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Expert Insights: Erica Dougherty on how Swurveys is changing Trade Show Success

By August 22, 2017Success

We recently sat down with Erica Dougherty of Exhibits Northwest, the top custom exhibit house in the Pacific Northwest, to get her take on where Swurveys fits into the trade show industry. Give the interview a read and find out what this industry expert has to say about using Swurveys to ensure trade show success.

Let’s hit the fun stuff first! We asked Erica, what Swurvin’ meant to her and here’s what she had to say.
“It’s something you don’t do in a car! Haha, no really… To me, Swurvin’ is going off the path and it’s where you are headed that determines whether that was a good swurve or an unpredictable one. But as a whole, Swurvin’ can be an exciting adventure and a deviation from the norm.”

About Erica
Erica started her career as a Graphic designer, but quickly realized that she needed more people in her day to day. As she “Swurved into new career paths” she found herself attending some of the largest trade shows in the US when she was a buyer for a high-end boutique and in her latest career “Swurve”, a Trade Show Exhibit Consultant at Exhibits Northwest. Speaking about her role at Exhibits Northwest, Erica said her job pushes her “to continually learn the ins-and-outs of trade show management, while also mixing in [her] existing talents as a designer and [her] understanding of trade shows from a buyer/attendee perspective to talk design with [her] clients.”

Erica and Swurveys
Erica isn’t just a trade show expert though; she also knows Swurveys better than anyone in the industry. She first met one of Swurveys’ Cofounders, Bojie, at a networking event just after we launched in 2016. While she was initially drawn in by his enthusiasm about Swurveys, she recalled that the speed of participation and familiarity of Swurveys is what kept her attention. She said, “Most of us live with our phones in our hands, swiping, scrolling, wasting time like never before! Swurveys takes what we already know to gather valuable information without seeming like a test; it’s natural that participation for a “survey” increases. I immediately thought about trade show attendee engagement and how this could change that world.”

Why Swurveys for Trade Shows
Since Erica’s first impression with Swurveys, our focus has shifted from feedback to lead qualification at experiential marketing events, a category that includes tradeshows and conferences. Erica sees that Swurveys’ features today have a lot to offer for trade shows.

“One thing that’s functionally great about Swurveys is that you can use it in different ways: text to get the Swurvey on your phone, provide an iPad with the Swurvey ready, or use the Swurvey on an iPad in your hands to guide a conversation with an attendee. It’s fast and easy, so it doesn’t require too much commitment for an attendee to participate. Swurveys ranks your leads from hot to cold based upon what you answer designate as hot, allowing you to sort out who is who. Using the last question to ask an attendee’s preferred method of future communication solves one of the major hurdles for most sales people as they re-engage that attendee after the show. It acts almost like a secret weapon to find those HOT leads, provides a great shot at a meaningful conversation, and ultimately, you are set up perfectly to seal the deal!”

Where Swurveys Stands
Erica had big things to say about Swurveys but we also wanted to pick her brain on where she sees Swurveys fitting in amongst our competitors in the trade show industry. She was quick to bring forward the following analogies.

“I’d look at it like this: Badge Scanners are like fast food restaurants… they are quick, fulfill a need, but ultimately super common; nothing special. Predictable, but generally, just a pile of similar things that aren’t good for you. Attendee lists are like Walmart… a TON of choices, but you have to sort through everything you don’t want or need to get to what you do. Well, Swurveys is like you’ve hired a personal trainer that targets your goals specifically to get the results you are looking for.”

Who is Swurveys Right for?
Erica is always working to be on the cutting edge for her exhibit clients. Part of that is evaluating who Swurveys is right for. She listed out her essential questions that she uses to see if Swurveys is right for someone:

“Are the ‘data dumps’ from badge scanners or attendee lists really working for you, or are they daunting to your sales crew? Sure, it seems like a wealth of leads, but are they really quality leads?” “What if you had a list of prospects AND valuable insight to their needs to sort out your after the show ‘brain mush’”? Would that be more valuable?

Erica said using Swurveys is all about giving your team the tools they need to build confidence and to be successful. She also said who would be best served by using Swurveys at their tradeshow booth.

“Swurveys is perfect for exhibitors that have a PLAN and want to do more than just show up with a fishbowl and hope for the best. Swurveys is best for a company with a marketing professional that has a strategy for the show and needs to report after show  data to their team to prove results. Realistically, direct ROI is an unmeasurable beast for many companies’ trade shows, but proving you met 75 people at a show, had 20 meaningful conversations with attendees that result in say, 10 of them becoming new clients, well, that’s quantifiable data. Badge Scanners are likely not going away, but Swurveys will replace many of them because there are companies who CARE about post-show follow-up and actually ACT on it.”

Get in touch with Erica
If you are in the market for quality exhibiting materials and an expert opinion, Erica at Exhibits Northwest should be your first stop, we’ll vouch for her!
You can reach her at 206.246.3709 or at erica@exhibitsnw.com