Get to know CURVE’s Laurie Delpino
Above and from left: Laurie Delpino and Meghan Murray Cox. Photos by Charles Roussell.
“I love to create a personal relationship with [brands]. I try to understand who they are, what they want to achieve…” – Laurie Delpino.
Putting together a trade show like CURVE is a huge undertaking, could you walk us through your roles and how you help make the show happen?
As the Senior Sales and Marketing Manager of CURVEXPO/EUROVET AMERICAS, I wear two hats. My first role is to always be on the lookout for new and exciting brands to exhibit at the show. My second job is to make sure that me and my team will accompany the brand throughout the show so they can get the best brand exposure before and after the show and make the best of their show.
Could you walk us through how you work with a brand — from the moment they sign up to the day the show opens?
Our main goal is to make sure that the brand will have the most successful show as possible by connecting them with our selected buyers. For that we are here every step of the way before, during and after the show.
Above: the Empreinte booth.
From the moment they sign up, we help them to be proactive in their promotional campaign: we boost their brand visibility thanks to our marketing tools (monthly newsletters, emailings, show directory, brand page & homepage news on our website, customized invitations to buyers, social media, mobile application, interactive floorplan, meterboard, e-card, press releases…) we target the best buyers in North America in order to push the online appointment booking to connect them with the buyers.
During the show we put in place all the tools and services to increase connections between brands & buyers and create new opportunities. The tools redeveloped are: the Selection Guide, personal shopper, new account program, lead retrieval service, networking events, trend seminars…)
After the show, the brands will receive the buyers attendance list in order to follow-up and maintain the connection with all the industry; while our website offers them a few month of extra exposure with their brands page that allows buyers to get in contact with brands if they miss them at the show.
Above: Edge o Beyond.
How do you personally see that a brand gets as much exposure to visiting retailers?
I love to create a personal relationship with them. I try to understand who they are, what they want to achieve, their budget, DNA…From this, I give to each of my brands personalized advices on how to make and develop their brands in the North American market using dedicated Marketing plan/strategies. I keep the contact and become an extension of their team.
Investing in a booth (no matter the size) can be daunting for a lot of brands, especially newer brands or those coming to the USA for the first time, what are some things you’re able to do to make their experience at CURVE a success?
There are definitely some strategic advises that I would give to brands in order to have a successful experience at our CURVE shows:
Invest in your pre-show preparation: the sooner the brands start to work on it, the better their exposure will be.
Schedule meetings: reach out to industry experts, vendors and conference organizers in advance. Introduce yourself and schedule a time to meet on site to talk for a few minutes. Sending concise message through email, Linkedin and the website helps.
Spend time in and out of your booth: It is very easy for a brand to get sucked into manning their booth all day during a trade show. However, team members should try to share duties in order to network during conferences, social events and walk the show floor to understand buying patterns. By doing this, it is a great way to help gain industry knowledge, tips and new tools. It is also an ideal place to meet new people which helps give a good return of investment outside of the sales aspect of the trade show.
Build relationships over giving the hard sell: easy to slip into sales mode, but the attendees are inundated with pitches throughout the conference – focus your team on building relationships instead, quality leads become real contacts. Create genuine conversation with the prospective client which will last longer and yield more results than a sales pitch.
Capitalize on the event by hosting your own: during the show days, after hours with attendees that are often from out of town.
Foster the ‘fun’ aspect of working trade shows: encourage your team to work together and take ownership of the event. Enthusiasm adds to the effectiveness of your team: exciting and motivating – enhanced their productivity and enriched the experience.
Social media: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook… everything helps. Use official hashtags. Email every contact met, rehash what your company does and why it would be interesting for that contact. Send emails that are friendly, personal and short. After show follow up just as important as the meeting itself.
Above: the AJOUR team.
If you could give an exhibitor your top three tips for a successful -onsite- CURVE experience, what would they be?
You have to distinguish yourself: why would a buyer visit your booth and not another one? Because of the unique experience you create and offer to the buyers.
The brands presentation makes the space inviting and easy to share quality information with buyers. Providing buyers with supporting digital and printed material of their brand(s) is also a great way to ease business on site and encourage word of mouth.
Furthermore, brands need to be creative and bold when looking to attract buyers. This could be done through various incentives like get-togethers, serving food, beverages, hand out flyers, show videos, give goodie bags, hold events within your booth and so on.
Last, through encouraging your team to work together and maintain enthusiasm throughout the show, buyers are more likely to want to come into your booth. An exciting and motivating attitude will enhance a brands productivity and experience.