Trade shows are busy, fast-paced and often chaotic events. While there are lots of aspects you can control, your attendees’ moods aren’t one of them. You can, however, learn to recognize some common dispositions and how to most effectively approach them.
When you talk with numerous attendees during the course of the day, or days, it can be hard to keep them all straight and remember who you talked to about what. The same is true for them. Exhibit attendees are bombarded with information from various companies. So if you can seal the deal at the event, great. But if not, don’t forget to leave them with something to remember you such as a handout, promotional item, business card, etc. And of course, always get their contact information to follow-up.
We’ve all seen it. The attendee who just kind of lingers around and doesn’t say much. Remember that some people are shy and may be uncomfortable approaching you to ask questions. Or they may be very unfamiliar with your company and not sure what to ask. Whatever the case may be, make sure you are approachable and take the initiative to break the ice.
There’s always someone skeptical of what you have to offer. They may be hesitant to take a “free” gift or question your intentions when you ask about their needs. It’s no secret you’re there to do business, but being to “salesy” or pushing with this type of attendee may scare them off altogether. Be patient and take the time to listen to what they have to say. Soon enough, they’ll relax and realize you’re there to provide a product or service to ultimately make their business better.
Whatever the reason – jet lag, work, meetings – attendees may be wiped out by the time they get to your booth. And as tired as you may be too, a little extra energy and some hospitality can work wonders for these prospects. A nice comfy chair, warm cup of coffee or sugary snack can make all the difference in getting exhausted attendees to stick around long enough to hear what you have to offer.
While we all like to think we are the one and only, the truth is there’s a lot to see and do at tradeshows. Chances are many of your attendees are eager – and even impatient –to make the best use of their limited time and see and hear about as much as possible. Be courteous, but if you feel an attendee is in a hurry, you might skip some of the small talk and get down to business. If this type of attendee feels that you are just wasting time, they certainly won’t stick around long enough to do business.
Obviously, not all attendees will fit the molds described above. The important part is to remember that the same approach won’t work with everyone. Taking the extra time to assess your attendees’ mood may just give you the edge you need to make the sale.
Interested in learning more about how to maximize your tradeshow attendance? Contact us, we’d be happy to help you improve your ROI.
About Peggy Swords
Peggy Swords is the founder and president of Excalibur Exhibits, a $10 million Houston-based exhibit manufacturing and production corporation. Excalibur Exhibits designs, builds, delivers, assembles and disassembles as many as 300 exhibits per year. Swords was named as a finalist for NAWBO Houston 2003 Woman Business Owner of the Year and 2005 Enterprising Woman of the Year Finalist. Additionally, Excalibur Exhibits is a five time member of the Inc 5000, a three time member of the LSU100 and a two time member of the Houston Fast 100, a list of fastest growing privately held companies.