Put yourself into the shoes of the trade show attendee. When walking down an aisle lined with exhibitors, what has to take place before you’ll stop and talk with one of them? If you do stop, what do you expect will happen?
Trade show attendees have proven interest by buying a ticket to enter the event. While some may just be browsing, most attend trade shows to find new products and services. Why? Because consumers have options. For any particular product or service, there may be half a dozen or more exhibitors at the event. With competition comes great deals, and the American consumer loves a great deal.
Lets go back to our questions, why would you stop and talk with an exhibitor? Did they tackle you in the aisle or did their exhibit immediately convey a message that peeked your interest? If you sell a product that is self explanatory (door, windows, flooring, etc) then your exhibit need not convey info about your product. If, however, your product or service is not obvious, then your exhibit must communicate who and what you are.
Drawing people into you booth first requires you to clearly communicate who you are and what you do in eight words or less. A bowl of candy certainly helps but the deal closer is YOU, are you engaging the prospects walking by your booth with a compelling message?
Cheap one liners are horrible draws, “hey how are you?” or “Want to save some money?” don’t engage your prospect. A smile and an offer to help is a more effective intro. “Hi, my name is Ed, can I help you find a service provider today?” Have a copy of the show exhibitor list with you and point out the exhibitors who might help serve their needs. The goal is to keep the prospect in front of your booth for a longer period of time and build a basis to start a relationship–this guy is offering to help me.
The offer of help will be seen by some as a ploy to capture attention. Some may even ask you, “Is this just a ploy to get me to stop and talk to you?” I always respond honestly, “Yes it is but my offer is sincer. If you are looking for a specific service I can help guide you to the right exhibitor.”
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