1. Impatient. If their offices are sending them to trade shows, chances are the attendees are influential – and busy! They don’t have time to waste and they’ll want you to get to the point without too much schmoozing. Be polite, of course, but also be concise. If a visitor to your booth feels like you’re just wasting their time, they won’t want to stick around and do business with you. 2. Forgetful. Like we said, these are busy people, and they’ll have a million details to keep track of. Remember, you’re not the only vendor they will talk to at the show! Do as much as you can right there at the booth to close the deal so that they don’t have to remember all of the details once they get back to the office. Do the work for them so they won’t have to remember to do it themselves. 3. Hassled. Convention attendees are surrounded in every direction by vendors who want their business. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and irritable with all that commotion, and when you’re in that frame of mind it’s hard to keep details straight. Remind your sales staff to keep things as simple and straightforward as possible to make it easy on the clients. Make the conversation about their needs and let them steer the conversation. 4. Hesitant. Visitors to your trade show display are not stupid. They can see your signs and brochures perfectly well. But with so many options surrounding them, they might need a gentle nudge toward signing a deal. Offer some nice incentives to move them in the right direction, but don’t give them the hard sell! Again, remember that they have lots of options, and if the sales staff pushes too hard, they might just push those clients away altogether. Give them straightforward reasons of how you can reach their needs and talk with them enough where they feel that the choice is clear. 5. Egotistical. With so many vendors fighting for their business, trade show attendees have the upper hand and they know it! So go out of your way to make them feel special and give yourself the edge that you need. Start before the convention by asking your marketing team to contact your regular clients and offer an incentive to customers who visit your trade show display. Also, for new clients who seem interested, offer exclusive discounts for serious buyers. A little flattery will get you far.
If everyone is going big this year at the convention, try going small. Many people are overwhelmed at a booth that looks like a cathedral; they feel lost and unimportant. So instead use a small, intimate setting, perhaps just a nice table and some comfortable chairs, and concentrate on listening to the people that stop by your modest booth. Depending on the weather and environment, a hot cup of coffee or a cold glass of lemonade is always a guaranteed draw as well!
Concentrate on telling a story instead of selling a product or service. Be as visual as you can. People may not want your potato peeler right now, but they’ll remember how you carved a spud to look like Lincoln and when they need a potato peeler they’ll have your brochure and a solid, locked-in memory to guide them back for a purchase.
People are unaccountably shy at trade shows. They avoid eye contact like crazy. When someone does enter your booth don’t scare them away by immediately trying to close a sale with them. Politely greet them and give them a moment to absorb your visuals and displays, and then ask them what questions do they have. This is the least frightening way to engage a potential client; let them initiate the questions.
Engage people with a game or contest. Don’t just give away a thousand pens or a hundred t-shirts with your logo on it. Make people enter a drawing or answer a question to earn their prize. Giveaways create no dialogue, whereas a contest instantly creates a participant.
Tip #1: Make the Contest Relate to Your Company Everyone loves the chance to win a coveted prize like an iPad. But does this really relate to your business? Instead of giving away a generic prize that everyone wants to win, consider giving away something that speaks to your potential customers and relates to your company. Tailoring your promotion or giveaway to your industry means that you’ll be able to better target new customers, which can make following up after the event easier. You don’t want your sales staff to follow up with people who don’t have a need for your product or service and targeted leads can help make this happen. Tip #2: Require that People Visit Your Trade Show Stand to Enter Have you ever been in a business and noticed a fishbowl full of business cards on your tabletop display? Does anyone actually ever win those contests anyway? If you’re tempted to run the contest at your booth by simply asking people to drop a business card in a bowl, you’re going about it the wrong way. While you do want people to have to visit your trade show booth in order to win a contest, that’s not enough! You should be able to interact with them before they have a chance to enter your contest. Consider holding onto the entry forms and only giving them to people you’ve talked to, but realize that this could limit your sales leads. It might be a good idea to have a few blank entry forms on a table or in a literature rack so that visitors can enter the contest even if all your salespeople are occupied with other attendees. Tip #3: Advertise Your Contest Through Social Media Lastly, make sure that your contest is well advertised with pre-show and at-show promotions and don’t just rely on people to learn about it by stopping by your booth. Before the event, advertise your contest on Facebook and Twitter and encourage your followers to share your post or retweet your message to their own followers. Consider giving them an incentive to share your post or retweet your message by offering them a special coupon or secondary contest that can be entered through social media. This can keep customers who are unable to attend engaged and interested. Then, on the day of the event, make sure that everyone knows where your booth will be located. Tweet out your location or post it on Facebook so that your visitors can easily find you.
Simple — find the core of any idea Unexpected — grab people's attention by surprising them Concrete — make sure an idea can be grasped and remembered later Credible — give an idea believability Emotional — help people see the importance of an idea Stories — empower people to use an idea through narrative