It started with a dull pounding sound above us. It was the first day of RIMS, the Risk Information Management Society convention. Expectations were high since RIMS is an important show for TPG’s client. They were exhibiting in a new booth property, and to help ensure return on their investment, they had set their goal for leads significantly higher than last year’s.
With New Orleans being the host city, we were all anticipating not only an energized conference, but also New Orleans style excitement. We were not, however, anticipating this, as the pounding sound on the hall’s roof increased and was soon accentuated with the rumble of thunder.
“Wow, this is a serious Louisiana rain storm”, I thought, and then concentrated on the business at hand. We had three exhibit days to reach and inspire as many qualified attendees as possible, and our client was prepared. Their interactive electronic messaging was operating and manned by well-briefed booth staff. They had invited 4 TPG Brand Specialists to be part of their team.
These Brand Specialists were not only well briefed on the attendees’ top-of-mind-concerns, but also on our client’s significant solutions and offerings. Their goal was to engage, qualify, inform, and connect qualified prospects to booth staff members. They had aggressive goals, since they were there two of the three exhibit days. Armed with iPads for scanning and qualifying, they were ready!
Then the convention hall lights flickered off! It was only a second before the auxiliary power kicked in, but my first thought was, “Find the closest exit!” One of the booth staff showed me a photo of a churning tornado from the weather app on his phone, and it was headed toward New Orleans. This is when I thought, “Ok, do we need to find cover?” I checked out the closest exit for our booth and looked outside. Forceful rain was filling up the street.
Ultimately the tornado did not hit New Orleans, to our relief; but the tremendous rain did have an impact on booth traffic. Though traffic in the aisles was light, as I approached the booth, I watched TPG Brand Specialists engage each approaching attendee. Their booth at least had steady traffic and the staff were active at their interactive areas.
When I discussed the lower floor traffic with my client, we both acknowledged that you can prepare for almost every scenario on the show floor, but there are some things you just can’t control.
As it turned out, our client exceeded their goal for leads by 50%, even with the drop in show attendance! By integrating the pro-active energy of Brand Specialists into their trade show program, they had prepared for a scenario they had not anticipated. It’s true, there are some things in trade show programs that you cannot control, but there are some very important things that you can!