We are all prospective customers to someone – at some point in time. We like to think we try hard to really understand the needs of our prospective clients and get to the source of their pain. But, what do they really think of us and our actions? What kind of first impressions are we leaving? What are the things they’ll never tell us, therefore we’ll never know?
A few notable observations when it comes to attendees:
- Their time is limited…pay attention to them! I can’t count the number of times that I stood in front of a booth wanting to chat with someone, but ended up walking away because minutes passed without any sort of acknowledgement at all.
- Their time is limited…respect it! Monopolizing an attendees time against their will is not going to solidify your sale. Rather, it will drive a wedge between you, making them less likely to return the call from the annoying guy who roped them into filling out a 3 page questionnaire.
- Their time is limited…make an impact! Not only did I walk away from numerous vendors, having no idea what they offered, I can’t even come close to remembering who is who by the time I returned from the show. There were several vendors who had clear, distinct and memorable messaging that followed through from the pre-show promotion, onsite visuals and communication to the post show follow-up. Those I haven’t forgotten.
Although I could probably write an entire series on what to do and what not to do as an exhibitor, for now I’ll leave you with some basic food for thought.
Remember that the attendee’s time is limited. Acknowledge every attendee that comes by within seconds of their approach (A simple “I’ll be with you in just one moment” goes a heck of a long way). Once you’ve got them, understand that you are not the only company they want to see, so get to the point, discover their needs quickly and establish a method to follow-up. Have a plan that starts long before the show. When you follow-up, you want them to remember you, your brand and what you can do for them. Make an impact or all the money and energy you’ve spent is simply a lost cause.
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