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The Power Marketing booth at a recent trade show.

Trade shows are still an important part of a company’s business and marketing plan, despite the digital revolution. Nearly 50 percent of those responding to a survey by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research said the personal interaction with people in a trade show booth still influenced their purchasing decisions. Learn how to maximize contact with attendees using these suggestions, and ramp up your ROI from your trade show efforts this year. 

Make Your Trade Show A Success With These Tips

You Have To Get Them to Your Trade Show Booth

As in real estate, trade show location is everything. But not everyone can have the booth by the door in a convention center. There are still ways to lead people to your booth if you got stuck back by the food court.

Create an attention-grabbing banner for your booth, as Pro Exhibits suggests, and use lighting to make it stand out. The banner should have your logo displayed so that it can be seen from across the trade show floor. Play with positioning the banner using mobile stands, so that people can see it when looking up over the crowd. For this step, you really don’t want to wing it, so prepare a quality banner far ahead of time.

Go high-tech and use lights or laser images to highlight the banner and draw people’s attention to it. Your goal is to generate some kind of curiosity in people so they move toward your booth as they make their way through the show.

Trade Show Tabletop Tips

The table in the front of your booth needs to capture people’s attention so they’ll stick around long enough for you to engage them. There should be another banner on the table that delivers your product’s message to people, while still leaving them with questions and intrigue.

Don’t clutter the table with too many products or brochures, says Exhibitor Online. A few items to generate interest will keep the potential customers sticking around to talk with you. You can store the extra items under the table. Also, don’t use the generic table cover and skirt provided by the convention center. Have a custom one made for your booth so you’ll stand out even more.

Embrace technology for your tabletop. Tablets are replacing laptops for displaying looped messages to people visiting your booth. One of these on each end of the table will keep people occupied until you can get to them to talk. Show people using your product or service. These lifestyle images help people visualize how they may use your products in their lives.

Train Everyone In Your Trade Show Booth

Every person working in the booth should be trained thoroughly as to how to talk with people. They should focus on listening to prospective customers or clients so they can identify the key areas in the person’s life in which your product can make a difference. Describe your products briefly and ask how the person might see it influencing their life. This conversation puts the consumer in control of the justifications for why they should have your product.

Your team should be trained on how to quickly qualify people as they come by the booth. There will be those highly qualified people who came to see a product such as yours. There will also be those who are not yet in the market for your product, but will be soon. The focus will be on the almost-certain buyers, but you’ll create an active follow-up list from the other group. While you don’t want to ignore anyone, know where your time is best spent. Don’t let the potential buyers slip away while you’re wasting time chatting with someone or spacing out while watching the steak knife demonstration in the next booth over.

One of the best ways to be prepared is to practice asking questions to other team members in your booth. Challenge each other with different questions until you’re comfortable that each person can address most of the points that are brought up. The staff should work as a team, though, so feel free to call on each other to help with difficult customer questions.