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Trade Shows & Seminars

Want to reach a lot of people all at once? Don't mind speaking in front of people and doing in-person prospecting? Then this marketing method might be for you!

When doing trade shows and expos, you need a minimum of 3 people working the booth at all times for maximum efficiency... two in the booth (you'll have to go to the bathroom at some point, right?) and one in the "racetrack". The racetrack is the walking aisle. As people pass through the exhibit hall, they stay right in the middle of the walkway and don't get too close to any booth... unless that booth passes the "3-second size-up.". They literally look at your booth for 3 seconds as they are walking past. You have exactly 3 seconds to get their attention before they move on to your neighbor's booth. The appearance and feeling of your booth is critical. So the third person stands in the racetrack and hands out the Enter to Win forms, and tells them to go to the table to enter the drawing for the cruise. This interrupts their rhythm, and they usually will come over to fill it out. While they are leaning over, filling out the form, that's your chance to start the conversation and talk to them.

At a show like this, the goal is not to make a sale while standing there, but rather, to go home with a box full of Enter to Win forms.... tons of leads! Follow-up is the most important key here... as they say, the fortune is in the follow-up! Once you get home, separate all the forms by the box they checked. All the people who checked "neither" go straight into the trash. Those who checked "both" are your hottest prospects. The other two categories can be called after that. If you don't follow up, they will not be a sale! They saw 300 exhibitors today... you really think they'll remember you in the morning? Don't flatter yourself. Trust me... they won't remember. Do the follow-ups!

Here's a picture of a franchise show we did:

Here are the files for the signs I used in this show....

(These files were designed in Micosoft Publisher. You will need Publisher to open them. If you do not have Publisher, simply right-click on the file and choose "Save Target As" to save it to a disk or CD so you can take it to Kinko's or another printer who can open it for you and make any corrections you want before printing it for you. They may even need to convert them to another file type first. Just take the file to the person you are getting to do your signs and banners.)

Large banner on the wall in the back - CV-3x6-banner.pub

Elephant 24x36 sign - ElephantSign.pub

Paid to travel 24x36 sign (in front of the table) - PaidToTravel-Sign.pub

Franchise 24x36 sign - franchise-vs-CV-Sign.pub

Enter to Win form (it prints out 4 to a page, so if you need 500 forms, you only need to print out 125 pages and then get them cut.)- Enter To Win Form


Doing Seminars - One Director's Experience

"A lot of people inquire about how profitable home business seminars are. The answer is: VERY PROFITABLE . But they take a lot of planning, and quite a bit of up-front capital to pull it off, but the profits can be very handsome! And the best part is, you only made ONE presentation, yet touched several people at once!

Here was my first seminar experience, just so you can get an idea of what can happen -

I decided to put on a seminar with my sister-in-law in her hometown of Philadelphia. We split the costs and split the profits. Here's what we did. We advertised for 5 weeks prior to the seminar, starting 6 weeks before. (The week just before the show, we did NO advertising... to give us time to mail out confirmation/reminder postcards.) We ran ads in major newspapers, in free employment directories, in thrifty papers, on the radio, and anything else we could think of. We spent approximately $3,000 in advertising.

We rented a small room (seated about 30) at the Comfort Inn. (They were the cheapest.) It cost us $125/day. We rented it for 3 days. We decided to make the most of our days and have 4 sessions per day, to allow for everyone's different schedules. SO that was a total of *12* 45-minute presentations.

We had the 800# in the ads ring into an answering service, which took all the calls and booked people into the different times and days. They were spread out pretty well over the 12 sessions. We had a total of just over 300 people who made reservations. Out of those 300, about 60 showed up. Of those 60, about half of them were spouses or friends just along for the ride, so we really only had about 30 potential sales.

We decorated the room up in island stuff and played steel drum music as they entered the room. We had refreshments in the back on a table, and there was another table by the door as they came in for them to sign in at (and for us to grab them on their way out! heehee)

We had rented an overhead projector, a TV/VCR combo, and a dry erase board.

I started the presentation by introducing myself and telling a little about my story and how I came to find out about Coastal. Then, I played the 5-minute video that comes in the package to set the mood. Next, I went over the benefits of the package, one by one, saving the price of the package until last. Then I went into the commission we make, and how the business works. I drew the structure on the dry erase board, to help them visualize what I was saying. I opened it up for questions, and took as many questions as they asked. (I even urged them to ask more by saying, "Come on... you guys are being too easy on me! Somebody ask me another question, hahaha") I passed out packets to each of them that was basically reprints of the Fax-on-demand doc#1 (the list of vacations.) While they were going through their packets, I outlined each page on the overhead projector, with them following along. The last page in their folders was an order form, complete with a credit card section. I had them all pull it out and I told them what to fill in. I told them we would be available by the back table on the way out to accept their orders and hand them their packages as they were leaving. I said thanks for coming, then walked to the back of the room, turned the island music back up, and grabbed a cookie. :-)

The funniest thing happened.... they all stayed seated facing forward!!!! LOL!!! I was totally dumbfounded!! Why wouldn't they get up?!? Finally I realized the problem.... They all wanted to do it, and didn't want to leave!! So I circulated around the room, talking to each person and finding out what their hang-up was. Some of them proceeded back to the table where we ran their credit card, others discussed payment options.

By the time all was said and done, out of the approximately 30 potential sales, WE GOT 14!!!! That's not bad... 14 sales in a weekend! It was a lot of planning and work, but definitely worth it!.

We learned some great lessons, though... one thing I will not do next time is do radio ads. They were too expensive, and the sales they generated just barely covered the expense. The majority of our sales came from the least expected place - the free employment directories!! Next time, I would definitely focus more on them. I would also hire a less expensive local answering service instead of a huge national one. Or, better yet, pay someone I know to do it!

All in all, it was definitely a success. I've done a couple since then, and will probably do more in the future. The only thing that keeps me from doing them all the time is that I really want to be a stay-at-home mom, and I can't do that if I'm traveling all over the place doing seminars.

I hope, through me sharing my experience, you can get the motivation and information you need to do your own seminars!"

Here are some samples of the ads we used for this seminar -

Here's what my ads looked like after a few years in Coastal (much better, huh?) -

And here are the radio ads we ran -

60 sec. ad during Dr. Laura -

"Attention stay-at-home moms & dads... and those who wish they could! Be your own boss. Set your own hours. Join those of us saying "NO!" to daycare and "YES!" to quality time with our children. Attend Philadelphia's free Home Business Seminar June 2 & 3. Write this number down... ready? 1-800-xxx-xxxx. Or 45 minute workshop will show you how you can easily earn $2,000 per week or more, from home, in the exciting travel industry! This is not MLM. Be one of the first 100 callers to reserve your seat during this commercial to receive a complimentary 3 day/2 night vacation getaway certificate for 2 - just for attending! Seats are going fast! Call now! 1-888-xxx-xxxx to save YOUR place at Philadelphia's free Home Business Seminar. Truly be your kids mom... or dad! That number again.... 1-888-xxx-xxxx."

60 sec. ad during Rush Limbaugh -

"Attention Entrepreneurs! Kiss your boss goodbye! Run your own business and set your own hours... working from home! Attend Philadelphia's free Home Business Seminar June 2 &3. Write this number down... 1-888-xxx-xxxx. Our 45 minute workshop will show you how you can begin earning $2,000 or more per week, from home, in the exciting travel industry. No licensing required. This is not an MLM. Be one of the first 100 callers to reserve your seat during this commercial to receive a complimentary 3 day/2 night vacation getaway certificate for 2 - just for attending! Seats are going fast! Call now! 1-888-xxx-xxxx to save YOUR place at Philadelphia's free Home Business Seminar. Be a true Capitalist - declare your independence - and ruin a liberal's day! That number again.... 1-888-xxx-xxxx."