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Design007-Dec2018

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46 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2018 Feature Interview by Barry Matties I-CONNECT007 Dan Beaulieu, president of D.B. Management Group, has over 30 years of experience in the PCB industry. In this interview, Beaulieu pro- vides his expert knowledge on selling strategies for companies as well as getting the most from your trade show experience as an exhibitor. Barry Matties: Dan, IPC APEX EXPO 2019 is coming up fast. This industry has been going to trade shows forever, and we've seen the exhibitors grow and contract through good and bad times. Right now, we have a good extended period in our economy, which means a lot of people are going to be at the trade show. What advice would you give your customers in terms of preparing for a trade show and making it as successful as possible? Beaulieu: The key is preparation. Barry, so often we hear, "I went to that trade show for years and got nothing out of it." Like everything else, it's what you put into it. I like to set clients up with a schedule. The first question to ask is, "Why are you going to this trade show? Why did you pick this event? What are you hoping to get out of it?" Set your goals, whether that's introducing a new product or going to meet potential cus- tomers. You just want to know what's going on in the industry. Some people say a trade show is basically a branding tool. I think it is, but I like to be much more effectual. Start with establishing why you're going to this show. It's just like marketing—it's getting the story for the show, and showing off your marketing and sales abilities. I like to work backward as well. At the end of the show, do a debrief. What happened? What worked well? What didn't work well? Even look at what you brought. Did you forget any- thing? Do you want to attend that show again? The other thing is, as you start preparing for the show, put together a schedule 14 weeks out. At week 14, you should start talking about what your graphics will be and what you want to share at the show. At week 13, you're down to basic stuff like solidifying hotel and travel details, who's coming to the show, and what you want to talk about? Many times, it drives me crazy when people spend $8,000–9,000 on a show, and you walk by, they're sitting in the back of the booth reading a magazine or some - thing. That's not what you should be doing. There are so many other valuable things you could do. Dan Beaulieu on Making the Most of a Trade Show

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