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Episode 013 – Bringing the Experience of YOU at Trade Shows – interview with Robin Sacks & Angie Pohlman

Episode 013 – Bringing the Experience of YOU at Trade Shows!

Special Interview with Robin Sacks and Angie Pohlman of

It’s more than just experiencing your company – the key is the experience of you.

·      Are you more than just the brochures and stuff in your booth?

·      People buy from people – and they need to experience who you are.

Robin’s favorite quote from Maya Angelou – “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Exercise – You and your team show up, but none of your stuff arrived. The only thing in your booth space is YOU. What do you do?

If the boxes with your stuff didn’t show up, could you do what you needed to do?

It’s about having the confidence to say to yourself, “I know my stuff. I know what I need to know about my company. I am going to embrace this situation, have fun, meet some people, and make them feel good that they actually stopped by this empty booth!”

It’s easy for us to lean on our “stuff” as a crutch and fall back on old habits of just shoving a business card and literature into someone’s hands instead of starting a meaningful conversation.

Move beyond transactional goals (# of leads, # of badges scanned, etc.) and toward meaningful conversations.

When you do this, a magical thing happens. You don’t have to go looking for people as much – they will start looking for you!

Whether your stuff shows up or not, your approach should be the same. Start with the thought of engaging with people and getting to conversations and relationship building.

When figuring out what you and your staff should say, think about it from the viewpoint of the attendees. When you are an attendee, what draws you in? What makes you want to visit a booth and really dig into their offerings?

·      What makes you smile? What makes you feel good? And what makes you want to turn and run?

·      Don’t push your stuff on them. You want them wanting to take your brochures and business card because they enjoyed their experience with you.

·      This starts to talk about your Personal Brand

Exercise – Three Little Words

·      First – describe yourself using only three words.

·      Next – Ask people who know you – If you had to describe me in only three words, what would those words be?

·      Many times something amazing happens because often people will use words that we would never use to describe ourselves.

·      There are one or two qualities we have which others see and value, but we don’t value them in ourselves. Often times we will even hide these qualities.

·      These words and qualities are your Super Powers!

o  If you are not bringing those Super Powers out all the time, you are probably missing out on opportunities on being authentically you

TETRIS Game example:

·      The goal of TETRIS is to fit different shaped blocks to create complete rows. Once you complete a row, it disappears.

·      TETRIS taught me everything I need to know about life…

o  When you fit in, you disappear!

·      Your goal at Trade Shows is to NOT look like everyone else and fit in.

·      One great way of standing apart is to give people an experience, and that starts with YOU.

If you are doing smaller or local shows that are just 1 day long and maybe just a few hours, you have a very limited opportunity to grab people’s attention.

·      At these smaller shows, it is even MORE critical to Stand Apart!

Stop thinking and communicating in Words – and start thinking and communicating with STORIES.

·      Info can make you look like everyone else, however…

·      Your stories are unique to you

·      You can use stories to get to the heart of the needs of your attendees

·      Bring stories to bring situations to life and this will help you BE MEMORABLE

·      Stories allow you to go where the attendees need you to go

·      This leads to meaningful conversations and that is when attendees will reveal their needs

·      Come into the show thinking, “What kind of problems can I solve for the attendees?”

·      Never assume you know what the drivers of the attendees are

Introverts – best thing for introverts to know is that you don’t have to do a lot of talking. You just have to start with a good question.

·      So being an introvert can be an asset because you are showing the attendee you are listening and caring about what they have to say

·      The beauty of being an introvert is that you don’t have to produce a script. You don’t have to present. You just have to be able to listen, and then guide the attendees to get their needs met.

·      Just get CURIOUS!

·      So if you’re an introvert, don’t focus on the parts everyone thinks are weaknesses. Focus on your strengths.

·      Try out the Three Little Words exercise and bring your Super Powers to the shows!

·      And being an extrovert isn’t all positive! Extroverts can come across as overly aggressive and chase people away.

No matter what your personality – you need to give yourself permission to show up as you.

·      Just show up and be Authentic, have conversations and be curious

·      Try it sometime and you will see the power in it.

·      Plus its easier than you might think!

·      Be confident in yourself! Confidence doesn’t necessarily mean loud or boastful – it can be a quiet confidence.

·      Most confident people say less – but what they say Matters!!

Robin & Angie’s Key Takeaways:

·      Remember the Maya Angelou quote: “People are going to forget what you said. They’re going to forget what you did. They’re never going to forget how you made them feel.”

·      Find those moments to help your attendees “feel.” People don’t buy just on logic, but by how they feel.

·      Remember – It’s not about you. What do THEY need? 

o  Unless you get Curious and ask questions, you will never find what they need.

o  Keep your focus Outward as opposed to Inward

·      YOU are everything you need to bring to the table

o  Have self-awareness and know what your Super Powers are

o  There are some people who will naturally be drawn to who you are and want to build a relationship with you

·      Remember the TETRIS analogy – when you fit in, you disappear!

o  That is something you definitely don’t want to happen at your next trade show!

To Contact Robin and Angie:

·      Go to and go to their Contact page

·      Or send an email to

·      Or on LinkedIn search for Robin Sacks and Angie Pohlman

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