Leverage Your Trade Show Display Booths

First impressions only happen once; you only get one chance. This thought should guide your exhibit planning, because it it true – even if it is a cliché most often heard in commercials for shampoo and business suits!

Executed properly, that first trade show meeting will launch a long-term business relationship – if that first impression is not so good, you may as well have launched the Titanic!

The quality of your trade show display booths will do a lot to make or break your trade show experiences. Exhibitors new to trade shows tend to focus on the flashy; they want to create trade show displays that will draw crowds. However, that’s only the first step – it’s not just the quantity of visitors, it’s the quality of those visitors, and whether your trade show staff engages visitors after they approach. The job of the trade show booth is to attract visitors; once they arrive, it needs to provide enough information to tease and keep them interested in your products after they approach to investigate.

Much of the rest of the job relies on your sales team. There are lots of tools available for engaging visitors and having fun at your booth, including interactive pursuits such as quizzes, computer and video games, drawings for prizes and scheduled demonstrations. You don’t need to get real fancy to draw people’s interest and get them cluster around your trade show display – at a gardening trade show, we once saw over 50 people crowding around to watch an exhibitor demonstrate how his product turned compost!sacajawea portable hybrid table top display with video cameras-resized-600

Buyers in today’s business climate are understandably tense and cautious. A lot has happened to make us all nervous, including various corporate scandals – the BP Oil spill, the Enron blow up, the dot-com bubble burst, and now a 3 year global recession.

Even so, folks still need to buy and sell products and do business. To do so, they need to determine who they can trust. Chat with booth visitors, and find out what aspect of your business they’re most interested in. (What caught their eye?) Be prepared to offer great responses to their questions, but always listen more than you talk – the trick is to draw them in without intimidating or overwhelming them.

You have two key goals while planning and designing your trade show display booths. First off, your exhibit stand needs to draw attention, catch the eye of passers-by, and entice them to come check it out. After these folks pause to check out the display, the its time for you and your staff to engage those visitors and finish the sale.

These two simple tasks, done effectively, will ensure trade shows will be an incredible source of contacts and customers for your business – that first impression and first few minutes will initiate a long term, mutually profitable business relationship. On the other hand, if the impression you created is not so positive, you may have just helped to launch that (not-so) unsinkable ship.

For more, check out some trade show booth sales strategies or how to beat your competitor’s trade show displays.

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