Assumptions about trade show interactions that can cost you dearly!

Trade shows are fun, no doubt, but that’s not why you go there, right? You are there for business – to get more leads – to interact with as many prospects as possible – and more importantly, to crack a deal or two. Now that we have established the objectives that take you there, let’s talk about why and how you may fail to achieve them. Well, believe it or not, but every time you are at a show, you make certain assumptions – assumptions that defeat the very purpose of you being there. Here’s what you and many other exhibitors often presume:

You can cut through the noise

Trade shows, especially the popular ones, are way too noisy – now, you may be able to attract a decent number of visitors to your booth, but you can’t really talk to them at length, until and unless you scream at the top of your lungs. You need a quieter place, where you can answer their questions, discuss the pricing, and even close the deal, if possible. Look for that place – reserve a room, if available, and don’t just rattle off to your prospects. These one-on-one interactions, away from the noise, can make all the difference.

You can just go and on and on

The visitors are either interested in your brand, or they are not – how do you get your message across to the ones who are not? Of course, you can’t really engage them in an hour-long conversation, or you’ll lose their attention sooner than expected. So, what is it that you can do? Not to worry, you can bowl them over them with an elevator pitch – one that lasts no longer than 30 seconds and pretty much sums up what your brand is and what is it that you offer. A short description of your product or service and a concise detail of how it would help that person or their business should suffice.

You need not drive the interactions your way

You love to interact, great, but more often than not, the attendees do not – you need to prompt them – use a call-to-action (CTA) to make them look forward to talking to you. In fact, you should have your marketing materials say that out loud that you want the attendees to perform a certain action. While you could always ask them to sign up for a free product trial or maybe visit your website, these tactics would only work before or after the show, and not when they are there. The idea here is to focus your CTA only on interactions that can take place during the show. Here’s what you can do:

  • Display QR codes, the ones that tell the visitors what to do next
  • Make your CTA a part of it, or let it sit next to the code(s) on your signage

– Let’s say, if your call-to-action emphasizes the importance of booking a one-on-one consultation with any of your reps, chances are that people would actually do that

– The QR code could be of great help here, especially if your message has been conveyed and they are all set to schedule an appointment.

You need not be all prepped up

If you just blabber and give yourself a pat on the back thinking how good of an improviser are you, the visitors would love to give you a reality check, one that you won’t like. They look for content. Interactions are fine, but there must be substance to them – you need to have your case studies, testimonials, product content, and pricing information handy. Otherwise, it’s all gibber-gabber.

Interact all you want, but don’t be pushy, especially when the visitor is not ready to buy there and then; make a move after the show – follow up, and work towards building a relationship.

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