Jim Cermak TradeShowU.biz
Ep. 017: Top 9 Tips for Working Shows by Yourself – SOLO SUCCESS!
Whether you’re working an upcoming show by yourself, or you have worked several shows by yourself in the past, it can be frustrating. Being by yourself does not allow you to be efficient, maximize your ROI, or put you in the position to get the best results possible.
The biggest issue is that you can only have in-depth discussions with one person at a time.
Let me give you one big piece of advice – Don’t work by yourself! If at all possible, convince a co-worker, trusted colleague, family member, or friend to help you out for a few hours or a few days. It will definitely be worth it!
So I have compiled 9 tips that will help you improve your results, and also give you the confidence you need.
( 1 ) Use other methods to help capture information and make you more efficient. Do what you can to have multiple people stay at your booth even if you are only personally talking with one.
So while you’re talking with one person, you can have another person fill out their contact information or maybe even ask some key questions.
You can use an iPad or laptop or can go old school and have a paper form for them to fill out.
The key is to be able to have multiple people engaged in your booth at one time.
( 2 ) Try group presenting. I’m not talking about having chairs set up and doing a PowerPoint. There’s a time when that could work well, but not when you’re by yourself!
What I’m talking about is If you’re at a busy show, and you have a couple of people at your booth, why not have them stand together and give your presentation at one time?
And if there are a lot of people walking by, get the attention of a few more people and have them join in.
You can ask them a quick qualifying question before you start to make sure you’re talking to the right people.
But let me ask you – would you rather talk to one person at a time or multiple people at a time? Especially if it doesn’t take you any longer!
(3) Simplify and Minimize – when you’re by yourself, simpler is better. It will keep you from running around so much trying to find the right things. Plus it's less for you to set up and put away. Simpler is better.
(4) Practice! You need to be quick and efficient with your time because it's all on you!
So practice your engagement and qualifying questions
Practice your presentation or demo
Practice your answers to popular questions
Practice where you’re going to stand and how you will have things set up
Practice practice practice so when you get there and the show is going on you are one efficient machine and your results will be so much better!
( 5 ) Get out front of your table/booth – this goes for everyone at every show, but especially important if you’re working by yourself. Be out front and ready to engage with people. Never want to have a barrier in your way.
( 6 ) Set up your booth as early as possible to allow for the unknown. When you are with a team of people and you forget something like a computer cord, or the box of literature, or whatever, you can have someone go and get what you need while you keep setting up. But when you’re by yourself, only you can get your problem fixed. This means you have to set up AND get what you need.
( 7 ) Get to shows early to walk the show floor and meet people. Walking shows is so important for many reasons. Check out the competition, see if there are any vendors or customers also exhibiting, and see any companies you may want to introduce yourself to.
The thing is this – Once the show starts, odds are that you’re not going to have the opportunity to leave your booth.
( 8 ) Make friends with people in the booths around you. It’s always great to network with those around you. You never know when one of those people can turn into a customer or refer you to someone.
Also – if you’re at a show by yourself, that means nobody can give you a break if you need to step away. Ask someone to keep an eye on your booth for a couple of minutes, and if someone stops by to let them know you’ll be right back.
( 9 ) Pack snacks, water, and mints to help you avoid having to leave your booth. I know if I get too hungry during a long show, I can start to get a headache and possibly a little crabby. And if there’s still an hour or two left in the show, it could be a disaster.
So pack some snacks so you can keep yourself feeling good without having to run and find some food.
And don’t forget a couple of water bottles and some mints to make sure you don’t get dry mouth and to keep yourself hydrated. But be sure to just take sips of water to avoid having to run to the restroom too often!
For more tips on keeping yourself energized during a show, check out episode #5 of my interview with Registered Dietitian, Brittany Cermak.
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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!