Written by Sofia Troutman, Skyline Exhibits.
No matter how wonderful your exhibit or promotions, if you have booth staffers who are not paying attention you could lose more brand equity and sales than you realize. Yet they can also do simple things to get you more attention than any exhibit ever could. Below are the nine things staffers can do to get you noticed.
1. DRESS FOR THE OCCASION
Your everyday khaki pants and company polo are OK, but are not going to get anyone to take notice. Yet, coordinating your outfit to your brand or booth theme might stop people. Get solid dress shirts using a bright color in your brand, invest in comfy shoes for staffers that match the booth if they are frequent exhibitors, buy them matching vests. Whatever you do make sure they all know that they should be dressed as if they were attending a special occasion… because they are.
2. GET OFF THE SCREEN
If your staffers are on their phones, they are not getting what the face to face time they came for at the show. People will walk right by the booth if they feel the staffer is disinterested. If you don’t have the budget to send two staffers to the show so they can take breaks, then explore whether you can get a local employee or hire a crowd gatherer to help the staffer during busy times or cover them for a lunch break. Yet, do use tech wisely with relevant videos, a good lead management app and timely follow up emails after the show.
3. SAVE SNACKS FOR THE PARTY
Eating during the show sends the message that you are not ready to conduct business. Eat before or after the show or find someone to cover you so you can go get a snack or lunch. While you as the host should not be munching away while someone is trying to get your attention, it is very nice to offer your visitor a bottle of water, candy or a much-needed cup of coffee or tea. It can set you apart from your competition and encourage them to stay a little bit longer to tell you about their business needs.
4. TURN ON THE LIGHTS
Lighting can make such a difference not just for your home but also in your booth. Ensure your brand is highlighted by your branding and remove any lights that are not working or better yet see if you can get them fixed. Also, accent lighting on your brand, back lighting on your message or a simple floor lamp in your conference room can create a unique ambiance or feel to help set you apart.
5. WIRE MANAGEMENT
This may seem like a minor issue, but a cluttered mess of wires on the floor is not only a trip hazard it makes your booth look unprofessional. In an in-line or portable space you can get away with just running the wires behind your exhibit but if you are in a peninsula or island exhibit it is a clever idea to invest in wire management clips and plan where the power will come from and investing in having it run under the carpet. You can get the information regarding where the power will come from or even request where you want it by communicating with your show organizer well before the show.
6. KEEPING IT CLEAN – PORTER SERVICE
Just like a cluttered store or a messy house stresses visitors out and makes them less likely to spend time there, a littered booth will do the same. Reminding staffers that it is important to help keep the space tidy will create awareness. Also, it is very worthwhile to ensure the trash is emptied on a regular basis. If you are serving snacks ordering porter service from the show is very worthwhile as they will come to take your trash multiple times per day.
7. MAKE A GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION – GRAPHIC TIPS
Neatness counts. Your potential clients will be looking at your graphics to find out who you are and what you do. Make sure they look good. There are so many times I walk a show where I see wrinkled, poorly installed, loose or even soiled graphics. Most graphics can be steamed and fabric graphics can often be washed or dry cleaned. Spot cleaning can also usually be done with mild soap and water or even baby wipes at times (make sure to bring sample sizes of both in your crates so you can use them to clean your graphics or counters as needed). Check with your vendor regarding graphic care.
8. DON’T FORGET TO SEND INVITATIONS & THANK-YOU CARDS
Make sure your best customers and prospects are invited to visit you at the show. If they don’t know they may not come and you don’t want to be left at the show without anyone for you to talk to or entertain. Also, plan to send either thank you cards or a thank you email to remind your visitors about your conversation and to thank them for taking the time to visit you. Also, make sure that you have fulfilled any promises you made at the show such as sending brochures, following up with samples or setting up appointments.
9. MAKE IT MEMORABLE & FUN!
While you don’t need to create a party atmosphere, you should make sure your booth is one people want to visit. A fun activity that ties to your brand is a fantastic way to do that. It can be as simple as a quiz on a tablet, an opportunity to get hands on with the product or an old-fashioned game that has been customized with some of your brand elements. You could customize Jenga or a bean bag toss with some problems you solve or benefits of your product. Even the overused “spin the wheel” game is better than nothing. Something as simple as a friendly smile and joke can set you and your company apart from your surly neighbor at the show.
Regardless of what you do to get noticed, make sure to always keep your brand and company messaging in mind. How does the outfit, the food or the game you are planning to do tie into it? Can it? How will you communicate all of this in your invitations, at the show and after the show? If you keep these tips in mind you will get some “NICE” results.
About the Author:
Sofia heads up Skyline’s marketing efforts in digital marketing and product innovation. Sofia is an experienced marketing professional with branding, innovation and product commercialization expertise.