5 ways to increase your efficiency at IFTD

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Every year I go to IFTD I never have enough time to do what I need in 3 short days. Meetings run long, catching up with old friends slow me down, and all the new shiny gear keeps distracting me. Over the years I’ve developed a few tips that keep me running at peak levels of efficiency while I’m at the show. With a few cups of coffee and our 5 tips on increasing your efficiency at IFTD, you’ll be on your way to gaining more loyal customers.   

Pre-Schedule Meetings

It’s tough to squeeze everyone in at the show. If you’re an exhibitor one of the best things you can do is let show attendees book time with you. There are a ton of apps out there for doing this, but I like youcanbook.me. It’s pretty easy to set up and syncs with your Google Calendar. Just prefill in your availability, fire off a quick email to your target accounts, and let them book a time that works with their schedule.

Visit the New Product Showcase First-

If you can get into the new product showcase, that’s the place to start. It’s got all the new stuff in one locale. You can explore the gear you want to learn more about while visiting with manufacturers later in the day. Take a notepad and scribble down initial thoughts. You’ll want to refer to it when meeting later. Once the marketing speel starts, it’s easy to forget your first impressions of the product.

But all good marketers know you need to keep your customers current.

Automate as Much as Possible

Every second counts when you’re manning a booth. The last thing you want to do is send out an email or social media post while you’re at the show. But all good marketers know you need to keep your customers current. I recommend pre-scheduling as much of your content as possible. Spend the week before IFTD finishing your “during show” emails and schedule them to go out at 8:45 a.m. (just as the show opens) or at 5:15pm (just as the show closes).

Social Media posts are a little trickier to automate, but they can be a lot more fun and engaging if they are spontaneous. If you see one of your favorite fishing personalities cruising the floor, grab a shot with them or flip the camera around and do a quick “Facebook Live” update for your fans back home.

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of publishing at the show, most online publishing apps will let you pre-schedule ahead of time. We like Hubspot and Buffer for these tasks.

ICAST App

If you’re cruising the show floor be sure to check out the ICAST App. The built-in map is worth the download alone. It makes it super easy to find that one retailer you have to see.

Create a Plan for Success

Last year I wrote a post with 5 things you must do before IFTD. Not much has changed in 365 days. You really need to build a concentrated plan to have a successful trade show. It’s getting harder and harder to turn big investments like trade shows into profits. The buyer has unlimited information just one short web search away. But buyers still turn out for tradeshows. A successful plan should have the following:

  1. Create A Brand Story-> Make yours relevant, compelling, and focus on the people using it and you’ll start generating interest.
  2. Set Your Goals For The Show Now-> Make sure you have the ability to quantify each of your goals so that you can measure success.
  3. Find Your Target Audience-> Use a CRM to track email opens, clicks, engagement, and follow up.
  4. Identify Important Deadlines-> The show is only 2 months away. What marketing deadlines do you need to hit prior to the show?
  5. Start Building Buzz-> It’s not too early to start getting people excited. IFTD is probably on most people’s mind already.

Don’t Forget the Snacks!!

Working on an empty stomach is a recipe for disaster. Trying to work through the big dinner with clients from the night before makes it even worse. We put together a free IFTD emergency kit to help you get through those long days. It includes a few sticks of protein, some sugary treats, a couple aspirin, and some earplugs for your noisy hotel roommate, all wrapped up in a cool pinch pouch from Vedavoo. Just pop over to our site and we’ll be sure to pack you one for your time at IFTD.

IFTD is a whirlwind of a tradeshow. With zero planning you can easily get trapped in your hotel room sending emails and experiencing FOMO (fear of missing out) because you don’t have time for late night “meetings.” Doing some pre-planning, utilizing technology, and snagging a free IFTD emergency kit can help you maximize your time at the show and still have some fun.

We look forward to seeing old friends, new friends, and that new fancy gear at the IFTD 2018 trade show!

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About Author

Thanks for making it this far. I hope you found this article helpful. Providing engaging, educational content is the mission of my column here on Angling Trade. I'm also the owner of Sage Lion Media, a design studio that caters to the outdoor industry.

2 Comments

  1. One thing I’d also recommend for an exhibitor, is to reach out to your retailer partners via email and let them know you’re exhibiting at the show and would love the opportunity to meet with them. Only a few fly manufacturers do this, 4 in 2017, yes, only 4! Also, and I hear this all the time from retailers – a personal phone call asking us to attend IFTD and stop by the booth from the CEO/Sales Manager/Marketing Manager to talk business strategy (after all it is a mutually beneficial partnership) goes a long way. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone at IFTD.

    • Nick Hoover on

      Great thoughts Ben. Building Buzz ahead of IFTD is crucial to a successful show and a busy booth.

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