This Year’s Show will be Different!

Ever notice how some businesses always seem to get more out of trade shows than the exhibitors around them? Their staff don’t appear to be working harder, yet there are more prospects’ names on their list even when the aisles aren’t full.

How do they do it? Are they cheating?

At first glance it may seem so. But look closer and you’ll find it’s simply a matter of…


Most successful exhibitors go through the same process when they decide to display at a trade show. First they agree on their objective for attending the show. This could be to make sales, collect leads, add distributors, or even just to train and observe their sales staff.

Importantly, they select only one.

Then they devise a strategy to achieve the agreed objective. They work out how they would measure daily progress and the final result. They consider whether they’ll include a free draw to collect names, a give away to promote sales, or even create a game to attract the right prospects.

Next comes the design of an appropriate display to support their strategy. The staffing and materials required are also considered, including the sponsor for the prize. Most even train their staff to ensure everyone understands what’s expected and how it will be achieved. Hours, procedures, dress standards, security and any special instructions receive extra attention.

And then, the master stroke.

Pre Mail Attendees

Successful exhibitors don’t intend to show up and compete with you for the attention of trade show visitors. Instead, they contact the attendees prior to the show. They know who they want to meet and what it will take to attract them. Each one gets an invitation to visit their display. The message includes the basic details of where and when, plus a powerful why.The computer industry knows how to use this one effectively. The pre release of a new product at a trade show always attracts keen attention.

Could you offer a special ‘show price’ or some other incentive to buy from the stand?What about an expert who is available during certain times to handle questions or assist with strategic planning?

And successful exhibitors don’t forget their existing clients either. Their offer includes an added bonus, such as a special coupon, to show their appreciation. They also ask whether they’d like to make a special individual appointment at the show, or perhaps attend a group function.

By organising clients’ appointments prior to the show, they demonstrate great respect for the value of their time. This in turn shows an appreciation for their special relationship and the business that results.

Of course, it also increases the time available during the show to talk to the prospects who still need to be sold.

The Results

When the trade show gets underway, the results of all this preparation become immediately evident. As the attendees and customers who have been pre booked start arriving, other exhibitors do all they can to catch their attention. But their efforts are in vain. The attendees already have a personally delivered ticket or invitation, or even a coupon tucked in their kit. They know exactly where they’re going and many have your appointment in their schedule.

As their smiling face reveals, their attention has already been captured.

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