The licensing exec's guide to getting the most out of Licensing Expo

For some executives, attending a trade show can feel like a liability. Sending a team to an expo requires time, personnel, and money, with high costs associated with hotel lodging, booth builds, and more. If you want a return on your investment (ROI), you need to ensure that your appearance will result in new business and long-term profit gains. 

The key to getting the most out of a trade show is to stay focused on the interactions that will move your business forward. These include connecting with potential new partners, analyzing their plans for the future, strategizing around business forecasts, and more.

Here, we outline tips for ensuring that your experience at Licensing Expo benefits your business before, during, and long after the show. 

Before the show

As the saying goes, if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail. If you don't think about ROI until after Expo, you’ll miss out on critical planning opportunities. Identify your goals and objectives as early as possible to develop comprehensive strategies that guide you along the way. 

Prep for partner meetings

Licensing Expo is all about meetings–including those with existing clients and prospects. To maximize the efficiency of client meetings, you need to be up-to-date on agreement statuses and terms, categories, and territory gaps, as well as create outlooks up to a few years into the future. It also helps to know about your partners’ financial performance (minimum guarantee recoupment rates, forecasts, etc.) and understand their product launch plans.

As far as prospects, don't just accept meetings to fill your calendar. Qualify leads by checking category availability, track record, distribution channels, and product reviews beforehand.

You want to be sure that your partners are actively using granted rights to grow your business. If not, you have a new point of discussion for your partners at the show since revenue is potentially left on the table.. Flowhaven can help you cross-reference your partners' financial success in each category.

Centralize contact information

Don’t ask your team to funnel customer information gathered on the show floor into spreadsheets or outdated lead management systems. Modern teams are centralizing contact information in programs that give them the flexibility to input points of contact, hierarchies, activity histories, and even humanizing facts (like your prospect's favorite sports team). 

Map new opportunities

There are two direct ways to grow a licensing program: enter new territories or enter new categories. In both cases, you’ll have to rely on your existing partners or identify new partners to achieve your goals. Partnerships are valuable, not only for the products they produce but also for their potential to introduce you to new customers, means of production, and industry connections. The indirect way to grow is by increasing the brand awareness but for many licensing teams, this is handled by other departments which leads to increased consumer demand.

Investing in software that helps you analyze how your program is performing in each market, with the ability to drill down on individual partners and assess where there is room to grow is crucial.

How Flowhaven can help

The Flowhaven system is the best tool available for successful trade shows and partner interactions. Use it to produce quarterly performance rundowns to simplify partnership evaluations as well as organize all of your contact lists into easy-to-read, files with activity history and more. Flowhaven is also equipped with an easy-to-use market gap analysis tool. Simply upload and filter data to get detailed insight about commercial numbers, operational speeds, and more to help define your target meeting lists and develop clearer plans for success. 

During the show

In between meetings and events, it can be hard to keep your eye on the prize once you're actually on the show floor. To support the strategy you developed before the show, you need to constantly record information and have materials that validate your status as an ideal partner ready to go. 

Note-taking upgraded

Paper notes are too easy to lose and, in some cases, hard to decipher. Centralize notetaking with digital applications that catalog everything from contact details to action items in one place. Look for programs that also allow you to automatically capture business card details and keep digital records. The ideal solution will offer a follow-up task schedule to move the needle quicker.

Share kits and assets in seconds 

No matter how familiar a prospect is with your company, they will want to see brand decks and style guides to determine if the partnership is a fit. Invest in tools that let you store, share and show off essential documentation in an instant ( yes, even during meetings or on that long coffee line). 

Get an early jump on paperwork

A large percentage of licensing business begins at Expo and is closed after. Advance conversations to commitments by starting paperwork the minute you have basic terms laid out. You can start by drafting a simple deal memo and submitting it for review before the event is done. 

How Flowhaven can help

Flowhaven helps you take notes like a top professional with a streamlined digital pad and the ability to save image files and other relevant information to your notes.  The solution will even notify you when a message or file has failed to send, so your communications stay flowing. Flowhaven also provides plug-and-play agreement templates. Enter a few basic details and within minutes, you’ve built a solid foundation for a beautiful partnership. 

Licensing Expo is just around the corner, and thousands of companies are heading to the show that utilizes Flowhaven in one way or another to form partnership success! Come visit us at booth J134 to learn how we could supercharge your program

Stay tuned for our next blog, where we’ll provide tips for post-expo success. 

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