Is there an inside game of tradeshow
marketing success? Hey, it could be just a catch phrase designed to
get you read.
But let’s explore for a moment.
If you’re a baseball fan, you
might be familiar with the phrase “inside
baseball.” It’s a term used mostly in the
United States, that refers to detailed knowledge about a subject
that outsiders are usually not privy to. Deep knowledge about any
subject down to the minutiae often means that unless you have spent
years doing whatever it is, you are not going to understand a lot of
the talk. Hence, “inside baseball.”
Even though the term was around
since the 19th century,
by the mid-1950s the term was being used outside of baseball,
particularly it was used in politics. To use the term in another
field, such as business, technology or science is not unusual.
In using the term as applied to
tradeshow marketing, let’s think about what that means.
have the knowledge of what it takes to go from Point A to Point
Z with all of the twists and turns.
only do you have the knowledge, you have the discipline that it
takes in the event industry to organize all of those moving
parts in a coherent and effective way.
Skill. Skill comes
with doing something over and over again, learning what works
and what doesn’t, ironing out the rough spots and then learning
some more so that you know what to expect, you know how to deal
with issues as they come up because – hey! – they’re not that
much of a surprise.
event industry – like most industries – is a people industry.
People make it run. People know how things work. People ask for
and offer help. And face it – the events / tradeshow /
exhibiting industry is built on getting far-flung people
together under one roof face-to-face to do business. Networking
skills are at their highest level and their most useful in this
Inside baseball means you know why a
pitcher is throwing a curve ball when the count is 3 and 2. You know
that between pitches, players and coaches communicate strategy by
pulling on an earlobe, brushing their thigh or arm, and of course
keeping an eye on the opposing team’s silent communication to try
and suss out the essence of the message.
Inside tradeshow marketing has to do
with, for example, knowing how to position your brand in the
marketplace, how to talk to booth visitors, when to book travel and
hotel rooms, what restaurants are the best near any given conference
venue, how to take advantage of those three or four days when the
exhibit is set up in a competitive marketplace where thousands of
potential clients are roaming the aisles. Having the right graphics
and messaging can mean the difference between 250 and 350 leads.
Having a booth staff that knows how to ask the right questions of
visitors can mean the difference between and ROI of 10% and 100%. It
all makes a difference.
And if you’ve done this for years, you
know what works and what doesn’t. You know what companies are
putting up a great exhibit and have a fantastically enthusiastic and
well-trained staff and which competitors are just showing up because
they think they should.
If you know all of that stuff, you know
inside baseball. In the tradeshow world.