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Using the Power of Improv at Trade Shows PART 2 – with Roger Miller of Tues@7

Updated: Apr 24, 2022

Jim Cermak

Episode 010 – Using the Power of Improv at your Trade Shows (Part 2) – Interview with Roger Miller of Tues@7

Show Notes from Interview with Roger Miller – Part 2

Introducing Roger Miller – a right-brained person in a left-brained world. Roger has the unique background combination of being in the not-very exciting medical Insurance industry, and also a special effects makeup artist! Roger has been involved in many shows in both of his worlds – insurance and special effects makeup. He draws on inspiration from both to give great tips and value for you and how to do things differently in your booth for greater customer engagement and results.

Improv Tips:

· Train your team on the top 20 questions they may hear at the trade show booth

o Get your team together to brainstorm and come up with the top 20 questions and things attendees may ask

o Then come up with efficient responses for each question and give them to your team (aka your cast)

o Practice these 20 responses for a couple of weeks leading up to the trade show. The more you practice your responses, the more your team will be prepared to not only answer these popular questions, but also the unexpected questions that may arise as well.

o This is truly at the heart of improvisation!

· Remember – during the GO phase, you want to Look and Listen, and that will tee up your next response.

· Listening is so important! Listening leads to proper responses which will engage the attendee into a deeper conversation.

o By not listening, you can be wasting your time and the attendees’ time.

o Not taking time to listen will cause you to just give the points you want to give and may totally miss the mark with the attendees. You literally can turn off a potential customer.

· Engage ALL the senses. How can you use…

o Sight – using holograms, virtual reality headsets, creative lighting

o Sounds – music, spinning carnival wheels, industrial sounds, more

o Smells – foods (like coffee, popcorn, fresh baked cookies), flowers, dirt, others

o After using something to engage the senses, one exercise would be to simply ask attendees, “What do you think?”

· By taking some of these more creative aspects and introducing them into more traditional business shows, you WILL stand out and draw in more attendees

· Add in the training done on the Top 20 Questions and you will add to how memorable your booth is in these ways:

o Being unique – uniqueness is always more memorable. Just be sure it is tied to your brand or your products.

o Giving efficient and direct answers to questions from your trained staff.

o You have broken the “fourth wall” and gone out to engage with attendees.

TIPS for those who don’t consider themselves Creative or Outgoing, or who are uncomfortable going out to engage attendees:

· Remember business as theater, and your cast can be characters

· Roger shared a story about when his wife was in high school used to be a server at Pizza Hut. Occasionally the manager would let them wear alternate nametags – and she went from Beth to Sassy.

o This new name not only set a new level of expectations for her customers, it also gave her license to become a “character” and do things she wouldn’t normally do – and create a positive experience.

· Brainstorm on what qualities you would like to have yourself and in your team members, and possibly create “characters” for you to emulate.

o Would you like to be more aggressive, outgoing, fun, engaging?

o Do whatever it takes to create that personality

o Give yourself permission and license to bring those personalities to the trade show floor

o Study other popular and iconic characters to see how you can take their personality traits – like the Saturday Night Live characters from several years back – weightlifters Hans and Franz.

o Your “character” might not be taking attendees through the entire lead process, but maybe just be present to start the engagement

STAGE – GO – ENGAGE (go back to Part 1 of this interview to hear the intro on this program)

· STAGE – can actually bring a stage to stand on. Want to stand out? Then stand on a stage so you are higher than everyone else!

o Do something so you and/or your characters can be seen from other booths and by people walking down the aisle

o Doesn’t have to be super over-the-top but just create enough of a difference to be memorable

o This memorability can bring customers back over and over

· GO – you and your cast don’t physically have to leave the booth (or Go) to be part of the Go process.

o It is putting your memorable experience in action and getting people to notice you in a positive way

· ENGAGE – this is all about getting attendees involved in your experience and your process

o The BMW Example – using the auto show as a stage, and inviting attendees to a special private event where they can test drive cars on a big track.

o This is a unique opportunity that many will get excited about, and allow them to engage with you and your product after the show

o Remember that the engagement part doesn’t always have to happen right at the show! Be creative!

· This system is all about getting attendees and potential customers step by step into and through the buying cycle process. Determine the steps and figure out ahead of time how you will get them to Step 1, and then Step 2, 3, etc.

Words Change Worlds!

Roger’s Takeaways:

· Commit to looking at your Business as Theater, and your staff as your Cast

· Break that fourth wall and really invite the attendees into your world

· Make STAGE-GO-ENGAGE part of your regular process and culture

· Create those characters, and go from “Beth” to “Sassy” if you need!

· Come up with the top 20 Questions and Rehearse your answers so you are well equipped to answer the unexpected questions, too


How to contact Roger Miller:

· Roger’s Facebook page:

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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