Learn what to do (and what not to do) to insure a successful exhibit at the Society of Petroleum Engineers Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition. The SPE ATCE is one of the best events for companies wanting to sell their product or service to the oil & gas market, but only if its handled correctly.
Keys to a Successful Exhibit – Step by step directions
2013 ATCE Program – a full list of daily schedules, product & services, exhibitors, sponsors and maps and layouts.
2014 ATCE Call for Papers – deadline for submittal is January 27, 2014
Transcript of Session –
Hey, folks. Let’s learn some more about the oil and gas industry.
Okay. Today, we’re in beautiful New Orleans, Louisiana at the Society for Petroleum Engineers Annual Technical Conference and Expo. And this show is unbelievable, I have never seen it this busy in the last fifteen years. Full of vendors, full of upstream guys, some of the midstream guys are here, a lot of new technology on the floor, overall there’s a high energy place. And if you’re looking to sell into oil and gas industry, this is where you need to be.
All right. This show is going to have a laser focus on the Society for Petroleum Engineers Annual Technical Conference and Expo, so that’s SPE ATCE. We’re going to talk about what you and your company need to do to successfully have an exhibit booth at this event.
So, first thing. Make sure you schedule customer appointments weeks ahead of time. Your clients will be at this show, your salespeople need to reach to them and invite them to the booth and not one time, but multiple times. This type of before show activity increases the results of your money to spend at the SPE ATCE. That’s very important.
Number two. Schedule appointments with any editors that are going there. So any of the trade rags will have their – in the oil and gas vertical will have their editors there walking the floor. Schedule some times, way to get some great free publicity for your product and your company and your booth and it cost you absolutely nothing.
Number three. Host a breakfast or a lunch track. This is a very good bang for your buck. We do this with our clients all the time. You basically come up with a subject that your prospects would have an interest in and sponsor a track on it. It’s a great ROI for the show.
Next thing. Meal sponsorship that SPE will try to push you is not worth it ever. Ignore it, walk away from it.
Also, make sure you have a marketing person not just a sales person at the booth. The problem is salespeople quickly either identify people as potential prospects or not and treat them accordingly. The marketing guys go look at everybody as the lead and makes you their follow up on and that’s what you’re actually generating at this event. You’re actually generating leads, you’re not going to sell anything. So mistake I see a lot of people make into something that we help our clients understand your booth should be manned with marketing and salespeople not just salespeople.
Next thing. Make sure you triage your traffic. So you should have some people upfront that quickly qualify a prospect, this is somebody that may have been interest in your product or solution that you sell. If they do, then (a) you push them back to the next group of people who further qualify them and get their contact information.
And then finally, you actually send them to the subject matter expert for a deep dive. This way you get your important people talking to the high level prospects and the people are just stopping by for your free trinkets, you quickly get them going the other way.
Don’t buy space and [0:02:54][Indiscernible]. Once again, that’s a waste of money and time. I’ve never seen that help whatsoever.
Also, don’t spend a lot of money on trinkets to give away. People are there to learn, your clients – the people that are going to buy from are there to learn, not for the freebies. The freebies are a nice thing to do, but don’t waste a lot of money on that.
Also, don’t give away literature to unqualified prospects. I see this all the time, people giving away the product literature which has a cost to every single person that walks by. Most of that ends up in the trash. And what you do is you set yourself up as a commodity, but automatically giving that stuff out and people devalue your booth experience.
Now, at the SPE ATCE, since a lot of people that are walking the floor have an engineering background, put something in your booth that moves. I don’t know what it is, but engineers love moving parts and pieces and that will attract more people to your booth than anything else.
Also, on that note, be tasteful. Please no booth girls. It’s okay if you have some of your female marketing salespeople there dressed business casual, but stop the booth girl, people please really, I mean it makes us all look bad.
Demos should really never be done on the front of your exhibit. If you have a big enough exhibit, have a demo at the back, that’s great. But what you should really do is schedule demo so you can create buzz and you have one every three hours every four hours. Don’t have one run in the front of the booth, it devalues you.
And then, something you may not think of, extra carpet padding. When you go ahead and put up the money is well worth it both for your people and for your clients or prospects, they’d be more likely staying around your booth if it’s more comfortable than standing on the hard floor. Haven’t thought about that, but I’ve seen it worked over and over again.
Pre-show mailings, skip it, waste of time. Instead, spend your time on social media; LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and hype up your event weeks ahead of time and don’t let it stop.
Also, have a huddle with your booth members before it opens to attendees. Make sure everybody understands their duties and speaking of that, make sure you train your booth staff. So many booths I’ve seen, they get set up and they stick their salespeople in there. It’s not a good environment for salespeople. You need to specifically train people for your booth to manage that prospect from a qualified lead all the way to, you know, an actual hand off to your salespeople.
Then, here’s something else I see all the time. After the show, follow up on the leads, I mean you may get two or three hundred of them and I’ve seen people wait months to follow up. Don’t do that. Have a team set aside especially to follow up those leads immediately. In fact, one of the things that we do with our clients most often is we have them set up an inside team that the booth employs, the marketing salespeople booth feed those leads to every [event] so that next morning those inside salespeople will follow that right away.
And then finally, when you leave make sure that the SPE gives you a list of all the people that signed up for your breakfast track or whatever. They’ll give it to you in Excel spreadsheet. That’s a hot list of prospects and a lot of people just walk away from that which is crazy.
So hopefully this helps. This is one of the best events. I get – we get more results with our clients at this event than almost any other. So, if you need anything else from us that may help you with the SPE ATCE just reach out and we’re happy to help.