Optima Solutions sells merchandise protection systems to retailers in Australia.
They also have a range of physical security products that stop people stealing desktop and laptop computers.
John, the Managing Director, had decided to take out a booth at the Cebit Technology Show in Sydney.
Cebit has over 700+ exhibitors and attracts thousands of attendees every year and was an ideal opportunity for Optima to display its wares.
A major issue with a large exhibition is theft. With thousands of people streaming past every day, stuff walks! So if you don’t want to have to constantly keep one eye on your laptops while talking with prospects, some form of physical security is useful.
Given this, we realised that fellow exhibitors were actually a perfect target for their product, which is a security clamp for a desk top and/or lap top computer to protect against theft.
So it made absolute sense to promote these security devices to other exhibitors at the show, some of whom were large corporations John had unsuccessfully been trying to target.
But how would we convince exhibitors to give us a go?
The simple answer was “lend” them the equipment for duration of the show and put in an offer for them to buy it later at a show special 30% discount.
However, time was extremely short. We only had 2 days before the exhibition started.
We obtained a list of all the exhibitors and created an offer we sent via email.
I sent the first email around 9pm on the Thursday. The first responses came in immediately.
We’d engineered some scarcity – only the first 50 people who responded could avail themselves of the offer.
By the next morning we’d had dozens on responses and then our web server went down! People couldn’t register online! I was not impressed, but there was nothing I could do.
Imaging our surprise when we found people ringing up John directly pleading to be let in! (I’d forgotten to put John’s number in the email – so they went to John’s site and found the number!!!)
Never one to let an opportunity slip – I wrote another email apologising for the web site being down and offering another 25 places as a compensation. We got another flood of requests!
John sold a large number of devices right there and then. John subsequently used a follow up letter we created to target show users that yielded even more results.
But more importantly, he created a major buzz around his product and got loads of good publicity.
He also ended up with a database full of interested people to follow up after the show.
And finally, one of the most important results for John was getting entre into organisations he’d been unsuccessfully trying to target for years.