Trade show best practicesPosted by Sören Erickson on February 28, 2013 at February 28, 2013 3:14 PM
Trade show season is upon us ... which is fortunate for those of us in the sub-zero, snow-covered Upper Midwest, who are headed south for a few days of sun and warmth.
With more than $20 billion spent annually by U.S. marketers to participate in trade shows, the stakes are high. Professional communicators have a number of responsibilities related to events and trade shows, ranging from planning a booth design to smaller details, such as ordering the right color shirts. However, what many communications pros are most focused on is driving booth traffic.
And while in-booth games, giveaways, signage, advertisements, tchotchkes, etc. are indeed important--and expensive--there is something much more important to making sure you get the most of your trade show investment: quality customer interaction. It's the reason for attending a trade show in the first place, which is why it's so problematic that it's often forgotten among the litany of details. Below are a few important tips to make sure your trade show investment and efforts aren't wasted.
They're here. Now what?
Padilla helps clients execute a number of novel and common booth traffic generation tactics. And while drawing traffic is certainly important, knowing what to say to customers who visit your booth is paramount. A crowd of potential customers is only as good as the well-prepared, on-message booth staff interacting with them.
Here are a few specific thoughts on how to ensure your booth staff is ready:
It should go without saying, but ...
... Nothing goes without saying. Be clear about the expectations for booth etiquette before an event so that booth staff will be more likely to meet those expectations. Examples of best practices for trade show booth etiquette:
Stay true to your brand
Credibility is built on authenticity. A quick word about booth attractions: Make sure you don't stray too far from your brand. If your company is conservative and education-based, giving away free beer and having a limbo contest is probably a bad idea. Be authentic or you'll just be giving away free beer to your competitors' customers.
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