Are you serious? I already know how to attract visitors to my stand! You book the stand, print a few posters to stick on walls, chuck some products on tables and passing traffic does the rest! How hard can it be?
Well, seriously hard if you think just showing up is pretty much the answer. Why? Because nobody will give a toss if your stand looks like a school fete.
Do you want more visitors or not?
The first thing you need to understand is that trade shows aren’t just grandiose markets where the product is king. No one is going to suddenly stop and say “Wow, that’s a bloody nice spark plug!”
If your spark plug isn’t dressed like Thor from the Marvel movies, they’ll walk right on by and you'll lose out on potential visitors - and business.
It’s all about wow factor and if you think your products have enough of it to draw customers, you’re wrong.
Okay, here I am. Call me Joe Potential - nice to meet you. I’m walking the aisles like everyone else and I WANT to BUY. I want new products and I didn’t come here to leave empty handed. I want the next big thing! So if you’ve got it, don’t be shy about it, make sure I see it as I stroll absently past your stand.
How? Punch me in the face! Trip me up! Tackle me to the ground and hold my face until I say “Yes, I see your fantastic products!”
Or create a stand that punches and tackles passing traffic to the ground with methods that don’t involve jail time.
Here, for your eternal enlightenment and exhibition success, are surefire ways to stop traffic.
Give them confidence!
Make visitors believe in your company before you try to sell them a single product. A trade show is a bit like Crufts Dog Show where every dog is done up to the nines. If your stand looks like a homeless mutt, sorry, no one will rescue you.
Make the investment. Be the French Poodle of your brand. First impressions DO count.
Focus on new!
A trade show is not the place to breathe new life into old products. Wheel out all your slow lines to the passing traffic and that’s what they’ll do: pass.
If you have a large product range, only showcase your newest, most innovative items to lure prospects to your stand. Too many products and too much clutter will only give passersby a mind f**k. A few superhero displays of your newest lines creates intrigue.
In other words, if you went to all that trouble of creating a wow factor, there must be something good here.
Keep your stand open and welcoming
Don’t overload your stand with exhibits and sales staff. If a passing prospect has to say "Excuse me" to see what they want to see, they probably won’t.
Make it easy for visitors to get to your stand with a spacious, inviting (uncluttered) set-up and don’t be in their face the moment they do.
Create an interactive experience
And that’s not you charging up saying “Hi, I’m Brad, and you are?” It means presentations, hands-on demos, interactive videos and info-tainment they can enjoy without harassment.
Train your staff to seize the right moment
Also train them not to stare at any on-stand prospect like a sales sprinter about to leave the blocks and hit them with a pitch. If your prospect feels a dozen eyes following their every move, they’ll leave.
Sure, offer them coffee or a cold refreshment, but then get the hell out.
Remember, every prospect is blessed with peripheral vision; they can see if you’re lurking. So don’t lurk. Don’t even look. Give them time to know you haven’t given a shit. Give them time to engage with your products before they engage with you.
Then, and only then, wander up if they seem genuinely interested.
Don’t waste your time at your next trade show
Make people believe in your company before you try to sell them a single product. A trade show is a bit like Crufts Dog Show where every dog is done up to the nines. If your stand looks like a homeless mutt - sorry, no one will rescue you.