Amerimold 2019: Strategies to Help Strike Up A Conversation

Sometimes, changing your approach to meeting current and potential customers at a trade show can help open valuable conversations that help make that sale.
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I have been blogging a lot lately about trade show strategies to assist Amerimold exhibitors with honing their marketing strategies to attract customers and boost leads collected. All the blogs published so far are archived on the moldmakingtechnology.com.

So, with Amerimold a mere 19 days away, I have high hopes that most exhibitors have been ensuring their Map Your Show exhibitor dashboard is well populated with facts and product information, logos are uploaded, contact information is available and that everyone has taken advantage of the marketing tools that are offered free to promote their participation and booth location. In addition, exhibitors’ booths have effective “bling” that tells show attendees what they do and what they are supplying.

Next, a little strategizing for showtime is essential. Every exhibitor must find an effective way to approach potential customers and welcome them into the booth. Here are some pointers that can be used any number of ways based on a company’s focus.

  1. Focus. Every member of an exhibitor’s team must know the reason the company is exhibiting at Amerimold. Who is the target audience? Why? What do we sell that these customers need and how can it help them solve any challenges and/or generate revenue? When the team is on the same page and understands the mission, it makes all the difference in how customers will perceive them at the show.
  2. The right team. It is essential that the team representing a company at a trade show must have some level of expertise on what the company sells. Customers often want to talk shop and gather intel they may act on later. Impress them by having at least one person who is well versed in the technical application of products or services sold. If there is someone better to speak with who is not at the show, waste no time passing on the customer’s contact information and questions so that a timely follow-up call can be made.
  3. Booth etiquette. I must sneak this back in here. Get some solid tips in my blog from May 2.
  4. Strategize your approach. As Amerimold attendees are walking past your booth there are many distractions you must deal with (including perhaps competing companies) in order to grab their attention for a few precious minutes. Don’t waste the opportunity by merely saying hello. What will they do? Say hello back, maybe, and keep walking. Instead, find a more effective way to welcome them. Ask a qualifying question to see if they are someone who can use what you’re selling. Perhaps hold something or have an item on display that a qualified person will find interesting (of course, make sure it has everything to do with what is being sold).
  5. Follow through. Once you have initiated contact and have a potential customer in the booth, this is the time to find out as much about them as possible. What do they do at their company? What challenges are they facing? Where do they usually source products they use? Why are they at Amerimold specifically? You get the idea. Ask questions that will help your company help them, and then be sure to write what you learned down on a lead sheet for future reference. They will be impressed that you remember what they told you when you call on them later.
  6. Contests. Contests are not for everyone but consider this as a strategy for qualifying customers and scanning their badges. If the prize is cool enough, there should be an increase in leads collected. But do not let just anyone enter the contest, hence asking qualifying questions first. This is just one suggestion. An exhibitor last year had virtual reality goggles on hand so customers could get an up-close, virtual look at its CNC machines. It was a novel way to promote, and I would not be surprised if they required a badge scan first!
  7. Giveaways. These are discussed in a previous blog but it is important to mention again. Make your giveaways more than just cheap tchotchkes or have more valuable and useful ones tucked away for qualified leads (consider American made items, too). Time and again we see folks walking a show in search of any and all freebies they can load into a bag, with no time spent in any of the booths as a form of appreciation. Why pay for that?
  8. Appearance. Be sure your team is dressed appropriately for a trade show. Business casual is usually the norm, and everyone should have somewhat cohesive colors and styles, logos, etc., so that everyone knows who belongs in a booth. Good grooming and comfortable but professional-looking shoes are a must. The team is the face of the company and first impressions should be good impressions.
  9. Supplies. Always have a trade show supply box or bin with various items that can be used in case of an emergency or any booth mishaps, not to mention impromptu meetings that require quick action. Pack things like scissors, tape (regular and duct tape), band-aids, aspirin or other pain relievers, paper clips, a stapler, pads of paper, cell phone chargers, business cards for every team member, breath mints (no gum!), and paper towels. Post a team schedule for each show and a cell phone and email list with details for each team member so that they can be reached if needed. Having a few single serving snacks like nuts, granola bars or chips will make a huge difference if the booth is very busy and team members cannot get away for a meal. Just don’t eat in front of the customers; step out or into the storage area of the booth.

These are just a few ideas for ensuring exhibitors are ready to have a successful Amerimold experience. See you at Amerimold!