Trade Show Secrets #1

Hi, Everyone!

Here is the first in a series of 10 articles I wrote covering the “Secrets of Trade Show Selling.”

Secret #1: Why Exhibit?

Have you ever wondered why people exhibit at trade shows? Why they take the time? Why they spend the money? And why most of them walk away with little or nothing to show for the effort?

The first Secret of Trade Show Selling is “Exhibiting with a Purpose.”

There are many great reasons to have an exhibit at a trade show, including: Product evaluation, Strengthening customer relationships, Educating the public, Generating new sales leads, Enhancing corporate image, Community awareness / publicity, Conducting market research, Introducing new products / services, Understanding the competition, Providing community service,Conducting retail sales, and Recruiting new staff.

The truth is the reasons to exhibit are many and varied — and therein lies the problem. A booth that attempts to accomplish too much often accomplishes nothing.

The challenging part is to select and focus on just ONE reason as your primary purpose for exhibiting — and let that reason dictate everything else about your booth, from its location and design to its staffing and operation. You can also choose ONE or TWO more reasons to serve as secondary purposes — but you most definitely can’t do them ALL and expect to do ANY of them well.

Each PURPOSE dictates many specific requirements in terms of booth location, layout, design and staffing in order to be successful. If you don’t know what your purpose is, it’s unlikely that your booth will produce much of a result — so either know your purpose before you begin or just go to the show as an attendee.

In fact, depending on your business, your purpose may be better served by abandoning having a booth at trade shows altogether and focusing on simply ATTENDING the trade show instead. Particularly if you’re involved in a business-to-business enterprise, working the floor may be your best bet! After all, the people you want to meet may be staffing the booths throughout the trade show. Rather than trap yourself in the responsibilities of having a booth yourself, simply visit your prospects’ booths. Just remember that your prospects’ primary reasons for exhibiting were probably NOT to meet with you — but to find more customers of their own. Don’t get in their way and expect them to want to do business with you.

The bottom line of our first of the Secrets of Trade Show Selling is to EXHIBIT ON PURPOSE — decide what your focus is before you proceed. Once you know what you’re trying to accomplish, your next step is to understand the second of the Secrets of Trade Show Selling – “Location, Location, Location” which we will explore in another article.



One Response to Trade Show Secrets #1

  1. Bryan Dilts says:

    I was recently talking with a person who sells trade show software for medical doctors conventions. The idea is to get the doctors to play with the computer you set up in your booth. This software gets their name and then tracks every move they make on the ocmputer so you can see what interests them. Then you can specifically market to the doctors the products directly suited to their interests. The software starts at $250,000.

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