I am always amazed to learn new ideas for conducting the booth sales process. Many clients do onsite sales in the traditional format during show hours or move-in. However, some of them do it differently and some are very innovative. Here are some examples:
Client A begins selling 14 months prior to the event, or 2 months out from the current year event. One person reaches out to the top 50 exhibitors in priority order 2 months before the current show. Mutually, they agree on a space and the sales person places it on “reserve” in a2zShow (Exposition & Conference Management and Marketing software). The electronic contract for the selected booth space is emailed to these exhibitors, electronic signature is collected, deposit is made and booth is secured. The rest of the assignments are done in priority order at the show with onsite space selection appointments. After the show, the process can continue, or the contract can be modified to allow exhibitors to see and select space, taking the consultative approach out of the equation.
Client B sets up a “war room” in an office conference room for 3 days, several weeks post-event calling each exhibitor in priority order. There is one person calling exhibitors and then transferring the call to a station where another person is actually reserving the booth in the a2z system. There are two assigning stations. The Director of Sales walks back and forth between the two stations providing advice and the personal touch when the exhibitor is on the phone. The exhibitor is emailed a link to the contract to accept the booth on reserve, agree to the terms and conditions and make the deposit. This show has over 700 booths and 275K net sqft., which is why it takes a few days to execute this process.
Client C collects online applications from potential exhibitors right in the a2z system. The exhibitors specify how much space they want and maybe indicate where on the floor they would like to be located (in a pavilion, specific hall, etc.) Once a critical mass of online applications are collected, the client runs reports in a2z, cuts the floor plan according to the requests and assigns the customers space. The online application serves as the contract and deposit was collected with the application.
Post-show online selection
Client D does not want exhibitors to leave their booth space to attend onsite space selection during the event. So, they have an online selection AFTER the event. The a2z online contract is programmed not to let a specific company choose their booth space until their assigned selection time. The contract is signed, deposit is made and booth is secured.
There are other methods to selling space while utilizing the efficiency of an online contract, but these are some I wanted to highlight. If you have specific suggestions, please leave them in the comments section.