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FIVE TIPS FOR EXHIBITORS
Get the Most From Your Home Show Experience
Courtesy of Michelle Brown, DES, Executive Director of NARI Milwaukee
Exhibiting in local trade shows is a great opportunity to remain on top of consumer minds. There is nothing like a live event to create memorable interactions with event attendees. In order to do this, you must be prepared with a plan for the win!
1. Define your win
Consider what the purpose is of your company’s participation in the show. This purpose can change from year-to-year and should be revisited. Ask yourself the following; Are you actively seeking new clients? Building future relationships? Having presence for other business’ as a supplier? How many leads would you like to gather? Whatever goals you make, ensure they are S.M.A.R.T.; Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time oriented.
2. Attendee outreach begins BEFORE the event
Technology is incredible, consumers are more educated than ever about your company before they even set foot onto the show floor. Consumers often research companies they are interested in by viewing their social media posts, photos and promotions ahead of the event. To make your first great impression, it needs to be done before the event begins. Try one or both of the following; check if the show offers any additional digital touchpoints or advertising prior to the event to draw more interest to your booth. Add to the credibility of your business and increase show traffic by sharing the show’s event on your website and social media pages. Many shows have exhibitor toolkits available for you. Digital touchpoints are simple actions you can take to increase the amount of warm leads.
3. Consider the look and interactivity of your booth
Your booth should reflect your brand while producing a positive, memorable experience for the attendee. Create something that piques curiosity and is an interactive experience. This can serve as an icebreaker for both you as the exhibitor and the attendee. Typically, interactive booths also draw more media attention which is great exposure for your company! Conversely, if your tablecloth is comprised of wrinkled plastic, or your booth is dated, what does that say to passersby? You want attendees to remember you positively.
4. Staff make the difference
Staffing is a key consideration. Booth staff should be positive, enthusiastic and great communicators. While event management can bring attendees to the show, it is up to exhibitors to bring attendees to their booth. What is the best way to get staff talking to show attendees? Some exhibitors have staff stand in the aisle and aggressively persuade attendees into their booth. This does not work. Attendees often avoid aisles where they see this. It’s not only bad for you, it is no way to make friends with your neighboring exhibitors either. Instead, this is THE moment to ask a thought-provoking question to get an attendee to stop, think about your question and then listen to what you have to say. Once engaged, ask the attendee questions about their needs and match them to your products/services. If they are not a fit, thank them for coming by and re-focus on other attendees. If an attendee is a fit, demonstrate your products/services based on their need. Then close by making an appointment, filling out at form, sharing contact info, etc.
5. Follow up
Consumers have had the opportunity to interact with not only you, but possibly your competitors on the show floor as well. Don’t wait on the follow up phone call. Use your leads to create touchpoints throughout the year; this can be through email, mail, social media, gifts and more. Your creativity is the limit. Additionally, the show events and marketing team may have ways to allow you to connect to show attendees year-round. No matter how you do it, don’t expect attendees to contact you from just one interaction on the show floor, your perseverance opens opportunities for the win!
Your success not only on the show floor but also year-round is important to NARI Milwaukee. Please contact the office if you have any questions about upcoming events and additional marketing opportunities offered throughout the year.
Michelle Brown, DES, is NARI Milwaukee's own Event Manager. Michelle has been an integral part of the NARI team for eight years and is responsible for the flawless execution of many, many member and consumer events. Reach Michelle: michelle @narimilwaukee.org