Key Skills For Highly Effective Tradeshow Events

Stand up and be ready: Many exhibitor staff we watch at a tradeshow sits down behind a table. Don’t do that. Get out front with the people. Push the table back against the booth wall if you have a table and stand up, be ready. Don’t be caught sitting. Your company is paying thousands or tens of thousands for you to be there for very short periods of time. You can rest later.

Always use the most assertive media: Nothing is better than face-to-face. A tradeshow is the ultimate opportunity (besides executive seminars) to get lots of prospects and customers in the same room for face-to-face discussions. Right after face-to-face are phone discussions, then high impact mailers, then LinkedIn inMail connections, then LinkedIn messages, then direct social media messages (like Twitter), and finally email.

The strategy is to bridge people from passive to assertive media. Tradeshows are ideal if you get as much mileage out of your face-to-face meetings as possible.

We have even been able to take people from initial awareness to a closed sale right at our tradeshow events.

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Stand out: At tradeshows we try to grab a good location. We use unique color schemes. Our data-driven targeting and social media strategy helps us stand out.

The biggest key is to give really great presentations!

For years we brought all you can eat chocolate, the real good stuff, to get people to hangout in our suite or meeting room.

Give something away that is really cool, but only if people are qualified to buy what you have, and let you spend a few minutes to educate them. Zig when others zag.

At last years Dreamforce, we gave away nice sweatshirts. Domo (Josh James) gave away Skull candy headphones… to qualified prospects only of course.

Know your key questions: Track all of the questions that you get asked at your booth and summarize the answers to them for everyone who works at the booth or meeting rooms.

Learn the business card pocket trick: I keep my own business cards in my right pocket. I hand them to people and ask for their business card. I write notes on their card that qualify them. Then I put them in my left pocket. A little human ingenuity goes a long way.

Point out your coolest feature: The old adage is “features tell… benefits sell!” But that is from old school sales trainers, who are right, but it doesn’t work at tradeshows

Cool features grab people’s attention.

Think of it this way. When you walk through a sales tradeshow with 100 different booths, every one of them promises to help you sell more and save money, don’t they? But what do you go home that night and tell your spouse about? It’s the booth with the coolest features.


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