Thursday, March 5, 2009

How to work a trade show.

While walking many trade shows in my years, I like to observe how people work in their trade show display, how they present to attendees and some of the items that I see that amaze me.

One thing to remember is that if you are in a 10' display, you generally have 10 seconds to get that person's attention - that's the time it takes to walk from one end of your display to the other end. Not much time, so you need to do the right things to get them to stop!

First, you need to have the right people in there! That may not necessarily your best sales person; they could be back office personnel or some of the booth models for hire. You want people that have the best personality in there. It is a quick impression moment. You can have your best sales person contact them from the show lead. A quick one liner, a little quip, a joke; anything to get them to stop and listen to what you have to say!

Personal presentation is huge! In the past, it used to be the norm to have your personnel wear a suit and tie. Nowadays, most wear nice slacks and embroidered shirts that look very professional and it relays your company's personality. If in your normal day, you wear your shirts hanging out and your pants low, you need to be professional and tuck in the shirt and pull the pants up!

If you have enough employees to cover the show, you should work in shifts so you don't get tired or are not outgoing in your presentation. If you are the only one, only sit in a chair or stool when tired. You should stand as much as possible. Sitting shows that you just aren't interested.

The one thing that I see that irritates me more than anything is when I see people eating in their display!!! If you have more than one, go to the Exhibitor Lounge to take a break. If you must eat or bring a beverage into your exhibit, hide it behind the display or under a counter. You paid a lot of money to be at your show. Don't make look horrible with food and water bottles strewn all around.

(Craig Mlasko is the owner of The Works Displays & Exhibits in San Jose, CA and has 20 yrs of experience in the trade show, marketing and sales industries.)

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