Experts say you only have 7 seconds to make a good first impression. That goes for businesses too, including at trade shows and events. At events, attendees only have limited time and your display must stand out. Of course, we think event marketing trailers help you achieve this goal plus save you time and money in the long term, not to mention the advantages in reaching your target market even outside of trade shows. But beyond a specialty trailer, what else can you do? Here a few things we think are important when trying to engage with customers at events:
Creative displays that reinforce your messages and build your brand are a must. QR codes and other information on signage or literature around the booth should help to answer questions when the staff is busy with other attendees.
There are pros and cons to using giveaways. They do usually build interest and drive traffic. They also can make a small claim on a lead’s loyalty. However, they can be costly. It may be a good idea to keep them behind the desk, and use them as a thank you gift after a conversation.
Be at the front of the booth with a smile. Again, first impressions go a long way. Sitting in the back away from potential traffic says to a passerby that you are unavailable and uninterested.
Make sure your booth is properly staffed and be prepared for peak traffic times. Experts suggest sending a mix of leadership personnel, salespeople and others, such as a PR rep for media opportunities. Booth staff should all have a consistent look in terms of apparel, be easily identifiable and be well trained. Can they pick up on all the subtle and obvious non-verbal body language patterns? Make sure they can.
Avoid well rehearsed, over-used lines like “Can I help you?” Most people are conditioned to answer ‘no’ to this question. Then where do you go from there? Using an open-ended question invites the attendee into a conversation with you. If the event has speakers and other informational or training sessions they may be attending, questions about those make good openers.
Always follow up. An encounter at an event is just the beginning of the sales process. Follow up first with those that showed most interest and then go from there.