After you determine that you will be exhibiting at a show; get your killer display; scheduled and train staff; and have everything set up on the show floor now comes the hard part getting people to visit your booth! There seems to be a never-ending push for creativity and innovation in this area, and truly there is no magic answer, but there are a few things that can help.
Be Important to Attendees Be sure that you're exhibiting at a show where your product and service is highly relevant and needed by the show attendees. It's also not a bad idea to choose shows where you're NOT one of a thousand companies that do the exact same thing you do. Search for shows where your product or service is highly relevant, but where you stand a chance of being one of only a few companies that do what you do.
Have an Eye-Catching Display Your booth display must be well done, and tell an intriguing message quickly in order to catch a show attendee's eye. A display company can show you thousands of options and provide valuable consulting about the types of graphics to use, the size of your signage, etc. Another smart approach is to pay attention to the exhibitors at any shows that you attend and determine which booths are being visited and why, then try to apply those principals to your exhibit.
Have Good Give-Aways One sure-fire way to attract people to your booth is to give away something of value to that audience. We've all seen the "collectors" at shows the attendees who do nothing more than fill their free tote bags with free stuff but most companies are willing to endure that in exchange for finding some good prospects in the mix. Give-aways need not be expensive. Companies on tight budgets can give away white papers or inexpensive give-aways that are just as attractive as the pricey ones.
Give-Away Tip When choosing a promotional item give-away, think about the end user and the item's longevity. Giving away a light-up ball or toy is sure to be given to a child when the visitor returns home. That may keep the item in front of your prospect at home, but if you're a business-to-business company, it's not the ideal place to have them think of you. Choose items that can be used at work for an extended period of time. Some tried and true favorites are pens and pencils, post-it notes, calendars, calculators, mouse pads, and computer screen cleaners.
Motivate Your Staff Getting people to stop at your booth and talk to you is tricky most people do not have time to stop and talk with each exhibitor, and are apprehensive to stop. In addition to the items above, your booth staff must be friendly, approachable, knowledgeable, and just a tiny bit aggressive. Greet visitors and passers-by, and whenever possible inquire as to what need or business challenges bring them to the show. It's also a good idea to acknowledge that they may be on a tight schedule, and ask their permission to follow up with them after the show. After obtaining their contact information, make a note to follow up
Ron Adler has been working in the exhibit industry with Adler Display (http://www.adlerdisplay.com) for over 30 years. Ron has designed and created some of the most unique and creative displays in the mid-Atlantic region including several Visitor Centers in Maryland as well as dozens of exhibits for museums and hospitals throughout the United States.