Teaching New Hires The Importance of Face-to-Face Marketing at Trade Shows
Young hires just out of college are great. They’re full of energy and often have tons of great ideas. The downside is that this generation have spent most of their time being able to be online, on demand. They’ve learned about social media, and blogging, and digital marketing, but know next to nothing about the importance of face-to-face marketing-or how to do it! They may have never been to a trade show. However, there are ways that you can put that youthful exuberance and different knowledge to work for you at your next trade show, while you teach them the value of in-person marketing.
The first thing that you’re going to want to do is make sure that your new hire has a great mentor at his first few trade shows. The mentor you choose for him should be someone who’s comfortable in a leadership role, and who is amazing on the exhibit floor. Think of it this way: If you had one member of your sales staff that you could clone, who would it be? That person should be the mentor to your new hire. Besides implementing a mentor program, there are a few other ways that you can make the most of a younger new hire.
We’ve discussed the importance of adding technology to your trade show exhibit, (https://graphicolor.com/3-youre-missing-tablet-trade-show-booth/) but we know, for some of you, that making that change is difficult. Not everyone embraces change. However, if you’ve got a younger hire that you’re going to be putting on the trade show floor, why not assign them the technological side of things? Let them be the one in charge of the tablet, or connecting with prospects using that touch screen that you’ve been thinking about adding to your exhibit. Make sure that they have a clear expectation of what you expect to happen when they’re using tech to interact with your leads at the trade show.
Even if your sales staff is getting more experienced (and older), your target customer base may not be getting older. If you are targeting a younger demographic, ask the new hire to focus on those younger prospects. Even if your business is B2B, if you’re putting young new hires out there to represent your business at the trade show, so are the companies you’re trying to connect with. Younger leads are more likely to connect with a peer. You could certainly pair this with a mentor program until he’s got his feet under him.
Finally take those ideas that your new hire is probably full of, and see how your company can use them, and your new hire, to their fullest potential. If your new hire suggests tweeting during the trade show, don’t dismiss it out of hand. A lot of businesses are doing it, and it’s leading to positive results for them. Work together with your new hire to find ways to blend both traditional face-to-face marketing with some new digital strategies, and watch your success explode!