With the amount of planning that went into your trade show display, from the setting the budget for the exhibition, to the pre- and post-show marketing agenda, what happens while your team is on the trade show floor is critical to whether your company’s ROI from the event is a success or failure. The moment that starts is when people are walking towards your trade show booth.
First Impressions DO Matter
How your trade show display attracts visual attention and delivers your key marketing message to your booth staff’s appearance, it all matters. Especially staff. You must be able to create an atmosphere at the booth that attendees will want to come up and engage. An unkempt and disheveled looking staff can be a deal breaker on whether attendees stop at your booth or keep walking by. Have a “team look” with branded shirts makes the right impression.
Don’t overdo it either with your trade show display. Having a booth space that looks cluttered with marketing collateral, crowded with staff members and/or just has a messy feel to it, can be a turn off to visitors. If you plan to have a lot of team members working and are expecting consistent traffic to your booth, cramming it all in a 10×10 booth space is unwise.
Don’t Talk On The Phone
In the age of social, this is critical and should be a no-brainer. Not talking on the phone should have been established as a part of exhibiting common sense. When you’re on the phone you’re not focused on your job:
Greeting and connecting with the visitors to your booth, finding out their interest level and the type of potential customer they might be.
Nobody wants to interrupt someone on the phone.
The only reason anyone has a phone in your booth is your designated social media staffer who is responsible for implementing your trade show social media activity taking pictures and video and/or is updating the social media feeds. That person is not part of the sales team greeting visitors.
Sitting behind desks (unless you’re meeting one-on-one with people towards the back of your booth) or just sitting in general gives the vibe that you’re not interested in being there and certainly don’t want to be talking to people.
No, I’m not talking about sniffing people (that too is something you shouldn’t do), but be aware of how you do smell. Avoid wearing strong cologne or perfumes or putting on too much of said scents.
If you’re a smoker, it’s incredibly important to make sure you have thoroughly washed your hands and have a plan for curbing that smell when you’re talking to visitors.
These smells can be offensive. Remember, first impressions do matter.
Don’t Ignore Visitors
Huge fail if you do this! If you’re busy with other attendees and so are your team members, it’s important to briefly acknowledge their presence by letting them know you or one of your team will be with them momentarily. If you’re talking to a co-worker, you better switch gears and greet the visitor.
Don’t Stand At The Edge of Your Booth Space
Lining up along the border of your booth space can be off-putting and even intimidating to some attendees. Plus, you can be visually impeding your trade show displays’ messaging. Step back into your space to allow visitors to walk into your booth, not quickly walk by because you’ve freaked them out.
Don’t Handout Your Brochures To Everyone You See
You don’t want your valuable marketing message and sales information to be included in the pile of brochures and catalogs from every other exhibitor that either gets thrown away while attendees are at the trade show or end up in a recycle bin when they return back to their office.
Use your marketing collateral at the show to capture their contact information in exchange for that brochure or booklet. Better still, have an “upgraded” offer to send them after the show. You do have a lead follow up plan in place right?
Don’t Judge Based on Appearance
A major mistake is the whole “judge a book by its cover” when it comes to attendees walking up to your booth. From the moment you judge how a person looks, there are subtle cues you and your team can give off. The tone in your voice, your body language changes, and even your attitude toward the person can be influenced based on judging a person.
Instead of classifying your visitors based on looks, work on qualifying them based on the questions you engage them with.
There are certainly more common sense mistakes that happen on the trade show floor (and feel free to share your own pet peeves) but to me, these are some of the biggest fails that need to be avoided when trade show marketing.
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: How To Not Greet Your Trade Show Visitors
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