At a trade show your company stands in a room with hundreds of others. Your goal is to win the time of attendees, whether they be current clients or prospects, and send them home with a positive brand impression. Put yourself in the attendees shoes: you’re walking up and down aisles for hours, and as we have discussed before, you are likely traveling along a predetermined route of “must see” companies. Do you stop for every exuberant sales person along the way? No, in fact you probably will pretend to be preoccupied with a colleague, phone call or email. So as an exhibitor you have to be creative to grab an attendee and get them to spend time in your space. Here are some easy ways to do this:
I lead with this option because plainly, they are a home run. On the floor away from power outlets is a scary spot for today’s businessperson who needs to be accessible 24/7 with a battery slowly ticking away. A charging station offers an immediate triple benefit. First, the attendee will naturally be drawn into your space. Second, they will have to spend a longer period of time in your space waiting for a charge. And third, they will have to take their eyes off of their device giving you a chance to engage.
Add additional features like a locker to safely store the devices while they charge, a touch screen like shown in the picture that can run things like a flight schedule or conference agenda, or even just a looped video to serve as your casual salesperson while they wait.
Touchscreens and Tablets
I have been told that this type of interactive technology in booth acts like a “human bug zapper” and I would be lying if I said that my behavior around these is any different. People like to play with fancy technology, so drop it in your space and let it sell for you. These self-sell kiosks can send literature, show videos, run websites and corporate apps and take attendee information. Most importantly though, you will gain their time. This provides an alternative to the human salesperson that certain attendees may dread or just be tired of at that point.
Almost all of us in the corporate world are spending most of our time seated in front of a computer, on a plane or in a car. Let’s face it, our legs aren’t cut out for stomping up and down the concrete or thinly carpeted aisles of a trade show for hours in hard-soled (gentleman) or high-heeled (ladies) shoes. Offering these aching attendees reprieve on a soft padded floor will grant you smiles of gratitude and most importantly, time to engage.
Product Samples and/or Demonstrations
This is less subconscious and more direct than the options above, but that certainly is not a problem and may make this option the most relevant. People enjoy getting hands on, and it can speed up the sales cycle. Having tangible products or live demonstrations will give the attendee the information they need on your offering in an informative and paced way, without having to implement the trade show speed pitch that could potentially turn them away.
Attendees go to trade shows because they offer an avenue to view, research and purchase whatever they may need for themselves or their company. A trade show’s biggest downfall is having an overwhelming amount of information and options in a limited amount of time. The key to trade show victory, as is often discussed on this blog, is winning the attendees’ time. Above are some of the ways I hear about from our clients as being effective in this endeavor. Hopefully these are some options you may consider for your future shows.