Posts Tagged ‘tradeshow’

Profitable Exhibitors = Successful Shows

Written by Susan Ratliff on May 1st, 2013. Posted in exhibitor training

Every company that exhibits in tradeshows should provide some pre-show training to exhibitors.  In addition, when a show producer or event manager provides exhibitor training on goal setting, effective display design, sales strategies, promotions and follow up, exhibitors will be much more productive at the show.   A trained exhibit staff will collect 20% more leads than a company with no training. Believe me, I know from experience that it is rare to find an exhibitor that has ever had a comprehensive course on how to create a great exhibit or work the show. Most companies have never provided exhibitor training and veteran exhibitors who think they have so much experience, actually have been making the same mistakes for years.  Show producers would benefit greatly by offering training to exhibitors in their shows.  An effective training seminar will foster their loyalty, add value to your booth package, reduce turn-over, improve professionalism on the show floor and give your event a competitive edge.  Providing education about networking, effective promotions and marketing strategies will generate free publicity, drive traffic to the show and improve sponsorship sales.  When you give exhibitors relevant tools and training to maximize returns on their investment you will be remembered as the show producer that does more than just sell booth space.  In addition, studies show that meeting an exhibit marketing expert in person, getting questions answered on the spot, seeing real-world examples in action and learning it all from someone other than you or your staff will produce the best results. 

Here’s a start:  The Exhibit Experts Top Ten Tips for a Terrific Show

Plan ahead:

Begin preparations for each event well in advance. Order show services and schedule shipping early. Evaluate display properties for damage.  Attention to details will eliminate headaches and save you time and money

Set Objectives:

Know what you want to accomplish at the show. Create a list of goals with the staff.  Make expectations clear.  Reward exceptional productivity.

Design A Dynamic Display:

Image is everything.  You have only seconds to attract attention. Receive maximum visibility with a coordinated theme and interesting merchandising methods.

Reinforce your marketing message:

Sell benefits! Use large pictures, vibrant colors and minimal text to promote solutions and results. 

Project a positive image:

First impressions are critical. Every display element of your display must reflect your company’s professionalism, personality, integrity and style.

Train you staff

80% of attendees base their opinion of your company on the actions of the employees at your booth.  Prepare your people. 

Develop a sales strategy

Script a presentation that engages, excites, educates and encourages a desired action fom attendees.  Require the staff to follow it as a guide.

Follow-up effectively

Contact all leads within one week. Phone, fax, email or mail information that solicits an appointment, interview or sale. Include a deadline for reply.

Exude Enthusiasm

Nothing makes a more memorable impression than happy, smiling employees eager to assist inquisitive prospects.

Factor in some fun

Loosen up. Don’t be to conservative. Show attendees want to be entertained as well as informed.  Successful exhibitors combine the two.


Tradeshows are like the circus

Written by Susan Ratliff on November 12th, 2011. Posted in Booth Blunders

Tradeshows are like the circus.  At the circus you see things that are amusing, astonishing and sometimes hard to believe, just like at some tradeshows I’ve been to.  Like the other day when I actually saw the sales rep for a well known pest control company having his dinner and a beer while seated on a bar stool behind the counter located at the front of his booth.  He smiled to passers-by as he chomped on his stir fry and swigged a cold one. 

Then there was the women at the Pet Expo reading a novel in the back corner of her ten foot booth, right next to her pop up display where her graphics promised personal attention to detail and stellar service.  

My favorite, was the Bank at a large financial tradeshow that had four men in nicely tailored suits, standing shoulder to shoulder, across the front of their display chatting to each other.  I actually stood there for a few minutes watching people pass by without even a nod from any one of the four representatives. They continued their intense dialog with each other as I saw three people stop, pick up a few pens and sticky pads and walk off.  I was so agast I went over there myself, stood there fingering the freebees and counted ten seconds before one of the idiots said anything to me.  I glanced at their name tags as I politely declined assistance.  Everyone had Vice President before their name.  That night I could not get that experience off my mind. 

The next day I called the local branch to speak to the Bank manager.  I prefaced the confession with a warning that I knew this would be upsetting, but, as The Exhibit Expert, I was compelled to tell him what I had seen and how he might want to make some changes in the future.  I said my piece, as kindly as possible and we hung up.  I was surprised when I got a call back from that manager the next day.  He said it took him the night to calm down.  He wanted to thank me for my report, insight and suggestions and promised he would speak to his entire staff and that would never happen again.  I told him his brand and the bank would benefit from that change.

So, what do you think?  Are these rare occurances?  Not!  Protect your brand image.  Remember first impressions are critical, especially on the show floor.  I suggest training your staff and have a discussion about booth etiquette.   Get on it because you never know when I  might come by and snap a photo of your top saleperson sleeping on the job (yes, I have seen that too)   For tips on training your exhibit marketing team, contact me, Susan Ratliff, The Exhibit Expert