Here we talk to Liz Broadhurst about the planning of the timeware® Roadshows:
SLA2 and SLA3 customer are upgraded annually, but SLA1 customer are not. Roadshows have proved an effective method of highlighting timeware’s® latest features and assisting in the initiation of SLA1 upgrades. timelines magazines and sales brochures are great, but there is nothing better than a customer seeing the latest application features with their own eyes! The roadshows are a great way to create a low-pressure sales environment and filling the room with many different companies from the selected area provides the additional bonus of reassuring each customer that they are part of a much larger timeware® community. The main aim at each roadshow is to spend enough time on highlighting each new feature and timesaving modification. The hope is that each customer leaves the roadshow convinced that timeware® is the right product for their business and that the latest version is worth investing time and effort.
We standardised on Best Western Hotels as preferred locations mainly because of their low rental cost and impressive UK coverage. There are currently over 280 two, three and four star properties within the group. Most Hotels provide above average conference facilities with the added bonus of decent overnight accommodation for venues that are some distance from home. We identify an area with a high number of SLA1 customers and pick a fairly central Hotel. A temporary reservation is then made with the hotel and the event appears in the timelines magazine and the www.timeware.org website.
The typical room hire cost for a two hour morning session with coffee and pastries at a North West Hotel would cost around £200 whereas a similar venue within the M25 would cost around £350.
What equipment is required?
Most Hotels will have projectors and screens but we found it was good practice to provide our own. I also ensured that we had ample copies of timeware® sales literature and timelines, timeware® mouse mats and timeware® mugs.
How do you advertise the roadshow?
As well as advertising in timelines and on www.timeware.org, we send A5 size card invites to the main timeware® users of each customer within a 30 mile radius. Customer care then follow up each invitation and attempt to confirm the numbers attending.
How many attendees per session?
We have found that around 15 different companies, (around 30 attendees), is the maximum size for a 90 minutes session. More than this number could cause the roadshow to overrun and become boring!
How many roadshow sessions per day?
We run one morning and one afternoon session at each hotel, demand permitting.