Last week was our last conference and trade show of the year, and I have to (proudly) say our team knocked it out of the park! Our goal was to stand out in a sea of booths and traditional giveaways and that we did! Of course it doesn’t hurt that our amazing CEO was the winner of the Innovators Den – but that wasn’t promised to us and only happened at the end of the conference.
Although there is no simple formula that we follow, one thing we do is we plan endlessly; we train our staff to work the booth, we appreciate how much the conference attendees appreciate a unique surprise and we aim to ‘bring the fun’. As a start-up we have to make a little bit of money go a very long way, so here are a few pointers to get you and your company on your way to being a booth favourite at your next trade show!
Target the Right Traffic for your Booth
Getting people to stop at a trade show booth is no easy feat. Our goal is to get people to stop in to say hi and to meet as many people from our sector as possible. Last week we demonstrated StaffStat to CEO’s, VP’s, Administrators and everyone in between. We targeted potential clients and colleagues through social media for weeks leading up to our event; our marketing magician, Megan, designed engaging and unique pre-show communication and we did a countdown to conference letting our potential clients know how excited we were to connect with them again. We also attended all events the conference held and invited people to visit us at the booth the following day. This all resulted in an endless flow of traffic which is exactly what we wanted!
Train Your Booth Staff
I couldn’t count how many people I saw sitting behind a table texting at this year’s conference. My company spends a lot of time and money on a trade show and it would be thoroughly disappointing if my employees were not able to deliver our message both confidently and professionally.
Here are just some of the ways we’ve gotten ourselves prepared to dazzle at a trade show booth:
• Our employees are Toastmasters, making it easy for them to be both natural and genuine when they network.
• Practice – we have done many smaller trade shows over the years that have prepared us for the big ones.
• Our team understands that at a trade show it’s time to over-deliver and be on point until the final minute of the show.
• Our team knows that they are still working and representing our company beyond the booth and kept up the great work well into the other conference events.
Demo Your Product or Service
Our StaffStat demonstration is short, sweet and memorable! Not only is it an amazing product, but our team is also charismatic and we truly believe in the product so we keep each demonstration interactive and captivating. We know how important it is to keep people at the booth for the demo so we keep the booth fun while other demos are taking place — this year we had a photo booth for people to play in, last year it was StaffStat selfies. We heard several times that we ‘always have the best booth at tradeshows’ – which is exactly what we set out to do!
Timely Follow Ups
The conference ended on Friday so today it’s about keeping the momentum going. My team will seize this opportunity all day – following up with prospective clients, sending thank you’s to existing clients and sharing our conference success throughout social media. The post-show follow-ups are less daunting because of the amount of networking we did and our goal is to make our follow up approach just as eye catching as our trade show booth was!
Well there it is: some of the things that we aim to do to always have a buzz-worthy booth at conferences. Let me know what works for you!