10 Simple Ways to Ensure Trade Show Sizzle and Oomph
Successful Trade Show Rule #1
KEEP IT CLEAN LIKE SHEEN
Make sure briefcases, jackets and personal items (like your 84-ounce coffee mug) are out of the way and out of sight. Otherwise, someone might mistake your trade show booth for the coatroom or lost and found.
Successful Trade Show Rule #2
Keep your eyes on the person(s) approaching your booth. Make it obvious to visitors that they’re much more important to you than yakking with friends or co-workers. Imagine each person who walks into your booth has a tattoo on their forehead that reads, “Make Me Feel Important!” and you’ll do well.
Successful Trade Show Rule #3
BE SELECTIVE AND QUALIFY ‘EM
This isn’t a street fair–it’s a chance to meet new prospects and qualify how you can help them. (Hint, adding to their ever-growing toss-away stack doesn’t do that). So don’t just hand out your brochures and catalogs to everyone who strolls by.
Engage each person individually to see if there’s a connection with their needs and your products/services. Otherwise, you’re effectively saying, “Here. YOU throw this away for me.”
Successful Trade Show Rule #4
SIZE DOESN’T (always) MATTER
Think quality over quantity. It’s better to make 10 solid connections than to glad-hand 200 luke-warm prospects who can barely distinguish you from your competitor.
People really don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care–so make a solid connection and they’ll remember you. Then, they’ll want to do business with you.
Successful Trade Show Rule #5
DON’T BE MISBEHAVING
Your booth is a chance to make connections with new prospects and showcase your company as top-notch. It’s not a phone booth, café or smoke shop so stay off the phone, put away the ham sandwich and forget about the martini. There’ll be plenty of time for those things later.
Successful Trade Show Rule #6
Don’t be so fast to write prospects off. Get out of the habit of sizing people up simply by how they look. Prospects should be qualified, not classified.
Successful Trade Show Rule #7
DON’T GET LOST
Your place is in your space so resist the urge to wander into other booths (especially your competitors’). Just don’t go there. Seriously. Stay put.
Successful Trade Show Rule #8
If you’re not excited about your business, how do you expect prospects to be curious enough to approach your company?
Trade show exhibiting is not a passive activity. It requires enthusiasm, approachability and being ready for action.
Remember, it doesn’t matter to your prospect that your view from the booth hasn’t changed all day. From their perspective, they’re your ﬁrst and most important visitor. To make a difference, get in the game and engage them like they were your only prospect for miles. Or you can snooze and lose.
Successful Trade Show Rule #9
DON’T BE A “SUIT-CASER”
Don’t stand in the aisles soliciting trafﬁc. It’s a bit desperate (and looks too much like that guy selling fake Rolexes on the sidewalk).
Successful Trade Show Rule #10
DON’T BE A DOORMAN
The world has enough bouncers and hall pass monitors, so don’t look like one. Smile. Be inviting. Loosen up and relax. Remember, your role is to welcome and serve, not check IDs.