Trade show attendees are faced with dozens, sometimes even hundreds of booths to potentially visit over a short window of time. A lot of our posts over the years have touched on ways exhibitors can break through the clutter. Once the attendee is there though, how can you get them stay long enough to hear you out. Here are some of the simple ways to get the attendees to stay in your space for more than just a hello.
There are some incredible interactive displays out there, with engaging programming and visuals. But even just transferring information that normally would come in a brochure or flyer to a screen with images and animation can capture the attention of an attendee better than their hard copy counterpart. Consider using touchscreens, iPads and/or e-literature in your booth.
You know from standing in the booth all day how uncomfortable it becomes. Attendees are also spending a lot of time on their feet, so offer some relief with a cushioned floor for your space. Whether that’s splurging on the most padding available for carpet or using a foam floor with additional padding, your attendees will want to stand in your space just to get a reprieve from the concrete and hard floors all around. Utilize that time to build relationships.
Creating comfy spaces for clients and prospects to meet with exhibitors is becoming increasingly popular. For the same reasons as above, attendees are looking for a break. Think of the advantage you have with a prospect if they’re seated on your sofa versus standing and talking to your competitor. You will get more of their time naturally.
If an attendee is at a trade show then they aren’t in their office. Work doesn’t stop because the show is going on, so they’re going to be glued to the phone making calls and checking emails. Grab some of their time by offering them a battery boost from your charging station. Keeping them from having to exit the show hall to charge a dying battery will be much appreciated, and you can chat with them while they wait.
Know your audience for this, but I know certain exhibitors that have success offering alcohol and/or snacks to attendees. Have them enjoy it in your space and take the opportunity to talk with them while they do.
You’re probably seeing the theme of comfort and hospitality. Trade shows are draining for attendees too. Acknowledging their discomfort on the floor can show them that you’re putting them first as a customer as well. Use a combination of the above to generate a desirable experience for your attendees. If you don’t want every passerby to indulge, create a VIP lounge with seating, charging stations and drinks for the key guests. Whether for the few or for the many, make the sales staff part of a relaxing experience as opposed to pushy and attacking. For both the exhibitor and the attendee, every second on the show floor counts, use these ideas to make the most of the time for all involved.