posted on Eventbrite; to take advantage of them, you must contact Linda directly. (See blog for info.)

In the future, we’ll only be giving this sort of special deal to people who are signed up for our Real Estate, Housing & Land Use eletter or who follow our blog. This weekend, we’re opening the special up to others, hoping to encourage people to sign up for the blog or eletter…  you’ll be able to take advantage of great savings!



Linda M. Snyder, M.S.
207 740 2247
Greater Bangor Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Conference and Expo
Oct 31-Nov 01, 2013 | Cross Insurance Center Ballroom
Greater Androscoggin Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Conference
Nov 08, 2013 | Ramada Inn & Conference Center
Greater Portland Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Conference & Trade Show
May 01-02, 2014 |  Seasons Conference Center
Greater Portland Pet Expo – The Business of Animals
June 05-06, 2014 | Seasons Conference Center
Hitch your wagon to a star.  R W Emerson
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