Some Exhibitors get in the mindset that one day is “The Big Day” to make most of their sales. Total Exhibit hours for most shows are somewhere between 20 and 30 hours. Each day and each open hour of the show has the opportunity for you to make big business.
Some exhibitors feel the last few hours of the last day of the show not much business will occur and begin (or at least try) to break down their booth. Many consumers will deliberately wait until the waning hours of the show so they can actually “talk” with a business and not feel rushed. The big take away from this…. savvy business owners who did wait almost always created future business for their company. Try and remember, customers are made one at a time. Every hour of the show counts for those companies that are having success!
2. YOUR DISPLAY! IT’S A REFLECTION OF YOUR COMPANY…MAKE IT STAND OUT FROM YOUR COMPETITORS
We try very hard to encourage our exhibitors to put some thought in booth presentation. Attendees – potential consumers, have come to see a wide range of businesses, including yours. They want to see how you present your business to them. Be creative! Look for good signage, collateral material (brochures, etc.) If you have pictures of your work, put them where attendees can see them easily…If you don’t have pictures try and find some representational pictures – and then work on having some taken of your work for the next year. This encourages attendees to want to come into your space to look AND to talk with you.
Try and avoid just bringing a “brochure only” type of display, or the bare minimum of product that does not adequately represent your company. When your competitors bring a better representation of what they have to offer, you are at a disadvantage and will extra efforts to overcome.
3. PRE SHOW MARKETING
A good show producer is more than willing to show their media schedule to exhibitors. Don’t be hesitant to ask for a copy. Their job is to create a heightened sense of awareness and excitement. The goal is bringing attendees to the show. Media Sponsors create reduced rate advertising packages for show exhibitors. Quite a bit of time and energy goes into finding the right media support with the right demographics at an affordable price point for their exhibitors. Businesses who develop can take advantage of these reduced rates and will encourage attendees to visit their booth while at the show
4. SOCIAL MEDIA
Okay, this is new and it is HUGE!! And to a great extent it’s FREE! Do you have a FaceBook page? Is it current? Do you post regularly? Do you send out regular email to your customer base? Are you Linkedin? Do you Twitter? What about Pinterest, are you a member? Social media is advertising, and is growing ever more necessary in this competitive environment. Translation: it is another opportunity to highlight your business. Cost range from free to on up. You owe it to yourself and all your hard work to learn more.
5. REMEMBER THE OLD DAY WHEN BUSINESS WAS EASY?
Business cycles go up and down. That is a fact no one can control. You may find you or your staff talking about “how busy things used to be” or “we are not getting the leads or closed sales that we used to”. Well, welcome to the business climate or the new reality. We have to move on and get beyond that and make sure that not one opportunity is missed. The attendee interested in your product.
6. ARE YOU STILL GREETING POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS WITH: “MAY I HELP YOU”?
Shows are different from a straightforward retail environment. Unless that visitor already plans on doing business with you, “May I help you?” can bring on the automatic response of “No Thank You” , or “Not right now”, or “We are just looking”. . Better to greet with an invitation rather than a question. Example: Hello and welcome to… (name of Event). Please take a look at our new… (insert your product of choice here). This approach almost certainly demands some type of interaction.
7. ARE YOU LEAVING YOUR DISPLAY UNATTENDED AT ANY TIME DURING THE EVENT?
Throughout every industry we hear Exhibitors saying time and again “my retail location is just not getting much traffic these days” Often we see that same Exhibitor spending part of the Show talking to friends, making personal cell phone calls from their display, arriving late, leaving the Show early, going off site for lunch, etc, while potential customers are walking past their unattended display! Sounds unbelievable, but this actually happens.
8. PLEASE HANG UP THE PHONE
Yes, it’s hard to believe but we couldn’t tell you how many times we have walked by exhibitors in their booths talking on their cell phones, or working on their laptop conversing with friends –while attendees are looking at their product or waiting to talk with them. So ask yourself this: if YOU where the attendee and the exhibitor didn’t have the consideration to be in the moment and be ready to talk with you, what do you think you’re going to do? OR what does it say for the level of service this business might / will give YOU?
9. DRESS FOR SUCCESS!
We have so few real opportunities to present our business to the public face to face. You are proud of your work ethic and strive to create a positive impression. Yes, your booth needs to look good…and so do you! Clean and pressed clothes, clean hands and face (do I sound like a mother?). It’s so very important. There is an old saying about judging a book by its cover – well, consider yourself a book and how you look is the cover. It’s a reality that can sometimes be really frustrating, but it is true.