Develop Your Trade Show Prowess

With Amerimold Expo just around the corner (June 15-16 will be here before we know it!), I thought it might be a good idea to offer up some tips now on how to make the most of the show if you are an exhibitor.

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Hone your trade show skills in time for Amerimold 2016.

 

With Amerimold Expo just around the corner (June 15-16 will be here before we know it!), I thought it might be a good idea to offer up some tips now on how to make the most of the show if you are an exhibitor.

First, begin marketing your participation at the show now. Your customers and potential customers are busy people, so it’s important to direct their attention to where you’ll be at the show. If you have a customer database list, send a short but meaningful email blast out that provides highlights about the products and services you’ll be featuring in your booth. Between now and the show, it’s not unheard of to send an email now, again in May and even one last time in early June. Make sure your subject lines are compelling, and provide links within the email for folks to contact you for private meetings or send them to the Amerimold registration page. Send the same email or modify each on for variety.

Be sure to visit the exhibitor tools page within the Amerimold website to find useful logos, banners and sponsorship opportunities that will heighten your presence leading up to Amerimold and on the show floor. There’s even a specially prepared Amerimold Exhibitor Marketing Kit that can be viewed and downloaded. This kit provides excellent advice for maximizing your time at the show so that you generate more traffic to your booth and quality leads to follow up on.

Now, in addition to all of these great online resources, I encourage everyone to assemble a plan for booth coverage. Many times there are two or three people working in a booth, and that’s great because when it’s busy you can be sure to talk with all of your visitors. When it’s not so busy, take turns taking breaks to eat lunch, return calls and email, or to clean up around your booth. Additionally, consider some of these strategies for optimizing booth time and impressing your audience:

  • Never get caught sitting down in your booth. Chairs may be provided—and I know that a lot of standing can be uncomfortable—but think of those chairs as being there for meeting with a customer who may appreciate the opportunity to sit. Try to stay alert and on your feet. Keep healthy snacks in your booth that you can refuel with quickly and neatly. Too many times I’ve observed company workers just sitting there, not even making eye contact with passers-by. Sometimes they are texting or checking email on their cell phones. That’s a big no-no. Save that for lunch breaks, or step out of the booth to take an important call. Get up and welcome folks into your world. You’ll find you have collected many more leads than you ever imagined you’d get.
  • Never leave your booth unattended. That’s like telling customers they aren’t important enough for you to be there; and it can make it seem as if the person or persons working the booth don’t really want to be there in the first place.
  • Smile! When someone passes through your aisle, give them a smile and perhaps ask a question that pertains to what you are selling, like “Do you build injection molds?” If they answer that they do, get more specific and offer to show them a new or improved product. Even better, if you have a well-staffed booth and your team has different strengths or focuses within your company, plan to draw a customer in, spend a few minutes with him or her, and then introduce him/her to one of your coworkers who will then talk about something else that may be of interest. They will appreciate that you are respecting their time by having them speak briefly with someone who is knowledgeable about the challenges they are facing and how to solve them.
  • Take notes. You meet so many people during Amerimold that you will never remember if someone asks you to follow up about something in particular, or if another visitor says they are looking for a solution for his company. Scan, print out the lead and make notes, or use your Smart Phone to log important information about a prospect. Be thorough. Recording what the customer tells you may help open the door to him or her when you follow up. Even better, they will notice that you were listening to what they told you.
  • Speaking of following up, be sure you do follow up with your leads within a week or two of the show. If you wait much longer you may lose the attention of the people you most want to sell to. Provide links to your website or a brochure where they can find out more about the products and services you featured.
  • Snap a photo or make a video of your team working with customers in the booth to really personalize the follow up letter or email. Take a formal photo before the show opens (when your team is fresh and ready to go) and use that photo in your email blast or newsletter. Photos are so important because they remind your prospects who they met with and what you were featuring at the show.

These are just a few tips for making your Amerimold Expo (or any trade show) more effective for your company. The best part is that they are all easy to do. You just have to make time to prepare. I’ll write about more tips for trade show optimization in a future post. In the meantime, if you have additional ideas, or any questions, please blog with me!

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