Wednesday, May 04, 2005

More on Marketing at Trade Shows

Following my podcast, I thought I would break down, in textual form, the key points on marketing at trade shows. They generally fall into Do's and Dont's.


  • Tell visitors what you do: don't hide descriptions of your products and services in buzzwords and catch phrases. Prominently display what you do. eg. If you build houses, say that, list the key features of your houses, don't talk about "lifestyle habitation environments"!
  • Show your product: Don't be scared to do this. If you don't show your product and your competitors do you immediately raise suspicions in the mind of your prospect.
  • Talk to visitors on your stand: Be nice, find out what they need. If you can help them, do so, if not wrap it up politely and move onto the next visitor.
  • Keep the stand and what you display relevant: It's no good using attractions that are irrelevant to your business because visitors wont remember you.
  • Criticise your competitors: Keep your message positive. Your time with each visitor should be kept to a minimum. Nobody likes hearing people complain about what their competitors are doing or not doing.
  • Judge a book by its cover/ignore visitors: You never know what kind of deal you might be missing out on if you. Treat every visitor with respect. If they aren't relevant to your market, politely wrap up the conversation and move on.
  • Hide: It is amazing to walk on a stand and not find anyone to talk to. Always make sure you have enough staff rostered on and keep them out the front of the stand not hiding out the back or at the coffee cart.
In general, you should keep trade show chats reasonably short. The length should be dicatated by the value of the client/deal and the information you need to collect.

Generally, most visitors to a trade show only have a limited amount of time and so monopolising their time on your stand isn't good for them. Collect their contact details, needs, pain points, etc and discuss how you can help them. Demonstrate your products or services briefly if you have time. Then wrap up the conversation. Even in complex sales, this should take no more than 15-20 mins in most cases.

If you have any comments, feedback or suggestions for topics you would like me to cover, please use the comments area below.