A medical meetings or tradeshow are a great time for meeting customers, connecting with new ones, giving demonstrations, and plain selling stuff off the shelf. But you need to be prepared. So here are a few things that we’ve found essential to our trade show prep.

1. No more lounging in the booth

The first order of business putting an end to sales reps sitting around, posting to Facebook, and not proactively engaging traffic passing by the booth. Each one of those humans is a potential customer or someone who knows a potential customer. It’s not that reps are lazy. In most cases, they just don’t know what to do. Let’s train them.

Reps need 3-5 talking points on each product. Control the message. No more fumbling for words or missing key benefits. They also need a set of opening lines to use with booth passerby’s, and they also need to be prepared to face the occasional sting of rejection.

2. Capture data and use it immediately

The data from the scanning machines is weak because there’s no qualification needed to get your badge zapped. This might explain why many medical companies pass on using this data. A better approach is to have the prospect type their email address and name into a form on a tablet device. Now you can upload it to your marketing automation or email platform and start your follow-up email cycle while you’re still at the show. This will give them a sense of the timely service and attention they’ll receive when they purchase your product.

3. Structure tradeshow marketing elements for quick payoffs

4. Fill your demo schedule before the show

Book demos in advance online. This will help you staff correctly, and make better use of your prospect’s time, too. We’ve tried over a dozen of these applications, and so far, we’ve found that ScheduleOnce is the pick of the litter. If you’ve found something better, please share it with us.

5. Promote your tradeshow before, during and after on all your social channels

Don’t forget to aggressively support the show on social media. We generally use the goodwill we’ve built upon accounts and double or triple our normal schedule. Task your reps to get good pics or videos of people meeting, greeting, eating and having fun and send them to your social media handler.