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5 Trade Show Tips NOBODY Will Tell You!

Jim Cermak

Here are 5 super effective Trade Show Tips that NOBODY is talking about! Some may even ruffle some feathers! Let’s get to them, but first…

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#1 — Get the attention of people who are not looking at you

  • We don’t want to bug people, especially if they’re looking away right?

  • You need to change that mindset!

  • Why are you an exhibitor at the show? To get business!

  • Why do you think the attendees are at the show? If it’s a B2B show, they are there to do business!

  • How many times do you think people will walk past your booth? You don’t know!! Assume it’s ONE – one time only.

  • What if I told you at this show, your biggest customer ever will be there – you just haven’t met them yet. But it’s up to you to find them.

  • Just say “Excuse me” to get their attention, and then ask them a quick qualifying question. That could be your next client or even your biggest client ever! And if you let them walk by, you may miss them – or even worse, your competitor may get them!

#2 — Don’t bring ALL your stuff or literature

  • Keep your booth simple and clean.

  • You don’t need samples of all your products or literature.

  • The more options and things you give people to look at they’ll get confused.

  • Studies have shown that too many choices cause confusion and lead to a higher percentage of people not making a choice.

  • Plus your staff will be more focused as well. They will be able to find what they need and answer questions more quickly.

#3 — Your booth and everything in it is a crutch

  • Don’t get me wrong – having a great-looking booth and wonderfully designed literature and giveaways are fantastic to have. But they are just gravy on the biscuit-like my good friend Jamie Smith from Atlanta says.

  • But let me ask you – how many awesome-looking booths do you see at some of the big shows? A lot! And how many do you stop at because they have an amazing booth? Probably not too many.

  • What if like in tip #1, someone isn’t looking at your booth when they’re walking by? Or maybe they take a glance and decide they don’t want to stop?

  • Don’t let them decide based on a split-second of information! They may be passing by the one booth they need to stop at!

  • Here’s the bottom line – YOU and your staff will be the determining factor in whether or not your show is a success. That’s why I say your booth and everything in it is a crutch. Engaging with people is the key!

#4 — Take a selfie with attendees

  • Want more exposure during and after the show? Take a selfie with someone you just had a great conversation with that is qualified. And put it on social media.

  • Tag them and encourage them to share it as well!

  • Can get some great posts, new followers, and get a lot of shares!

#5 — Speed is your secret weapon

  • Want more leads or demos or sales? Go faster!

  • It’s like the old sales adage – it’s all a numbers game. You’ll get more results if you do more.

  • And the best way you can do more is to go faster.

  • You just finished up a conversation with an attendee. Engage the very next person you see!

  • Put the power of speed to work! Engage as many people as you can as fast as you can and you will be amazed at the results you can get!

  • But be professional too! Don’t be so aggressive that you turn people off! Should feel natural.

Watch the Podcast

About the author, Jim Jim Cermak has over 25 years of marketing, consulting, and training experience, and has planned and worked hundreds of Trade Shows. He gets a little overly excited about Trade Shows, and puts that passion into helping companies get better results!


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