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.

They always tell you what to do at exhibitions. What about what not to?

Exhibitions are all about careful planning and hard work. And of course, there’s money involved. So, there’s a lot at stake. Not to worry though, if things go well, you can achieve a great ROI and then the exhibitions would be worth their salt. But what if they don’t? What if you commit a mistake or even worse, a blunder that costs you dearly? Would you still be successful at the exhibitions you participate in? Sadly no. Here’s what could go wrong:

You exhibit at the wrong show(s)

It’s not uncommon for a business to blindly follow the competitors or step into their shoes – so if they participate in an exhibition, you should too, right? No. Absolutely not. You should have your own reasons of booking a stand – your target audience, the media houses you have been trying hard to get to notice you, anything and everything, but not because somebody else did it. And it’s not just about competition, you just can’t be everywhere – you shouldn’t be. Do some homework, before you dive in with your chequebook.

You don’t solve the puzzle

People who attend exhibitions are interested in finding the possible solutions to their problems and the challenges they face at their own companies (B2B). If your stand is all about who you are and what you do, they won’t give two hoots – as simple as that. Coming up with a generic poster or pop-up stand, one that’s far from painting a clear picture, would be the final nail in the coffin. You need to be empathetic, or at least act like it. Show them you care and that your products and offerings are in complete sync with what they are looking for. Make it all about them; take the back seat.

You are too pushy about sales

Not being patient could be your biggest pitfall. Exhibitions are not about sales; those who succeed are out to there to capture leads, and not necessarily close the deal(s). You must do the same. On-site sales are good, agreed, but if they don’t come your way, don’t fret. Capture as many leads as possible and build a database. Shift your focus to getting a good lead retrieval system instead, but just don’t push. Nurture the leads first, and do the selling later.

Your marketing literature is a joke

The product content that you are proudly handing out to the visitors may pique your interest, but not theirs – they want a lot more – at least those who understand the dynamics do – they are on the lookout for case studies, testimonials and more importantly, the pricing information. With these missing from the table, your marketing material is dead as a doornail. Also, not having enough material is a sure shot way of warding off the visitors. As such you may not be able to talk to all of them and on top of that, if they have to walk away empty-handed, you are on your own.

You want them to make a detour

In-booth huddles may seem like a great source of motivation to you and your staff, but to the visitors, they make your stand look uninviting – they don’t feel like interfering. And if your staff is giving the restaurant or cafeteria a miss and rather eating right there, at the booth, the visitors would get the hint; you want them to come back later. They won’t.

Lack of promotion could also lower your chances of making it big at the exhibitions. Spread the word. And yes, once you have the leads with you, follow up, don’t watch them grow old. Learn from your mistakes, don’t keep on repeating them!

Unique Youniverse – Domotex 2018 & The Individualization Of Products

Domotex, one of the coveted trade shows dedicated exclusively to flooring and floor coverings will be next held in 2018, from January 12th to 15th, at Hannover Exhibition Grounds Messegelände, Germany. The show, organized by Deutsche Messe AG, usually takes place from Saturday to Tuesday, but from 2018 onwards, it’ll begin on a Friday, for the perfect trade fair experience. The dynamic, constantly evolving show, starting off with its upcoming edition, will have a lead or keynote theme. The theme for 2018 is “UNIQUE YOUNIVERSE”

What does the keynote theme denote?

The individualization of products and services is no longer uncommon; rather, it’s more of a trend now – Unique Youniverse not only acknowledges the trend but also identifies the need for customization. It captures the essence of the future when the customers are likely to be much more involved in the development of products that they are now. Also, the trend has to have some implications for the flooring sector, which must be explored. The show, with various examples, presentations, and discussions, aims to provide a suitable platform for just that.

What’s in it for you?

The show’s keynote theme has laid the foundation for “Framing Trends”, a display or rather an immersive experience that’s also supposed be the first port of call for the visitors. The said display would comprise of the following four modules or zones, with each having a different perspective on the lead theme:

Flooring Spaces – Here, the companies from the floor coverings industry will be staging highly creative product showcases

Living Spaces – The module will see the exhibitors teaming up with partners from the interior design sector for crafting inspiring spaces and innovative lifestyle realms

NuThinkers – This is the perfect place for those who can think outside the box and have what it takes to envisage a world beyond the mainstream. The module is supposed to provide students, young designers, and startups with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to present their innovative projects catering to product and service individualization.

Art & Interaction– It’s here that the visitors will get to experience the keynote theme through a sensory feast of exhibits from the worlds of art & design.

Perennial favorites like talks, guided tours, and meeting areas will add to the wholesome experience.

How to take advantage of the keynote theme?

As an exhibitor, you can benefit from the fact that Domotex 2018 is embracing the trend towards customization, and is all set to give you the perfect opportunity of making the customers opt for your products and services. Here’s you could focus on the keynote:

Come up with your own Unique Youniverse story and share it with the organizers. Your story may include films, photos and other materials that can help get you the maximum media coverage.

You could also use banners, personalized site plans, and other advertising materials on offer so as to generate awareness. And of course, all your promotional activities need to revolve around your story.
When at the show, do not miss any chance you get for advertising your story.

Almost 1,435 exhibitors from more than 60 countries attended the Domotex show in 2017 and showcased their products and offerings to over 40000 visitors from more than 87 countries. The numbers are expected to rise even further in 2018; do not give this one a miss!

How Exhibition Stands Can Help Analyze The Performance Of Your Business

Every business keeps a tab on its performance; a business that exhibits or participates in trade shows is no exception. And if yours does, chances are that you already have some indicators in place so as to ascertain or rather measure how well your business is performing at a given time.

So, what kind of indicators have you been using? More importantly, did you set some targets and objectives right at the beginning of this year, and have plans to measure where your business stands in respect to the said targets? How has that been going? Have you been able to fetch enough data for the analysis? Well, if that’s a no, you now can. Here’s how:

Use trade shows to your advantage

A well-publicized trade show can do you some real good – make it an integral part of your marketing strategy – when you are at one, you can easily source the data you have been looking for, and subject it to instant analysis if the need be.

Keep a tab on the headcount: Attracting a large number of visitors to your stand is easy, especially if you know the drill, but recording the footfall is not. Make sure you have a representative on board whose sole responsibility is to count the number of visitors to your stand during the run of the show.
Keep a record of everything: Work on your lead generation tactics – after all that’s one of the main reasons why you would be at a trade show in the first place. And if some inquiries are made once the show is over, ask the prospects where and when did they hear about your brand. The idea is to keep a record every time someone makes a mention of your brand. You may not realize it now, but this data would come in handy at the time of analysis.

Don’t shy away from comparison: Won’t you like to know what kind of profits did you generate at the trade show, after investing a great deal of money on the promotional strategy? The answer lies in your return on investment (ROI). Compare the profits with your investment and you are good to go.

Make the most of every trade show

Participating in a trade show is one thing, and getting something out of it is another – to make sure that your business does perform well, start off by investing in your image, as in the image of your business – if the prospects perceive your brand as attractive and unique especially in comparison to the other exhibitors, that will be half the battle won. And how would that be possible? By getting your trade show stand designed by professionals, who can come up with something quirky yet conventional, thereby giving your brand the publicity it requires.

To cut the long story short, exhibition stands can provide you with more than enough data to figure out how your business is performing, and if you are looking for a thorough analysis, be sure to set your goals first. So, if you are targeting an increase in the market share, fetch relevant statistics from every show that you attend. You get the drift, right?

How to become the go-to stand at an exhibition

Exhibitions are a great way of getting noticed – the industry insiders are there, and you have the opportunity of meeting your prospective customers – what more could you ask for. However, exhibitions are often costly, and more importantly, they warrant hard work. So, you lose a fair chunk of your marketing budget and then there’s this pressure of ensuring that the investment is well used. How do you that? By becoming the stand that everyone goes to – simple – the more the number of visitors, the better are your chances of achieving a relatively high ROI.

For visitors, the stands that they are attracted to and remember once the exhibition is over are the ones that give a clear picture – ambiguity doesn’t go down well with them – if your banners and literature don’t show them what you deal in and whether or not your offerings are the potential solutions to their (or their company’s) problems, they are more likely to give you a miss.

Easier said than done, right? Would clarity work if you are participating in a show where there are lots of contenders who offer more or less the same things as you? Well, it may, but you would still need to compete, and that’s when it gets interesting.

Think Outside The Box

Novelty sells like hotcakes. Do something that others won’t. Say, choose a theme, and ask your staff to dress accordingly, even the men. Your stand will draw a lot of attention, and who’s to say your competitors won’t be green with envy? If choosing a theme is not to your taste or you fear to become everyone’s laughingstock, find an angle that works for you. The idea is to create a buzz, no matter what it takes. If you think you can stand out with gamification – go for it. Display the results for everyone to see and make sure that the winners are handsomely rewarded. There, you now have something that others don’t – where do you think the visitors would go?

Show That You Care

Are exhibitions only about you and your business? Of course not. Make sure your stand echoes this thought – make it all about the visitors. Start off with a proper seating arrangement. Exhibitions are tiring, and if the visitors have to be on their toes, like literally, while listening to what you have to say, they would lose interest sooner than expected. Yes, chairs or other furniture could restrict the visitor movement, but the longer they are there, the more are your chances of cracking a deal. And making them stay for long is only possible if you make them feel comfortable.

Try Your Luck With Giveaways

In an ideal world, comfort and novelty would get you there, but even if they don’t, all is not lost. Freebies or giveaways usually suffice – again, do something different – don’t go for the quintessential ones, choose quirkier options. Getting them branded is also important, but that’s another story.

The endgame is to ensure that the visitors make a detour even if they were headed to another booth. If your stand stands out, they will. Pun intended!