The Best Trade Show Display Idea is to Be A Great Brand Ambassador!

Most of the time, success with a trade show display is measured in terms of leads and sales gathered. If the leads and eventual sales make more money than it cost to put on the show, congrats, it was a success.Segue inline 10x10 lightbox with supernova leds

However, there’s another number, one that people don’t like to talk about because it’s uncountable: The number of people who decided not to use your company, based on your trade show display. They’re there, although you have no idea how many there are.

All you can do is try to create expo displays and trade show banners aimed at pleasing as many visitors as possible. When doing this, it’s important to remember your position at the display, along with the rest of the staff, as brand ambassadors. For a lot of visitors, the booth staff will be their first impression of the company.

So, what does it even mean to be a brand ambassador these days? Let’s look at outreach at your trade show displays.

Tips For Being Better Brand Ambassadors at Your Trade Show Displays

Generally speaking, the rule of thumb is truly to be on your best behavior. Anyone wandering by is a potential client these days. Since the dotcom boom, it’s become trendy among younger buyers and execs to still wear street clothes, so even how your visitors are dressed isn’t necessarily a reliable clue to their purchasing power.

So, above all, treat all your trade show display visitors as though they might be buyers. This is no longer mere polite courtesy – it’s literally true these days. If you saw Mark Zuckerberg walking by, would you know this (not-even) 30yr old was worth billions of dollars? After all, he wears a hoodie to his own keynote speeches.

From there, here are a few of the highlights you should make sure to hit:

  • Company uniforms: Make sure everyone matches. This is such a basic thing, yet it gets overlooked by MOST exhibitors and booth staffs. It’s best if everyone is actually in a uniform of some sort, but at the least, make sure everyone’s in matching polo-and-slacks outfits. It’s a extraordinarily simple way of showing everyone walking by that you’re part of a team. (Keep a few spares around, in case of food spills or other emergencies!)
  • A sincerely can-do tone: Another simple way to stand out is just by being sincerely energetic and helpful. It can be hard keeping up energy levels for an entire show, but it can really pay off. This is the time for the sort of snappy yes-sir-rightaway-sir service that everyone claims to have, even if things are a bit more laid back when you’re at the office.
  • Informed staff: Nothing can turn off visitors to a trade show display than staff who can’t answer basic questions about the product. In our opinion, don’t show anything you can’t talk about, and don’t have anyone talking who couldn’t show it. (Yeah, I’m still amazed at all the CES 2013 attendees who showed off prototypes without committing to anything about the final products…) In the event someone comes up with a question no one at your expo booth can answer, have someone on-call at the office who can quickly give you answers.hybrid tabletop displays with tension fabric graphics
  • Keep it honest: There have been times in the past that salesmen and promoters could get away with some whoppers when reeling in a client. Those days aren’t today. It’s quicker and easier than ever for anyone to fact-check just about anything that’s said to them, so you need to play it straight. Honest answers will do better in the long run than trying to guess and tell everyone what you think they want to hear.
  • Get everyone’s name: Without being pushy, do your best to get a name out of everyone who drops by your expo displays, and then use it at least once – preferably towards the end of the conversation. Remembering someone’s name after a few minutes is a great little trick for showing that you do pay attention and that they do matter. You need these very “human” touches to overcome the perception of businesses as faceless things.
  • Learn mirroring: Different people have a lot of different ways of carrying themselves, such as how much personal space they need between themselves and the next person. They’ll also respond better to someone who is carrying themselves in that same way. So, for every visitor to your trade show booth, try to mirror their basic stance. If they stand back with arms crossed, do the same. If they’re the lean-in-and-touch-your-shoulder-type, go along with it. You’ll get a lot further with some of your pitches this way.
  • Double-check every Tweet and Update: When you’re caught up in the fun of a trade show and getting into the rhythm of social media updates, it’s easy to post without thinking. Remember you’re representing the company, and you can’t post anything that might reflect badly on them later. Be especially cautious of anything critical. “Don’t say anything unless it’s positive” is fair advice in business social media.
  • Remember that you are always being watched. I hate to sound paranoid, but it’s true. Witheveryone hauling around video cameras on their smartphones, you have to assume that you may be on camera at any given moment.
  • Represent your company’s values: Go dig out your company’s mission statement and give it a read. That’s what you should be looking to project in your appearances. There are nearly-infinite ways of telling things to people. Tell them in ways that show off your company’s core strengths. That is the real essence of being a brand ambassador.

A single poor interaction with trade show display staff can be on Twitter minutes later, and bouncing around Weibo an hour after that. This means that being a brand ambassador is a farmore serious role than it has been before. You should emphasize to your staff just howimportant this role is. If they can’t take it seriously, find someone else. Loose lips – or loose cannons – can easily sink ships these days.

There’s still room to have fun at a trade show but now, more than ever, you need to represent your company as best as possible at your trade show displays!

For more, check out our tips on how to give a great presentation or how to perfect your pitch.

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