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Championing Expo West

Posted by: Jeanne Eisenhaure | Posted on: January 8, 2015 | 0 Comments

The Kitchen Coop at Natural Products Expo West

This piece is originally from The Kitchen Coop’s March 2014 Newsletter. Subscribe to The Kitchen Coop’s Newsletter and never miss valuable manufacturing content, updates on The Kitchen Coop, and upcoming local and regional food industry events.

The Natural Products Expo West Trade Show for 2014 begins tomorrow and whether this is your first year or your 30th it is always helpful to take pause and set your intention for the event to help you make the most out of the experience. The Kitchen Coop is a relative newbie to the Expo West scene, but sometimes it can be helpful to look at things through a beginner’s eyes. We have laid out our super quick tips to help smaller food brands make the most out of the experience, whether you are attending or exhibiting.

Pre Show Prep

  • Do your homework, who is critical for your business to connect with at this event. Many meetings are planned months in advance, so often executives can be booked up almost the whole time of the show. Take time to review the list of attendees and pick out ten that who are your top priorities for connecting.
  • Download the Expo West App (great unless you’re in the basement exhibitor space, which has limited service).
  • Power cord for your phone – it will die.
  • Card scanning app, such as CamCard, so you don’t lose any contacts and to help with quick follow-up.
  • QR Reader App – quickly get additional information on products, important businesses or event competitors.
  • Identify your metrics of success. Expo West is not an inexpensive undertaking, how will you calculate the ROI of the event? E.g. number of leads, number of sales, meetings secured, press? Set a few objective targets you’re your team to help you stay on track with the event. This Results worksheet from Exhibitor Central might help you get started.
  • What matters to your target audience? When someone visits your booth, what message do you want him or her to receive in the first 5 seconds? Be sure that your booth team, imaging, and message are all consistent in the sales pitch.

At the Show

  • ABC (Always Be Closing). Review this four step booth process from Exhibitor Central. Engage (30 sec – eliminate yes/no responses), Qualify (2 min – determine who is worth a presentation?), Present (10 min – demo to that prospect’s needs), Close (1 min – agree on next steps and on to the next lead).
  • Take breaks, go outside in the sunshine, and drink water (bring your own bottle to reduce waste). It can be easy to lose yourself in the sea of samples, florescent lights, and networking. Three days at 10-16 hours a day is exhausting and if you don’t take moments of self-care, you will burn out. After all isn’t a healthy lifestyle what the natural industry is about? Who knows, you might just meet your best contact outside in the California sunshine.
  • Take an hour at the end of the day and categorize your contacts for follow-up (high, medium, low priority). Write notes on each card, or use your card scanner to import into your contacts with notes. After meeting hundreds of people, you are going to need to keep things organized.

After the Show

  • Timely and appropriate follow-ups for all leads. Be sure to personalize your notes to each lead. Prepare response packets (draft emails and promotional material) for each lead category. Be sure to include anything you promised to send. Follow through on a lead management process and identify the person responsible for lead management so items don’t slip through the cracks.

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