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The Failure of Trade Show Raffle

Trade Show Raffles

Some office manager must have attended a Church raffle and seen people tossing in their contact information into a fishbowl and decided that this would be a great way to generate business leads at a trade show. Yes, we all have tossed a business card into a fishbowl in hopes on winning some electronic gadget. We are not interested in what the company is promoting but more interested in the gadget itself. So why assume the leads generated at a trade show booth raffle are valuable.Companies looking to boost trade show booth traffic will hire professional models to distribute and collect information for a raffle. These models understand that their performance is based on how many names that can stuff into a fishbowl. Employees who work the booth feel they too must stuff the raffle bowl resulting in a fishbowl full of questionable leads.

Raffles are more expensive then you would expect. Let’s look at the enrollment process and prize. To have an effective raffle you need to stop people, make them listen to a sales pitch and fill-out or swipe a badge just to enter them into the raffle. The prize itself has to be expensive and unique to get attendees excited enough to commit their time to participate. You have to figure the prize must exceed $200.00 for any executive to enter. Executives attending the show can afford a $200.00 IPod and probably have a better IPod then you are raffling. So the prize needs to be expensive, hard to come by or unique one of a kind prize. The selecting and researching a prize can take many man hours and meeting. It sounds crazy to say a prize could dominate a meeting topic, but consider this is the key element to your lead generation program. Consider how many meetings you have attended where trivial topics take two hours to make a decision?

Once you chosen the prize and workout all the details you then attend the trade show. The fishbowl was triumphant success and over the four day trade show you brought back 525 “contact leads” and everyone is happy and proud that they did lead generation.

Over the next week the sales force aggressively entered the leads into the sales database. This is typical done by the office manager or sales administrative assistant. An average data entry clerk would spend 5-6 hours keying the information. Then information packets are assembled, stuffed and postmarked. Figure 4-5 days for an office administrator to complete this task along with their daily duties.

The final process has the sales staff distributing the leads and starting the follow up telephone calls. Many people will have no idea why their being solicited or how the company received their information. Some may request more information, others will decline the literature information and some will play phone tag with the sales staff for weeks before declining the sales pitch. The sales staff quickly learns that leads generated in a raffle are not quality leads, but more like trying to shoot bats at night with a shot gun — it’s pointless to try and a waste of time.

Forgo the raffle and use the resources to generate a trade show booth experience using a trade show entertainer or invest the money and man hours into your trade show display campaign which not only entices attendees to enter your booth, but clearly defines what service or products you are offering and leave the raffles to the Church.

About the Author:

Dale Obrochta is a professional trade show entertainer who uses promotional balloon entertainment to build trade show booth traffic. He is a leading entertainer in the balloon entertainment industry who consistently works trade shows and corporate events. Magical Balloon-dude Dale is balloon entertainment at its best!

1 Comment

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Ermelinda // Feb 15, 2013 at 2:33 pm

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