Monday, April 30, 2012

Car Shows: Networking Event Extraordinaire

re: my dream car and... being where your target market is...

by Tammy de Leeuw
"Grouchy Marketing Lady"

Nothing better than a find spring day and... a car show.

Whether you love classic cars ( I do) or not, car shows are a fantastic way to connect with
your niche market in a fun, memorable atmosphere.

One of the principles of successful marketing that I emphasize to the nth degree is "hanging out where your desired demographic hangs out."  All too often, people think of marketing soley in terms of getting your niche to CALL YOU or stop by your office, etc.

That's convenient for you, but it doesn't work nearly as well as when you bring your product, service, or just yourself, to THEM.  Car shows are one way to do that, and have fun in the process.

Think about this: car shows attract a wildly diverse group of people, ranging from seniors reminiscing about going to the drive-in in their '56 Buick to young dads who dream of having enough money to build  a hot rod of their own some day.  Just being there provides you with some awesome opportunities to connect with local business owners and self-employed professionals.

Classic car owners are often retirees or small business owners with the time and money to devote to this expensive, all-consuming passion.  For those of you in the senior marketplace, or who sell direct-marketing opportunities, car shows could be  goldmines of leads.

How to Participate

Even if you don't own a classic car yourself, you can still benefit from participating in a local car show.  One way is to rent a booth.  Some car shows allow you to rent booths to promote your product or service.

Usually the fees for these booths are modest and provide you with a place to do product demos, host contests (such as the wheel of fortune, raffles, etc.)  If done the right way, marketers can walk away with hundreds of warm leads at a single event.

Another way is to simply walk around, soak up the colorful atmosphere, and talk to people about their cars.   It's amazing how even the shyest people seem to come out of their shells when asked about "their baby."   Be sure to bring your camera/video camera and ask to take photos and videos.

When you meet someone in your demographic, volunteer to take his or her photo in front of their favorite car.  Or, take a video they can put up on their own website, Facebook page, or blog.  You won't believe how much goodwill you can create by offering to do this.

Check out this video I made for Jim Pagnini, who is a car enthusiast and
Nerium skin care products distributor.

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