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157 – 5 More Trade Show Tips NOBODY Tells You!

Here’s 5 More Trade Show Tips that Nobody tells you! They may be a bit controversial, But when you hear them, they can be complete Game Changers for your next show!

To hear the other 5 Tips Nobody tells you, click here to listen to Ep 118!

(1) Learn how to END a conversation

  • Yes – you heard me! Learn how to END a conversation.
  • We’ve all been in those conversations that are going nowhere, or are great but drag on way too long.
  • You need a quick and polite way to end the conversation so you can start talking with someone else! For every person you engage with, there can be multiple people that walk by your booth never to be seen again.
  • So come up with a quick statement that wraps up the conversation.
  • “I don’t want to take away any more of your time from seeing other vendors.”
  • “Did you get the info you needed?” Then set a follow up if necessary.
  • “I love where this is going. Or This seems to be a great fit, don’t you agree? Let’s continue the conversation at dinner. Or Next week.”
  • Then teach it to your team!  Time is money especially at a trade show!

(2) Assign each person of your team specific things to do

  • So many people quote-unquote know how to work a show. But when you get to the show, it seems like everyone is doing the exact same thing – they show up and wait for people to come to them.  And when there’s down time, they check their phone, talk with other co-workers, or even disappear.
  • You are there to work the show – not do day job stuff!
  • Give them something specific to do!
  • Have one or two people responsible for engaging attendees, and then others that are there to answer indepth questions or give demos.
  • Have someone responsible for replenishing the literature and giveaways and making them look good. Have someone go around the show and snap pics of competitive booths.  There’s a ton of things you can do!  If you need ideas, email me at jim@tradeshowu.biz and we can set up a call.
  • When you are rocking and rolling, you can have an amazing flow going on in your booth with each person doing their job.  IF you strategize ahead of time!

(3) There’s some items you shouldn’t rent

  • Don’t mean to upset the furniture rental people out there, but there are just some things you shouldn’t rent. 
  • Look I’m cheap!  I like keeping money, so keep that in mind.
  • Chairs for your booth staff (NEVER). 
  • If you have a booth large enough to have a meeting space, then you can have chairs.
  • Table
  • Trash can
  • Vacuum service
  • TV/Monitors
  • Unless these items are part of an overall look that you will be investing in one time, better to purchase!

(4) Make strategic connections BEFORE the show

  • You can start the show cold and hope you make great connections with people at your target companies OR you can start making those connections ahead of time and have a full calendar with those dream contacts!
  • Use LinkedIn or other social sites
  • Check the show site or registration list
  • Pick up the phone!

(5) Have a specific plan for the slow times

  • There are times it’s going to be slow. But we never plan for it. We just sit there and complain!
  • There are a ton of things you can do when it’s slow and have these planned out and discussed with your team.
  • Everyone should have list of customers or booths to visit
  • Competitive research
  • Networking
  • Talk with the show organizers
  • Start packing up some things – NOT TEARING DOWN!
  • Brainstorm with your team the things you each can do when its slow so when that time happens – and it will happen – you can spring into action!

Which are your favorites? Send me an email jim@tradeshowu.biz! Would love to hear from you.

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About the author, Jim

Jim Cermak has over 25 years of marketing, consulting and training experience, and has planned and worked hundreds of Trade Shows. He gets a little overly excited about Trade Shows, and puts that passion into helping companies get better results!

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