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179 – PRO TIP 4 – Think Like an Exhibitor!

Welcome to PRO TIP #4! Show Planners and Associations, this is directed at you!

PRO TIP #4 is to Think Like an Exhibitor.

If you want more successful shows going forward, growing shows, higher renewal rates, then you need to get into the minds of your exhibitors to best serve them.

  • Many exhibitors, especially the smaller ones, have trade show coordinators who are wearing many hats.  They are swimming in stuff to do.  And then they get a confusing prospectus.
  • Make it simple. From signing up to ordering services to getting their questions answered.
  • Talk to your exhibitors.  Why do they exhibit at your show?  What are their goals?  What are they looking to get?  Really listen to them!
  • This is for smaller shows – don’t have show floor expo hours and breakout sessions that overlap.  What that leaves is a ton of exhibitors looking at each other wondering where everyone went.  Shut down the expo for a couple of hours while the breakouts are going on. That will allow exhibitors to attend the breakouts as well!
  • One thing exhibitors love to do is network – but often don’t have the opportunity to do it. So plan a time for networking or speed dating for the exhibitors!  Show them some love or added value.
  • Don’t just throw a prospectus at your exhibitor and say call or email with questions.  Many don’t even know what questions to ask.  Make resources available for those who need them. Or even have a live zoom Q&A session so everyone is on the same page and get a chance to be heard.
  • So give them access to resources.  Invite in professionals to hold webinars, do group coaching, or even offer one-on-one coaching.  If they have a better show, they’ll renew, get a bigger booth, or become a sponsor.

I get it – you have a million things on your plate and a thin staff to get everything done. You don’t have time to handhold your exhibitors. Here’s the deal – you’ll get happier exhibitors and a better bottom line if you do.

Remember this – your exhibitors pay for the show to happen.  They deserve your best, and you’ll have them renewing at higher rates than ever!


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About the author, Jim

Jim Cermak has over 30 years of exhibiting, planning and working trade shows. As a Professional Trainer, he helps companies transform their results at trade shows, expos, events and conferences.

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