Todd Hockenberry started his career over 30 years ago developing adhesive and plastic technology and providing technical support to customers at an inner door liner company in the automobile industry. Since then he’s worked for various companies in the manufacturing industry generating demand and finding new customers. Three years ago he started a manufacturing marketing firm called Top Line Results in Orlando, Fla., to help industrial companies grow.
We asked Hockenberry for tips on how attendees and exhibitors can use COMPOSITES 2013 to increase sales, but his advice applies to any trade show.
What should the goals of an exhibitor or visitor be for COMPOSITES 2013?
You need to know exactly why you’re going and exactly what you want to accomplish. Obviously the number one thing a lot of people want is leads – they want to find new customers. But there are a lot of other things you can get out of a trade show. You can connect with leaders, learn about the industry, go to educational seminars and you could meet members from ACMA. All of these should be goals of what you want to do at the show. A lot of times people go to trade shows, set up a booth and just stand there. That should never be all you do, that’s a very basic thing. Making connections is really the main goal. This is your time to determine how to advance and grow your business while you’re here. I have personally made huge amounts of connections at trade shows, whether it’s making connections, meeting clients or meeting with people in the industry.
How should exhibitors and visitors marketing themselves and their company while at COMPOSITES 2013?
You should be thinking, “here’s what I want to do, here’s who I want to meet, so how do I market to them.” This all ties in to knowing your overall goals for the show. Once you’ve figured out your goals and your target audience, marketing to that audience is your next big move. Whether you want to meet the industry leaders or the media, you need to know who they are, what companies they work for and what events they have. Once you have this established you can ask yourself, “how do I reach them and get my message out.” Reaching out to your target audience could be via email marketing, social media, flyer handouts or referrals. You need to be able to figure out which marketing channel or opportunities will help you reach your goals.