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Glenn Caldwell is the Vice-President of Sales for NAL Insurance Inc.and Healthy Trucker. For over 25 years, Glenn has worked closely with many fleets across the country to ensure their Owner/Operators have the protection they need to Keep Rollin’. You can reach him (800) 265 1657-3350 gcaldwell@nalinsurance.com www.nalinsurance.com www.healthyfleet.com.

Where did the summer go?  It just seems like yesterday that my wife played Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out for Summer” on our daughters last day of classes, a tradition since we have had since our kids were both very young.  

Glancing at my calendar this week I noticed that September and October are both busy months for Job Fairs and Trade Shows.

These types of shows come at a large cost for exhibitors. From the expense involved with the cost of the booth space, electrical, marketing material, and giveaways, to transportation, accommodations, and meal, it’s certainly something to budget for.  

Don’t forget the most important expense: your time.  Many of these shows are on the weekend, which means it’s time away from your family/friends, and you’re missing out on that all important recharge time.  

One of my mentors, Jim Rohn, often said, “Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money but you cannot get more time.”

Being properly prepared for any show is key to ensure you and your company receive the ROI needed to make this a worthwhile investment.

Here are some tips to consider when working a booth…

Let clients and prospects know how they can find you by sharing your booth number through social media and newsletters. Some companies do well by offering incentives for customers and clients to stop at their booth.
Wear comfortable shoes. Trust that a trade show is not the place to break in a brand new pair of shoes, and with the amount of time you spend on your feet, you deserve to be as comfortable as possible.
Stand up for as much of the day as you can. You will seem more approachable and will have more valuable conversations with prospects.
Have a schedule for every staff member you have attending, including breaks. They deserve some time to recharge!
Keep plenty of breath mints on hand, as conversations tend to happen in close proximity due to the noise.
Have a bowl of candies or mints on your table.  You never know what will get a prospect to stop and chat for a minute, and they will be thankful for the mints mentioned earlier! 
Have plenty of business cards on hand. Forgetting your cards could mean the difference between making a sale and going home empty handed.
Make sure your booth remains clean and free of clutter. Keep boxes, jackets and other gear out of sight under the table.
Network with other exhibitors, but don’t take too much of their time. You are both there to talk to prospects and clients.
Show up alert and rested. Often trade shows will host a reception the night before, but too late of a night (and a few too many drinks) will affect your energy and success the next day.
Have a short FAB (Feature, Advantage, Benefit) pitch to give to prospects, so you aren’t overwhelming them with information. You should be able to deliver this in 30 seconds or less.
Avoid eating at your booth, it looks unprofessional and could deter someone from coming up to you.
If you are holding draw for a prize, be sure to do the draw at the show and have people to gather around to create some excitement and attention.
Stay and keep your booth set up until the end of the show. Tearing down early is disrespectful to the show organizers and often causes a ripple effect of other booths doing the same thing. You never know who you might talk to in that final hour!

Don’t just be there putting in your time, you want to bring your ‘A-game’ to fully realize the investment that you and your company have made. 

Follow up is key at any job fair or trade show. Make sure to have a “hot sheet” to record the names, numbers and notes for leads that have the most potential. If you have collected emails, send them a quick follow up to thank them for dropping by.

When you are attending a job fair to recruit drivers, don’t wait until the weekend is over before you reach out to your hot prospects.  In today’s driver climate, chances are they will be receiving a call or follow up from many other fleets that are also trying to win them over. Let them know you are very interested in talking to them and that you will be sending more info first thing Monday morning.  Better yet, include your recruiting link for them to check things out over the weekend while it’s fresh in their mind.  

Make sure you also have a follow up conversation with your team. Ask them to provide their feedback on the event and be sure to designate tasks and follow ups accordingly to ensure everything gets done.

It’s sometimes difficult to measure the true value of the show and you may not see the ROI right away, but if you keep in touch long-term with any contacts you make, you can rest assured that your investment will be well worth it.

Oh, and don’t forget to have fun, it certainly make the time pass a lot quicker!

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Glenn Caldwell is the Vice-President of Sales for NAL Insurance Inc.and Healthy Trucker. For over 25 years, Glenn has worked closely with many fleets across the country to ensure their Owner/Operators have the protection they need to Keep Rollin’. You can reach him (800) 265 1657-3350 gcaldwell@nalinsurance.com www.nalinsurance.com www.healthyfleet.com.

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