Thinking Outside the Box… While Staying in Yours
As a seasoned veteran of trade shows, you know that one of the more challenging aspects can be the “confines of booth” stipulation that is written into most rental contracts. This clause means that all of your marketing and promotional activities must be done within the confines of the booth itself. Normally this isn’t a problem, because everyone else has to adhere to the same clause. So, how can you “lure” visitors in to see what you have to offer?
Find the right fit – Some companies just throw as many employees into the fray as possible regardless of their experience. This can easily result in a lot of confusion and discomfort, as “luring” people in to the booth may not be a natural activity for some. Instead, staff your booth with sales, marketing or inside sales people who understand the process of “no-pressure” relationship building. And make sure your booth is not overcrowded with employees; leave room for visitors to enter.
Hire the pros – There are companies that hire out people who do this for a living. These “Brand Ambassadors” know how to entice passersby with a friendly yet intriguing invitation to learn more. They can also quickly get up to speed on your company, its products, service, history and all other pertinent info. These people know what they’re doing: they are used to spotting interested individuals and building group enthusiasm. For some, crowd gathering is a learned skill; for these folks, it’s a natural instinct.
Prep your people – Whoever you use to staff your booth, don’t send them in there cold. Give them a script – a simple and clear message that ends with an invite to learn more. If you need to, hire a consultant who can train your people on the simple things like making eye contact, offering a welcoming smile, etc. There is an art to successful crowd gathering; it is worth your time to give your folks all the tools they can use.
Offer incentives – Giveaways are always popular. Provide your team with a script and a promotion to use as bait. Don’t leave them out there to beg for attention. Give them a reward they can offer for a few minutes of an attendee’s time. A scripted announcement can be very important in drawing in interested parties, especially if you’re giving away a premium or conducting a contest.
Follow the flow – Position your best, most outgoing folk at the heaviest aisles and let them do the crowd gathering. Every office has them: bubbly, enthusiastic people who love people – even complete strangers. Inside sales people are often great at this, and may be thankful for a day or two out of the office. These are the people who cold-call all day long; they know how to engage and build conversations.
Be ready – Once someone stops at your booth, be ready to answer any and all questions they have without delay. No one wants to wait for you to finish a phone call before giving them the time of day. Have your staff ready to engage – but don’t let them “pounce.” No one likes to feel crowded or pressured the second they step foot into a booth.
Play by the rules – Above all else, know the rules and regulations, which you can find by simply reading the venue agreement. Each venue can be different in terms of how they enforce those rules, but in this case, it’s best to assume that they will enforce them. You could actually face fines or be shut down completely if you flagrantly violate the terms of your agreement.
Simply put, good sales practices make for good trade show booth practices. Know your stuff, read your audience, be upbeat and positive, have a great incentive and “work it, work it, work it!” If you’re really good, once you’ve got their attention, you’ve got a new lead.
Consider Exhibitors Connection as your on-site marketing team. We specialize in creating a team that will be a natural extension of your brand, your company and represent you in an outgoing, professional manner. Let us know if we can provide you with the right team to help draw attendees into your event or exhibit space, 773.631.9465
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