By Jake Rondot

HK Canada has partnered with canfitpro for over 20 years and in that time has not missed attending the Toronto conference tradeshow with an exhibitor booth.  As the largest publisher of physical activity content globally, our primary focus at the Toronto event has been on promoting our fitness subject areas in a very targeted way, and in serving our large fitness customer base on site.

However as many other vendors and longtime partners have likely also experienced, the advent of ecommerce, social media, and other digital platforms has positively disrupted business models which previously were siloed, moving many of us from working independently in vertical markets that only seemed loosely related (I.e. fitness professionals, physical educators, sport coaches, dance instructors, yoga instructors, health promotion specialists, etc.) to finding innovative, creative, and cost-efficient opportunities to cross-pollinate our outreach across multiple markets in an effort to amplify the message and leverage our marketing cost.

To this end, and paraphrasing below, the canfitpro Toronto tradeshow is an incredible opportunity – Use your booth presence at this event to invite every related business client and customer you can reach!

Leverage your sunk costs

First and most importantly for any business, consider the sunk costs.  You’ve committed the freight, equipment, accommodations, registration, staffing, time, and other outlays to having a booth at Canada’s largest and best fitness event.  Why not take the extra step to leverage those costs to amplify your outreach by inviting segments of your market who are in some other way aligned with health and wellness?

Consider the 80-20 rule

On the revenue side, inviting an extended list of existing clientele who may not otherwise attend is an opportunity to directly increase revenue from your own captive audience. Existing loyal customers – the 20% who are responsible for 80% of your revenue – are those most likely to purchase again from your company.  The more you can get to attend your booth the greater your revenue results should be.

Providing added value

Your customers will also deeply appreciate the opportunity to attend the event itself – to explore other vendors of interest to them, enter draws, connect with services, get free swag and sample products, purchase sale merchandise, attend stage lectures, and more – providing you with incentives to get them to attend as well as a new value-added for being a loyal customer.

Bake a bigger pie!

If we each do this well and our customers explore and enjoy the tradeshow as hoped, the net benefit will be a positive impact on each other’s revenue potential through the tradeshow.  This is a shift from a focus on growing our single piece of the pie toward helping bake a much larger pie so that all the pieces are bigger!

Build your B2B

The size and variety of the tradeshow alone, and the professionalism with which it is presented, offer strong “wow factor” for professional clients and B2B relationship execs who may not have attended previously.  This is an impressive venue to hatch or solidify new business ideas!  Remember that you’re attending anyway, and tradeshow-only attendees are not in sessions, so in the slower periods during big session blocks you should save the time to schedule these important face-to-face meetings.

Rely on the collective

This is also an opportunity to leverage collective costs: we each contribute financially and with time and effort to help give this event the wow factor that will impress our customers and clients.  We believe the result is any person we invite who comes away from this tradeshow with a positive impression of HK, has had that impression made positive in some small way from each of you (and your time, effort, and cost).  This is an experience we could not have paid for ourselves.

Increase engagement

Don’t forget to amplify your booth’s engagement impact!  While at the event encourage booth visitors to take pictures and share their visit on social media, use images of interaction with staff and delegates in future content, provide post-event follow-up incentives like coupons or contests, and more.  This is the perfect atmosphere to be creative and consider new ideas.

For a number of years, we have undertaken this approach on a smaller scale and through personal invitations, but this year I’m proud to say we will push out larger multichannel campaigns to a variety of related markets through our own customer lists as well as through shared partner outreach and ad spends online. canfitpro has already made this easy by allowing free tradeshow attendance with a user-friendly registration page (Register here).  Each member of our staff will also use this opportunity to personally invite key executive contacts in other markets.  The impact we hope for is a significant volume of new visitors to our booth who are already in some way directly or indirectly connected with HK.  If your company is planning to do this or already doing so, or if you have any questions, I would love to hear from you!

About Jake Rondot

Jake Rondot is Managing Director at Human Kinetics Canada, the 2015 winner of canfitpro’s Steve Block Vendor Award, and a past presenter on authoring and publishing at canfitpro Toronto.  He can be reached at JakeR@hkcanada.com.