How ZUUS Dynamic Scheduling Gets the Most of Their Trade Show Appearances

Collin Stewart, CEO

02 November 2017

Conference and trade show attendance – companies of all shapes and sizes do it. In fact, it’s a yearly fixture for many organizations.

It makes perfect sense, of course. When the industry you sell to is gathered in the same room, you should want to be there. And your your sales team, frankly, should be chomping at the bit. Where else can you can get so many prospects gathered together?

But, aside from the logistical advantages of trade shows and conferences. how many companies are actually getting anything from it? How many organizations are turning their trade show attendance into leads, pipeline and revenue?

The reality is that nailing your trade show appearance is harder than it looks. It takes thought, planning and, often, a sense of humour.

“I love doing trade shows. I talk to everyone under the sun. So, where I start is: how do you get people to come to your booth? How do you get them excited, and not walk by with glazed over eyes?” says Michael Pullman, SDR Manager at ZUUS Dynamic Scheduling, on a recent edition of The Predictable Revenue Podcast.

“What we’re are really about is getting people to associate good feelings with our product. We have to have fun. So, when they see an email from us 6 months down the line, they remember that they were fun at a trade show and have that association with us.”

Helping craft and, ultimately, execute that association for people has been part of an ongoing, and evolving, plan for ZUUS.

According to Pullman, the company has tried everything over the years. For example, ZUUS has tried giving away prizes such as an Amazon Echo and typical swag such as company-branded pens.

Generic swag, Pullman says, isn’t worth it because trade show attendees just take the free stuff without making any connection between the free stuff and the company that’s giving it out.

But, bolder swag does work better. At one trade show, ZUUS produced brightly coloured tote bags, all branded with ZUUS name and logo. Trade show attendee loved them because they could carry their stuff around in the bags, all while displaying the ZUUS name to passersby.

“That is really worth it,” says Pullman, of the tote bags.

“People can put there stuff in it, and your logo is on the side.”

Giveaways, adds Pullman, are even more effective. In the case of ZUUS giving away the Amazon Echo, it brought the company about 50 leads, of which 10 leads proved to be qualified and worth moving into the sales cycle.

It wasn’t until ZUUS decided to (pardon the pun) kick it into high gear that their trade show presence really started to take off.

“We booked a racing car simulator. We did that for the first time at a big show in Vegas. And we ran a competition for who could do the fastest lap around the track. It was huge,” says Pullman.

“We had people constantly in the booth. There were two people in the simulators, always. And, we had 2 people always filling out their details on cards before they got in the simulator. It was a really fun competition. We had gift cards for 1st place, 2nd place, third place. ($300, $150, $50). And, we turned up the speakers, people could hear the race car simulator across the conference centre.”

And the results from the car experiment? The ZUUS team saw a 5x increase in leads the first time the used it, and a 6x increase the second time.

You could say they really sped up their lead generation process.

“It was a huge increase in number of leads,” adds Pullman.

“And, after the conference, people really remembered us. When our SDRs reached out they immediately remembered us. The engagement after the conference was a lot higher because they remembered who we were.”

Pullman is touching on a critical point here: post trade show prospecting. Yes, the ZUUS team was able to increase interest by offering a race car simulator, but they were able to effectively reach out to those leads after trade show because they designed a short, effective card for prospects to fill out as they waited to take a turn behind the wheel.

By having them fill out a card, ZUUS was able to get critical details such as email and mobile phone number, as well as also some qualifying questions to determine whether or not they’d be a good candidate for ZUUS software.

The ZUUS lead card:

  • Name:
  • Job Title (qualifying question):
  • Company and Lead Type:
  • City and State:
  • Email:
  • Phone:
  • Number of Employees (qualifying question):
  • Number of Locations (qualifying question):
  • What do you use to schedule staff now?
  • What is your point of sale system?

Pullman has since expanded his trade show reach out to include pre-event prospecting as well.

“Recently, for a recent show, we got the list ahead of time and loaded a cadence ahead of the show. I reached out 5 days before, 3 days before and the day of the show,” says Pullman.

“All emails were short. I booked four meetings before the show. And the SDR booked meetings as well. We had people rolling up to our booth and saying ‘I’m your [1:30].’ I’m going to do this for shows next year.”

The Booth

It’s hard, if not impossible, to outshine a race car simulator. So much so, in fact, you shouldn’t even try. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention to the small design details that can enhance your booth.

For ZUUS, inspiration for their booth design came from studying the good, the bad and the ugly of other booths at the trade shows they were attending.

What they settled on was a booth that highlighted the perfect product shot. What Pullman realized when seeing other booths that used a large product shot was that they could demo off the image.

For example, when prospects walked by and saw the picture, they immediately recognized the restaurant schedule and come in a chat. From there, you can continue using the product shot to explain your software, then move into a live demo.

Couple that powerful image with a succinct value proposition, adds Pullman, and you will deliver a very effective message to your visitors.

For example, ZUUS’ succinct message is: “ZUUS is a dynamic staff scheduling platform that helps your managers create schedules of employees that ensure your customers never wait too long for service.”

“It gets everybody straight away,” says Pullman.

“Then, the immediately question that comes up is: how do you do this? And, we explain it to them from there.”

For more on Pullman’s trade show practices, check out his recent edition of The Predictable Revenue Podcast.