Now is the time to put months of planning to the test. As an exhibitor, you need to be on the ball like never before. Here are the steps you need to take to make sure that your show goes on without a hitch.
1. Make a Good Impression
You need to impress visitors with an eye-catching booth design that piques their interest. Building your brand at a trade show starts with how your booth looks and whether it draws in visitors or not.
The customer’s senses should be heightened when they visit your booth. Use videos, audio, posters and banners tastefully, as you don’t want to overwhelm the consumer with too much. There should be nothing that repels the visitor; present confidently and make sure every object within the booth area serves a purpose.
2. Build a Warm Relationship
As an exhibitor, it’s your job to be the face of the brand. You don’t want to come off as cold, off-putting, neglectful or unfriendly, do you? Try warm selling instead of cold selling. Better engage customers by smiling at them, being animated and approachable, and conversing instead of pitching.
Attempt to meet people who will let you follow-up with them in the future. Once a relationship is established, you’ve created a warm prospect, meaning someone with whom you’ve had prior contact. If you meet a prospect at an industry event, for example, and he asks you to email him to set up an appointment, that would be considered a warm relationship. The stronger the connection between yourself and the prospect, the more likely a sale will take place.
3. Host a Happy Hour or Other Supplemental Event
With a supplemental event, you’re giving yourself more opportunities to speak with prospects outside of the buttoned-up environment of a trade show. You can host a happy hour or cocktail party, enticing people with free drinks and free food, and network to your heart’s desire.
Another idea to consider is hosting a workshop, Q&A or seminar that takes place while the exhibit is being displayed. This gives your brand more exposure while the event is happening, and you can station brand ambassadors there to encourage visits to your booth.
4. Sell, But Don’t Be Annoying
When hosting a display at a trade show, you don’t want to come off as the “used car salesman” type. Open a dialogue with those visitors that show interest in your offering. Don’t pester them with hard sells or desperate grabs for contact information. Likewise, don’t neglect anyone that walks up to your booth. They may be a competitor gathering intel, or someone way outside of your target demographic, but regardless, everyone needs to be shown common courtesy.
Offer feedback cards for those that want to offer criticism or compliments. This will facilitate a transparent and interactive environment that will comfort to the visitor. It also gives you a way to monitor your sales style and see if any improvements can be made.
5. Have a Strong Demonstration
The product demonstration can make or break your buzz at any trade show — there’s no room for error. Cut out the unnecessary information and make your demo exciting. Present one central benefit that speaks to your audience and provide informative supplemental videos, brochures or specification sheets for interested customers.