Fighting distractions in a trade show environment.
How long does it take a customer to really notice your trade show booth? If it’s longer than 7 seconds, studies show it’s too long. You have less than ten seconds to capture someone’s attention, so let’s break down a few ways you can become more of an attention getter at trade shows.
State Your Purpose
What are you trying to accomplish with your booth? Are you hoping to get direct sales, distribute giveaways, or just collect data from visitors? No matter what your purpose, making sure that you are actively pursuing your goals at a tradeshow will help you determine what methods you should use to grab a potential customer’s attention. For example:
1 Manage your giveaways: Are you hoping to distribute giveaway items to build your brand and get your name out there? Try ‘gameifying’. By making your distribution method a game, you encourage passersby to engage with you. Use lights and sound to attract initial attention, and then utilize games like Pachinko; or have a raffle to hold a potential client’s attention beyond that initial 7 seconds.
2 Direct sales: Hoping for direct sales? Discounts are your friend. Utilize signage announcing new products, “show exclusives”, or free shipping for show sales.
3 Data collection: If you’re trying to collect emails, phone numbers, or any other type of potential customer information, be sure to offer something in exchange. Giveaways, discounts, and contest entries are all reasonable ways to “trade” for information.
Interaction is key.
Ok, so, you’ve got people to stop at your booth, now make sure you don’t waste the opportunity!
The staffing of your booth is as important as your design. It’s vital to ensure that the people you hire to work inside your booth are:
- Welcoming and friendly
- Passionate about your product or service
- Willing to listen to, and understand, feedback from attendees.
Once your target audience has arrived at your booth, it’s the job of the booth staff to ensure that your visitors are engaged and interested in what you have to offer. Make sure that the staff is trained to distribute the proper collateral in the proper fashion. Not every booth visitor wants to engage in a long conversation. Make sure your staff can read visitors properly so as to inform, and not annoy! For visitors that don’t want to hang around, make sure you have something they can take with them to look over later. Items such as:
- Business cards
- RAC cards
Are all great takeaway items to keep people engaged long after the show. And remember, you’re looking to make an emotional connection with your customers in the booth, so it’s perfectly alright for the staff to be more informal (thought still professional) when engaging potential customers.
How your potential client leaves the booth is just as important as how they enter. You want them to walk away with a positive feeling about their engagement. Don’t allow your staff to keep clients so long that having them leave is awkward. You want them to come away with the feeling that your company is exciting, purposeful, and relevant to them, not something they needed to escape from.