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If you are currently planning your marketing budget for next year you have probably thought of a lunch and learn and a trade show as ways for lead generation. Either of them have their merits but you have to decide what your purpose for the event is? Do you want a mass or targeted prospect? I have written a previous blog on this matter. Let’s explore:

Trade Show:

  • Spy on Competition – Where else can you send a few people to your competitions location to gather data and they are open to give it?
  • Wide Audience – You can hit a wide group of people in your target market in a short span and gather data quickly for a lead nurturing campaign.
  • Recruiting Distributors and Dealers – There will be prospects as well as people who you can connect with that will be able to resell your products or services
  • Cost Per Prospect – a booth can be anywhere from $1 to $500 depending on the number of people attending and the cost of the booth.
  • Market Research – A great place to survey a large group of people about your current and/or future products and services.

Lunch & Learn:

    • Focus –  You can concentrate on pre-qualified prospects and then focus on those not ready to purchase now and put them in a lead nurturing campaign for further lead scoring and qualification.
    • Targeted Audience – Your pre-qualified prospects can be targeted from previous lead nurture campaigns, specific lists, previous or current customers. You can select who hears your message. It will not be just someone random.
    • Time Spent With Prospect – Once you are at the lunch and learn you have the prospects attention for longer than a few seconds as they pass by your booth. You do not have to worry about a mass appeal and the prospect will be in a more relaxed atmosphere.
    • Learn More About Prospect – Because you are able to spend more time with the prospect and hopefully you have had the prospect go through some pre-qualifiers, you will be able to ask more specific questions geared towards their challenges and solutions.
    • More Qualified Prospect –You will have a more qualified prospect that will allow you to shorten the sales cycle, increase your profitability, and have the ability to increase your value as a trusted advisor.

 

It really boils down to what are your goals of the event? Do you want a mass or targeted prospect? Are you looking to gather data or give a specific message? It is really up to you to decide? Think of this: how long of a sales cycle are you to have for 2012? Can you afford in today’s economic climate to wait for that prospect to reach out to you; or, do you want to take an active approach in your lead generation and lead nurturing going into 2010?  The Decision is yours.

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