So you’ve decided you want to take the ultimate adventure in your vacation rental business and plan an overseas trade show.
Before you sign up and spend money on your booth you need a plan. Doing this well will position you for ultimate success in a sea of property pushers!
Overseas property shows are not for the lone rangers - you will need a small army to help you pull this off. As a rule of thumb, no less than three people for a small show and 4-5 people if it’s a large show.
Everyone has a job, and your goal is to cover as much ground and talk to ask many people as possible. You’ll have seen restaurants where one minute they’re dead, and then the next there is a line out the front door - it’s kind of like that.
The more people around your booth, the more want to come and see what the fuss is all about so you need enough people to cover all of this.
And, don’t forget the setup, tear down and everything in between.
You simply can’t fire up your Microsoft Word, put some information in a template and hit print. . . 1,000 times. You’ll have to spend money on good marketing and not just fancy folders and glossy inserts (although those are part of the plan). Your marketing is more than just what you give out to people.
You have to make your booth stand out so that it’s appealing and people want to stop by and engage with you - it’s about how you make them feel.
Are they curious? Do they want to know more? Is there anything grabbing their attention?
The biggest mistake you can make is to invest money in the biggest booth you can and then have nothing left to dress it up beyond stapling a bunch of flyers all over the walls. There’s no quicker way to turn people off than that.
You’ll be judged by people based on appearance, product and personality so don’t cut corners on your marketing.
Do your research on the best looking booths at other shows you visit and think about what stands out for you as a visitor. This is the way to attract clients.
Trade shows and unexpected expenses go hand-in-hand and you should be prepared to spend much more than you originally budgeted unless you really do your homework.
You will pay for every little extra from WiFi and electricity to potted plants, an extra table or chair and lighting. After spending thousands on airfare & lodging for you and your team along with all the other show costs, that you overlooked a lot of small but expensive details could crush your budget.
Ask the show consultant for a list of every possible expense that could come up and tell them to make a list of how much they charge for it. They are never cheap and you typically pay hundreds more at the event to use their vendors than if you planned ahead.
What is your goal for doing the event?
Is it to make millions from selling hundreds of homes to the hungry investors at the show? Then before you leave, make sure you have a handful of contracts
That could happen, but it usually doesn’t. Usually, these shows are set up more like an expo for curious people to come and explore options and opportunities. Rarely do people come there with a check in hand ready to buy something they’ve never seen or heard of, from a person they’ve never met before.
The goal should be to get your brand in front of all these people and to establish yourself as a go-to authority in your area.
What typically happens is that the people you meet at the show are about 6 months to a year away from buying. You want to capture all of that future business but don’t put too much pressure on them buying that day. Those type of deals we like to call “lay downs”. They’re like little gifts that you get every now and then but it’s not the norm.
If you want more of a high-pressure sales atmosphere with people ready to buy that day you may want to consider hosting your own intimate event by invitation only.
While there is so much more to discuss on planning for an overseas property show these are a few of the basic facts you’ll want to know now while you’re considering it.
Remember, everything sounds like rainbows and unicorns when you’re talking to a sales consultant on the phone about your booth as they promise you the earth.
Be practical and pragmatic and plan on half the attendance and half the conversion that they promise you. If that’s still okay with you and you know what you’re ultimate goal is, then go for it!
Have you done a property show? What was it like? What tips do you have to share?
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