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26 . . February 2012INTERNATIONAL CONFEX Leading by exampleExhibitors at International Confex may fi nd the following tips from Jackie Paige, Director, Xpert Business Development, useful for managing leads at the eventQualify, qualify, qualify: Gather your team for a brainstorming session of your previous trade show experience. What worked and what didn't? How good was the calibre of leads? Did the qualifi ed leads buy and if so how much did they spend? How will you determine a qualifi ed lead?Bring them to your stand.Splash out on hospitality: This might eat into your budget, but it's an opportunity to improve and maintain existing relationships, as well as courting new potential customers. Hospitality can yield as much as a 50 per cent increase in uptake. Alternatively, create a meeting space for private conversations with key people and customers.Use at least two methods to log prospect business cards: Leads are valuable information and can be lost in the chaos of travel and unpacking. Using only one logging method leaves you open to lost information. Utilise a combination of smart phone, laptop and portable scanner. Design a custom lead form and identify high profi le leads: Include questions designed to qualify prospects. Are they the purchasing decision-maker, within what time scale will they buy,? You can also use it to record everything you learn about a prospect's needs.Lighten the load for your leads: Don't load them down with brochures, but instead scan their details and agree to send them a package after the show. Responding within 24 hours by efax, email or overnight mail, will ensure a favourable impression.Managing leads not yet ready to buy: Immediately after, follow up with a phone call. Not every lead will be ready to buy. Having a process in place that keeps them in the buying cycle allows you to stay visible and provides regular touch points. Build up trust - you'll eventually earn their business.A tale of two city exhibitorsTHE NEC Birmingham will launch new solutions for the market at International Confex 2012. Head of Insight at the NEC Group, Adi Clark, hosts a research round table on Association Day and The NEC will then undertake a piece of research based on the hot topic of the table.The NEC will launch two products to the Confex audience: a new competitive Day Delegate Rate (DDR) and a Black Box Solution. Louise Hankinson, Conference Account Manager, said this fi nancial year The NEC will host 100 conferences and meetings, for the likes of Severn Trent, Neal's Yard, NHS and Talkback Thames. "We are launching our DDR to create a value offering and a product in line with today's market." "The Black Box solution is for clients who have outgrown the conference facilities and wish to move into one of the NEC's 20 inter-connecting halls to host their conference or product launch. "The Black Box creates the infrastructure required, including power, drapes, carpeting, furniture, cleaning, security, and other conference facilities, plus extra solutions on top of the standard package, such as catering. The benefi ts to the client include not having to source all of these things separately."The NEC Birmingham "International Confex has proved fruitful since ACC Liverpool began attending fi ve years ago and has helped us win numerous events during this time including Royal Colleges of Nursing, whom we fi rst met at Confex in 2006, the National Association of Pension Funds and British Dental Association," says ACC Liverpool Sales Director Kerrin MacPhie. "We anticipate that 2012 will be no exception."We'll be looking for opportunities within the corporate and agents sectors in this Olympic year for organisers who may have been squeezed out of the capital. "Exciting new developments include our White Label app, which can be tailor-made to each event, and our online planning tool which enables clients to take a virtual tour of our venue."We'll be launching our 'Our Responsible Story' to the marketplace, a publication which sets out ACC Liverpool's corporate and social responsibility (CSR) strategy in booklet form. Our CSR commitment to clients includes providing guidance for their own CSR initiatives, advising on the impact of events held at our venue and helping to forge relationships with charities in Liverpool."ACC Liverpool's Responsible Story

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