Meetings are the building blocks to successful event campaigns. At events, meetings are typically a mix of pre-scheduled and walk-ins. But there is no way to accurately predict the number of customers who are going to walk into your booth at any given point of time. Therefore, you cannot plan your event strategy solely on the presumption that customers are going to walk into your booth and request a sit-down.
This is where pre-scheduled meetings come into play. The number of meetings scheduled can give you a clear picture of the potential business you are likely to generate at the event, i.e. the sales pipeline. And taking a close look at these numbers can also tell you if attending the event is worth it or not.
Here are four definitive reasons why you should pre-schedule more meetings at your next trade show.
Better calendar optimization
At events, time is a very important resource. On a good day, approximately 40% of meetings at trade shows are going to be walk-ins. However, you can never predict when a customer decides to walk into your booth and request a sit-down. Therefore, planning your calendar can be crucial to your B2B event strategy.
When you plan your calendar effectively, you know when you’re going to be busy. This gives you time to accommodate walk-ins when you’re free. Pre-organized meetings let you attach a time frame to every meeting. Additionally, pre-scheduled meetings have higher rates of response and confirmation.
Related: Why marketers need to focus on meetings that facilitate bigger deals
Pre-scheduled meetings give you the opportunity to group and discuss crucial information before actually meeting customers. Customers are impressed when you have the answers to questions they are going to ask. By preparing for meetings in advance, you are able predict customer requirements and come up with solutions that customers can relate to. At the briefing, you can run through the most important details of the meeting and create action items for each touchpoint.
Related: An event marketer’s checklist for successful sales meetings
Setting detailed agendas
Agendas are crucial to meetings that involve a potential revenue outcome. Both parties need to be aware of certain details such as, why the meeting was set, who’s going to be attending it and what is going to be discussed.
Meetings without agendas tend to be less productive and unstructured, leading attendees to feel disengaged and uninterested. If these discussions are not structured, they can take a new direction which may set a poor precedent and even lead your customers to skip subsequent meetings.
With pre-planned meetings, setting an agenda can go a long way in setting the context for the meeting and keep the discussion relevant and focused. A meeting agenda can also regulate and set guidelines to what needs to be discussed and what needs to be set aside for another time. Once the agenda is set, customers can have a look at it and tell you what, in their view, needs to be included or changed.
Better resource management
Managing meeting spaces and internal resources are a tedious task. More often than not, you often find yourself in a position where customers arrive at your booth when all your meeting rooms are occupied or the required personnels are unavailable. But how do you avoid this sticky situation?
Pre-scheduling meetings take care of that. While planning your meetings in advance, you get first pick on the meeting room. You can also get SMEs to sit in at these meeting to answer customer queries. Moreover, you can also prioritize meetings that have a higher-than-usual deal size by reaching out to VPs and CXOs to attend them.
Related: How marketing automation fits into your B2B event strategy
Every meeting has its unique challenge and objective. Pre-scheduling meetings give your customers time to understand the product, go through some product content, and come up with queries regarding the challenges that they face.
Feel free to express your thoughts on why you think pre-scheduled meetings are important to the event strategy.