Everyone wants a strong ROI after a Trade Show and the competition is fierce to get it. You must distinguish yourself to be memorable. There are so many decisions when you decide to exhibit at a trade show. Choose a booth design, select the best booth staff, deliver a compelling message, the task list is tremendous and it takes a skilled team to really deliver.
You want your sales team to have the best opportunity to close deals after the trade show. So you have to make sure your exhibit is not just well planned but well executed too. Here are some tips for the best trade show performance that will bring the right people together and turn prospects into sales after the trade show.
Lead Generating From Crowds To Calls
Bringing a crowd together is an art. Take it from me, there are tips and tricks that make this work. Of course, I’m happy to help. But I also enjoy sharing the expertise I’ve developed over the years. There is a strong correlation between the crowds you gather around your booth and the sales generated after the show. If you can gather a crowd of interested prospects, it’s most likely because you are doing something memorable and people take notice.
Being memorable at a trade show is no easy feat. I’ve seen the most outrageous attempts at gaining attention, but there is no need to be extreme. Just be different. How can your company have a different slant at things so your company gets noticed? Whether it’s the theme your company chooses, how your booth staff dresses or the unique booth designs your exhibit dealer can help you with.
Never Ever Sit
From start to close of the trade show, never sit. No one approaches a booth where people are sitting. It’s awkward, it’s not welcoming, it’s a big no-no. Nothing screams “I’ve never been to a trade show before” like seeing booth staff sitting down. Furthermore, it shows no confidence or excitement in your company, product or service. Sitting makes you look bored and the booth look boring. Boring is definitely not memorable.
Don’t Decorate With Booth Babes
Booth babes are simply not effective and having them at your booth will not help you convert leads. Scantily clad women do not draw a crowd, they draw gawking passer-bys. The people who will come up to them are not prospects and the qualified prospects who may be otherwise interested might only end up being intimidated by a woman who is professionally good looking or turned off by the tactic being used.
A brand ambassador who can speak well and is dressed in a professional way rather than a revealing way is valuable booth staff. Staff your booth with professionals and don’t waste time looking for models to decorate the booth.
Intention Is Everything
The intention is to collect sales leads. It is always about generating new sales leads and increasing your company’s visibility. So why does intention matter? Setting your intention creates a sharp focus and triggers a series of questions you can organize around. If you have a new product to promote, that type of message is a very different type than if you are promoting something tried and true in a competitive market.
Once your messaging has been created and approved, your staff now needs to be trained up on that message. Engaging, motivated booth staff will pull in a crowd. Positive energy is very attractive. Strong booth leadership and a great company vision can do wonders for getting the most out of your company representatives.
Have your exhibit staff situated on the outer edges of your exhibit. They are the first point of contact. Once they find interested prospects they can be escorted into the booth and handed off to your more technical savvy subject matter experts to have their more in-depth questions answered.
10-Minute Turnover For True Prospects
There is an art to driving prospects through the well oiled sales pipeline. For example, a brand ambassador will pull the prospect in and get them talking right away about the reason they are there. They will skip the small talk and curiously ask about the person’s role in the company and their purpose. By being able to quickly qualify your prospects allows your company to be able to engage a lot more attendees.
The lesson is to be direct, ask if your product can help them at their company and specifically in their role. The whole interaction should last no more than 10 minutes. The trade show selling is different from the real world. You only have a finite amount of time to make the most of your exhibiting opportunities.
Sometimes the 10-minute turnover needs a little more technical or executive finesse to help the prospect determine if they are interested. Keep the momentum by connecting that trade show attendee with someone who has a similar role. If the person you are talking to is an IT manager, then connect her with a subject matter expert who can answer technical questions. This creates both rapport and trust strengthening the relationship.
If you want to make a sale after the trade show, the benefits your company has to offer are best explained in a way most meaningful to the prospect. Matching like with like increases the opportunity for communication to be “on the same wavelength”, so to speak. This is a great way to build trust and make the interaction memorable.
Maximize your ability to stay top of mind during and after a trade show to increase your odds of making that sale. If you retain the momentum from the trade show and carry the torch back to colleagues, your memorability will only build on itself. You will be the company people seek out in your market because they will remember you from the trade show the year before! You don’t have have to channel Hollywood to make a memory. Just provide genuine value - be yourself.