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MSPs: Time to Sponsor Your First Trade Show

MSPs: Time to Sponsor Your First Trade Show

Don’t settle for stagnation! With the economic downturn, you’d be smart to replace any lost business and pursue growth. Here in our local IT company, we’re ready for new business; we have the manpower and capacity, and there is plenty of talent we can hire if we need more staff. So here’s how we’re filling our sales funnel: a trade show.

We have hosted our own events, “Lunch and Learns,” but the results were not up to snuff. We invited our current partners and prospects, and ended up with mostly partners and folks trying to sell US products! So, we’re taking the plunge and getting in front of one of our favorite targets: CPA firms.

Last week we were at the Florida Accounting & Business Expo, at the Tampa Convention Center, pursuing new leads for our Managed Services business. This state-wide conference is a great place for us to find new local prospects; approximately half of the attendees were local and within our service area, since the event was held here in Tampa.

This is why a trade show is a great lead source:

  1. Exposure – you have a booth, you can do some other sponsorships, you’re in the conference guide
  2. The list – Glengarry Glen Ross jokes aside, the attendee list is huge. This enables you to start a drip campaign after the show
  3. Speaking opportunities – Another chance to drive your message and show the value of your offering
  4. It’s easy – all you need for a professional looking booth is a pull-up banner, some handouts and a logo tablecloth
Now I will caution that you need to have an automated sales process in place, or else the business cards you get and the attendee list will turn into a “someday” project. We put our leads into a marketing track in ConnectWise, to get the most out of our investment and achieve maximum ROI. And we know that if we don’t get them this year, we’ll likely see them at next year’s show.

Why We Pursue the CPA vertical

CPA firms are some of our favorite clients. Since we already have about 20 of them, we understand their business, their systems, and their pain. They don’t have to explain why certain request are vital to their business; we get it. We can even replace any IT staff they already have in place. As an extra perk, CPA firms are great about sharing referrals with us, and their referrals are usually slam-dunks.

Have you tried sponsoring events? What were your results with Lunch & Learns?

David Bellini is president of ConnectWise. Monthly guest blogs such as this one are part of MSPmentor’s annual platinum sponsor program. Read all of Bellini's guest blogs here.
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