Business grow themselves through customers. Business reach new customers in a number of methods and way, one of which is conferences and exhibits. There are a few things that can really increase the results you see from your exhibit booth. Too often people take a relaxed and non-engaging approach to their booth. To correct this and maximize the interactivity of your booth, there are a few tactics you can employ that are sure to make your next booth a success.
Stand in front of your booth.
By standing in front of your booth it shows you are present. You won’t miss an opportunity and you are present to answer questions. Too often exhibiters make the mistake to sit in a chair behind their booth. This is ok if there is no traffic, you have need to sit, or your booth requires you to be seated (one business I saw, the lady sat down to spin silk. This was her business, spinning and weaving.) to illustrate your business.
Very simple, yet so powerful. It has been said many times, the one language that has no barriers across all ethnicities is a smile. Your smile should be warm, casual and inviting. By doing so you encourage people to interact with you and show you are friendly. The more warm and inviting you can see the more likely people are to want to come and visit your exhibit booth.
Stand in a neutral pose.
A neutral pose once again illustrates that you are non-hostile to visitors. Negative signs are crossed arms, cocked head, sighing, leaning on your table, and many more. You should be showing yourself as strong, disciplined, and calm. Hands at your side or clasped gently in front of you are good points for neutrality.
Call a welcome to them.
Diversify your welcomes so no one hears the same common greeting. Asking them a question, “How is your day going?” or “Great day we are having, isn’t it?” are both great ways to introduce conversation. You can similarly induce conversation by complementing them. “Your shoes look great, where did you get them?” or “That tie is awesome!” each of these inspire the person to immediately like you if your complement is genuine.
Begin the interaction with a “Hello and Handshake”.
The most traditional of all business greetings, a firm handshake. Master the handshake and the world is merely putty in your hands. A handshake can say wonders about your character before you even begin speaking. Attempt for the best initial handshake you can, be known, some people give bad handshakes and that can throw you off, its no fault on you, move past it.
Explain things shortly and simply, then do the turnover.
Initially you need to explain your booth in a short simple manner to peak their interest. You wont appeal to everyone so don’t feel bad if you get an excuse and they leave. In contrast, you will really pull with other individuals and trigger a story time. I highly encourage, cover all your basics in 30 – 90 seconds, then turnover the conversation to the listener by asking an engaging question. An engaging question will inspire further communication, a feeling of realness, and continue your interaction which can ultimately lead to great things.
Always throw the conversation to them.
People hate to be pitched (unless they initiate it with interest). People hate to be talked at. People hate to listen. You need to be the listener. Talk shortly and then ask a question. If you ask questions it puts the ball in the court of the other individual which initiates them to open up to you. When people open up to you it builds trust. Trust translates into relationships and such wraps up with eventually a sale. Don’t hog the conversation, allow them to talk for most of the conversation.
Wrap up with a call to action or “gift”.
Eventually the time will come for them to leave. The conversation got stale or you have others you need to attend to. Regardless the reason, you need to be able to wrap up the conversation naturally with good taste. A call to action is a traditional method businesses employ in almost everything they do in their marketing. The call to action is a message that encourages the customer to do something for you. This can be as simple as, “I would love it if you checked out our website.” In addition, you may add a “gift” in the call to action. A gift is a takeaway. A business card may be a simple gift you can tag by saying, “I know you have some concerns with our product before you buy, here is my contact information. Give me a call after the conference and we can discuss your reservations.” Lining the gift up with a direct call to action can translate very well.
Smile and salutations.
As they leave, smile and say goodbye. Add that handshake and explain how or why it was nice meeting them, “It was great meeting you, Jenny. I really appreciate that tip you gave me on improving my services.” Reaffirming your connection with them by providing a direct citation will strengthen your newfound relationship with a potential future client.
A last additional note: No Food on the Table!
Everyone eats. You will need to eat at some point and time, if there is no one to excuse you to take a lunch break you will be left with no other option than to eat at the booth. A classic mistake is to bring the food to your booth, set the food beside you resting on the front of the table with all your materials. You should find space behind your tri-fold or on your chair to set the plate and eat the food only at opportune moments. This also keeps crumbs from getting on your table cloth. Food on the table looks unkept and messy.
Your table represents you and your business, don’t misrepresent by making a mistake. These simple notes can really increase how you view expos as a way to grow your business and connect with local consumers. Smile and greet people, treat them with genuine kindness, and shoot to build a relationship with them while avoiding “Hot Topics” such as religion, politics, and other sticky situations. Launching into these scenarios can distance you from potential consumers.