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Scoring a kill at the expo

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Stonehenge, Oct 25, 2001.

  1. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    This might do well in the 'elements' thread, too...

    One of the things that I've neglected thus far in my planning for the expo booth is, once I've got a potential customer's interest, how do I take the next step, get their names, addresses, phone numbers? $?

    Guest book?

    Prize giveaway (though I don't like this idea too much - give away something for free and all you get are people who expect things for free)?

    Any ideas/experiences out-of-the-box?
  2. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,411

    Common way is a clipboard in a prominent location with a sheet where they could add their name address phone so you can contact them.
  3. CHC

    CHC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 65


    I used to sell "financial products" for the "Rock" insurance co. We went to homebuilder's shows, etc in the hope of getting leads/sales. Freebies just drew in the freeloaders and semi-serious tire kickers. It is interesting that you are putting these threads out right now; we have just signed for booth space at a garden show in PA next spring, and are having some of the same concerns. Bottom line; same as any other sales presentation; you have to ask for the sale - in this case the name, address, and idea gathering (or whatever) appointment. Once there, the sales process starts all over again. I think the prizes & other freebies distract all the parties involved from the matter at hand; ie they need landscape help & you are the firm that will provide that service. Otherwise they see a freebie, and you end up meeting people who are really looking for a prize and will put up with your presentation to get a chance at it. I think that an eye catching booth, staffed with pleasant professionals will garner more real business, albeit perhaps fewer actual bodies across the floor.
    Anyway, that is how we plan to develop our program.
    Hope that helps a little.
  4. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    Be set up to take there name and phone # .. have lots of business cards... pics of your best work in a photo album ... we also had a very nice colour brochere printed up.
    Good luck with it!
  5. Island Lawn

    Island Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 632

    The freebie thing should generate some interest.

    One way to address the concern of your freebie distracting attention away from "the matter at hand" is to make the freebie, "the matter at hand".

    Just put out a box for people to drop the name, etc into.
    This enters them into a drawing to win a discount for your services...or maybe even a free service... it just depends on what you are willing to give away in order to generate interest. The idea is to collect a bunch of names, ect of people that are interested in having what you offer...whether they win or not.

    All due respect, but you were selling "financial products" at a homebuilders show.
    I'm not sure if that is what people came to that show to see.

    As I understand it, Stonehenge is selling landscaping at a landscaping show.
    I believe most people go to a landscaping show to see landscaping. Therefore qualifying themselves as more than just "freeloaders or semi-serious tire-kickers", simply by taking the time and effort to attend.

    My .02 (+/-)

    But why not do both?
  6. KindGardener

    KindGardener LawnSite Member
    Messages: 186

    I manned a booth for a friend's landscaping company last year -

    We had 100 sqft of fescue laid down on top of plastic sheeting - it looks great, so long as you dont walk on it much (by day 3 it was pretty beat up). Had a few of 15g. trees & shrubs, 1 24" box in each back corner.

    Hung up a couple colored-up plans on the back wall, had a number of rolled-up plans on a table, and 2 books of before/after shots.

    People seemed to be drawn to the rolled-up plans

    sorry I don't have a picture of the booth.

    Had good interest, got maybe 25 leads, about half turned into work.

    Made up individual "lead sheets" (didn't want to leave a clipboard of all our prospects laying about). The propspects would fill out a sheet, and I'd write notes on our conversation on the back. Made follow up calls the next day.

    People who were interested in getting a design, or a new landscape stopped & talked, others who were there to buy beef jerky or a spa, or a magic mop, kept walking.

    We didn't have any freebies (pen, notepad, etc). We did have a bowl of carmels, they go fast, but they are cheap, too.

    The pictures of the booth
  7. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,087

    Definetly start a mail list with a guest book. It will keep reminding them about your services if you keep sending info to them. As long as they have pleasant memories of your booth, one of these times when they get a mailing they will be in the mood to "go for it".

    Maybe offer some kind of drawing or something but to enter they have to sign their name and address. But, then you might attract the wrong people. I like the bowl of candy idea better.

    Good Luck!
  8. jnjnlc

    jnjnlc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 231

    Great timing on this post. I have the opportunity to do a booth in a local garden show early next year. I have decided to do this. I had the same chance last year and passed on it.

    I will have a 20 X 40 booth. I will have to put down plastic to protect the floor. I plan on using some sod. Maybe a bistro table with planting around and a fountain.

    I have to submit a plan soon. As soon as I have it down I will post it if I can.

    I like the give away idea. And yes, when you mention free stuff people come out of the woodwork. Maybe free candy.

    I was advised by a friend that the potential client list should be in a nice form of some time. Not just a notebook laying on a table. I was thinking maybe in the style of a guest book. Something we can get the name, address, phone number and the service they are interested in.

    I was also told that a small portfollio may be detrimental to me. If I am going to use a protfollio then I need to have lots of photos.

    I will post more on this as I learn it.
  9. Island Lawn

    Island Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 632

    Great thread!

    You larned me!

    Much more up front and honest than my "drawing" idea, since this info is really what I'm trying to obtain!

    The way to a man's / HUman's heart...

    BTW, which expo?
  10. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    It's called the Fox Cities Landscape Expo - a small one in our local area. The first one for our landscape association. It's going to be held at a local popular retail greenhouse.

    I'm helping to put it together, and while I'm not wild about having the job of collecting all info on the exhibitors and assigning booth locations, the positive is....I'm assigning booth locations...:) Guess who's going to get the primo first-thing-you-see-when-you-walk-in-the-door booth? ;)

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