The staff who man your booth can make or break your success when exhibiting at a trade fair. Thus, training them to engage attendees can be crucial to maximizing your ROI.
Most attendees that attend trade shows booths tend to zip on by.
In fact, according to Nancy Drapeau, director of research at the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, nearly 55 percent of attendees like to walk through the show floor and observe without speaking to the staffers representing exhibiting companies.
So how does an exhibitor get an attendee’s attention? If we don’t, that attendee might never stop by your booth, effectively eliminating your ability to spread more awareness about your products and increase your sales leads – which are the reasons companies exhibit in the first place!
Below, are some solutions to give to your booth staffers to help them turn that “zip-by” attendee into a potential sales lead:
1. Engage attendees walking by the booth
It can be very challenging to harness the attention of attendees. They are bombarded by lights, sounds, music, other attendees, sales people, flyers, etc. One way however, may be to try and strike up an honest conversation with them by asking very open-ended questions, not necessarily related to your own product or company. One example might be to ask “have you seen anything interesting so far?”. Open-ended questions can help attendees feel at ease with you without feeling stressed that they are about to be sold something.
2. Engage attendees with a demo, video or live presentation
When attendees are inside your booth, showing them a video or presentation or demo of your company’s products can help pique their interest. After you get into a conversation, rather than engaging in sales pitches right away, let other types of media speak for you. Perhaps it is as simple as inviting them to a continuous clip playing a demo, or for you to demo the product yourself. Then, look for cues to see if the attendee is really interested. Are they nodding? leaning in? smiling? If yes, then ask them further questions such as “have your used something like this before?” or “Would you see this as applicable to your needs?”
Try to avoid a sales pitch altogether and instead learn and ask questions about the attendee. Then you can answer their questions or respond to them according to what they say.
3. Engage attendees who are handling your product
When attendees are actually holding your product, this is a good sign! It means there is already some clear interest in the product. Again, instead of going into a sales pitch. You might start with a one-liner comment about the product, such as “Did you know that this is waterproof?”, and this can be your opening statement to get them to ask more questions.
4. Teach your staffers about your product
There is nothing more frustrating than a staffer that knows nothing about the product. Before the show, teach your staffers the basic answers to the most commonly asked questions. Then, teach them to direct attendees to where they can get more information if needed.
5. Ask staffers to stand apart from each other, spaced throughout the exhibit
When two staffers are already engaged in a conversation, and continue to do so even when an attendee has already stated showing interest in your booth, this gives the impression that the staffers are not willing, ready or able to speak to attendees. Encourage your staffers to actively watch attendees for even small signs of interest such as reading your signs, or picking up a product. And then to engage with them.
There are many more tips and strategies out there which we hope to share in the future. Of course, building an attractive and eye-catching exhibit is one of the best strategies out there to hold the attention of attendees. That said – it doesn’t have to be an overly expensive display either. Sometimes, simple displays that give out the right information can be just as good. Contact us today to let us figure our how we can help you increase your Return on your Investment on a trade show booth.