Trade Show Strategy: Avoid Master Blunder

May 16th, 2008 by Frank Damelio

no sittingHelping Laura Briere, president of Vision Advertising and World Green Business Association promote her company at the Rt 2 Business Expo, I was fascinated by how many exhibitors were making the master blunder of exhibiting: sitting down while their prospects walked right by them.

It boggles my mind as to why companies spend money on a booth, graphics, space and opportunity cost only to watch as visitors stroll by their exhibits with barely a glance in their direction.  My theory is that these exhibitors believe that they are “getting their brand exposure” and that is return enough.

You do not need to be a corporate magician to to avoid this exhibiting blunder.  With no tricks or gimmicks, Amy Mosher, Director of Programs at the World Green Business Association, did something the majority of the exhibitors failed to do: she stood at the front of her booth, had open body language (smiling and no folded arms) and greeted visitors with a hello and a handshake.  After making a connection she sparked conversation by asking a question.

Here is the result: Amy was engaged in conversation about 85% of the time.  She qualified and collected contacts throughout the day.  For her, the event flew by as she made connection after connection.  All it took was a stroll down the aisle to see that she was the exception.  Most “exhibitors” were sitting behind a table of brochures and giveaways.  What they really were giving away wasn’t pens with logos, but opportunity to do business with every passing prospect that left the hall learning nothing about their company.

Avoiding this exhibiting blunder is almost cured by simply being aware of it.  If you know any exhibitors, please forward this link.  Chances are they will benefit.

 Check out my video with Laura Briere

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One Response to “Trade Show Strategy: Avoid Master Blunder”

  1. Laura Briere Says:

    I agree, Frank – many people take such a passive approach to their trade show marketing and its such a waste of money. If people just come out from behind their tables and come out of their shells and just say HI! to people, they could make friends AND money!!

    Thanks for the kudos to Amy – I think she did a great job, too!

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