|According to statistics from the Center for Exhibit Industry Research, 80% of what visitors remember most is their interaction with the exhibit staff and 75% of the effectiveness of any trade show is due to the exhibit staff.|
Sending company personnel to exhibit at a trade show is typically an expensive endeavor* considering booth cost, travel expenses, promotion, show services, etc. To achieve a positive return on investment, SMBs should take time to plan objectives and ensure attendees are armed with best practices. You can start your implementation of trade show best practices by identifying your show goals and developing the brand message to share with the visitors to your trade show booth. It is important to provide every visitor with a positive experience so that they leave the booth with a good impression and know what service or product your company offers. This can be achieved by professionally and politely communicating your message with as many qualified visitors as possible.
Trade show booth interaction can be broken down into three components:
|You know you're going to get asked “Who are you” or “What do you offer” so be ready with your Elevator Pitch, a brief 30 second answer followed by an open-ended question.|
If you are asked a difficult question, answer the question with a question to find out why they are asking the question. Anticipate what might be a tough question and have some answers ready.
Giveaways and drawings* attract people to the booth. It is okay to ask for something in return when someone is taking a giveaway item. Interact with the visitor to get something for what you give by saying: Do you know what we do or a similar question to start engagement. Tip: we all experience attendees that are “swag collectors” – people that want the free stuff and a lot of it. A friendly response that usually works is “If you'd like more of those, feel free to come back at the end of the show”. It's a polite way to manage the distribution of the giveaways.
To dismiss a conversation, be polite and professional, look the visitor in the eye, walk to the edge of the booth, shake their hand and thank them for coming. Summarize what you discussed, generate the lead and scan or get their business card.
It is okay to dismiss a visitor by saying you need to talk more with other waiting people, and suggest you continue your conversation at another time. State your follow-up commitment as to what and when, and then follow up as promised.
A positive attitude, and a polite and friendly disposition make the quality of your interaction at trade shows with visitors a key differentiator in representing your company and generating leads at a show. When the show is over, follow through to ensure commitments get converted to specific actions.
Ascentium Capital knows the value trade show events can bring to your business. Whether you're furnishing a new booth, launching an event marketing plan or hiring additional staff for coverage, our business financing, leasing and small business loan solutions can help you make the best out of every event.
Contact us today to learn how our fast, flexible financing programs can be customized to suit your unique business needs.
About Our Guest Author:
Christine L Kimball, Vice President of Marketing at Ascentium Capital. Christine has 14 years of experience in trade show exhibiting and corporate event planning.
*The mention of or links to third-party information, services, products, or providers does not imply endorsement or support by Ascentium Capital. Individual research should be done before use of any product, process or service mentioned.