2) Put the phone/tablet/laptop away: For many of us (myself included) our tech toys have become a security blanket of sorts that we just automatically pick up and check whenever we have a free minute. When you’re looking down at the phone, you’re missing what’s happening in front of you…or it may make you seem uninterested in engaging with clients…neither of which are good things.
3) Don't vomit all over everyone! I was at a show a few months ago and one of the exhibitors just went straight into his “elevator pitch” before I had a chance to say that I lived thousands of miles away and that I was actually a speaker, and wasn’t an eligible prospect for him. Awkward!
When someone comes up to your booth, of course, you want to be welcoming (we’ll talk about that in a minute) but don’t pounce on them right away with your entire sales pitch like Jaws coming out of the water before they’ve had a chance to take it all in. All that will do is encourage them to “run back to shore”…or to another competitor!
4) …But Do Invite Them to Engage! On the flip side, you do need to engage. So be as friendly and welcoming as you can be. I’d even start with a simple smile, hello and a small talk question like, “Did you get a chance to see the keynote speaker?" "Have you found good restaurants here in the city?"
5) Watch For Clues: Some people will not be great prospects for you, but may simply want the "swag"...or someone may be a great prospect, but really want to make sure they visit a few other vendors or the great speakers, or someone may really need you to ask for the sale (or contact information).
Pay attention and watch for the clues that prospects give you and respond. If someone looks like she is in a rush, don't keep talking! If a prospect is asking you some great questions, take that as a sign to move it to the next level. If someone just wants your water bottle and nothing else, that's okay too!
6) Avoid the Huddle: Beware of the tendency to simply “huddle together” with the other people in your booth. I walked past several booths recently where all of the booth folks were standing in a circle talking to each other. They seemed like nice people, but by huddling up they made it less likely that someone would approach.
7) Have Fun! I’ve exhibited at trade shows before and I know that it’s hard work! So, I encourage you to have fun, loosen up when you are able to, take breaks if you’re burned out, and allow sometime for you to take care of you. I’d hate for you to lose out on a client (or many), especially after you put it all that time and effort to being your show to Denver, simply because you have a demeanor that screams~”Get away from me!” It’s okay to have fun!
RANDOM IDEA of the DAY!
Selfie Contest! Okay, this is a little out of left field, but have you thought to ask your prospects to take selfies of themselves at your booth and then upload it to their Twitter accounts with a hashtag you’ve created and your Twitter handle? I’d offer some prizes to the people with the best selfies. Besides, people LOVE their selfies…and it’s a fun way to build some contacts- unconventionally. (Be sure to photobomb them too!)
I wish you great success at your next trade show!