Trade Shows: What cancellations tell us about their importance!
Stop wasting time at trade shows!
Yet, I do love a trade show. I get a real buzz from helping out on a client’s stand and meeting customers.
As many of our clients are manufacturers with supply chain partners, this is a very rare opportunity to talk to the end-customer and a chance to get into their heads.
Like most manufacturers, they instinctively want to sell but understanding why customers want to buy is what really fuels a creative marketing program.
Now, in an elevated state, with lots of ideas in my head, I decide to walk around the remainder of the show for a breather. And it’s here where I’m dragged back to earth as I see poorly turned-out stands and pre-occupied exhibitors that feed the argument that trade shows are no longer effective and have had their day.
The following is not a list of exhibitor dos and don’ts – you can find them easily with the help of Google – but rather my pet hates, which I know undermine performance at a show:
Stand graphics are looked at, not read!
Treat stand graphics like you would a cross-track poster at a train station. Standing on the platform, even when a train comes into the station, you can still see through the carriage windows at the poster on the other side of the train and understand the message as the carriages roll through the platform. A punchy headline, an engaging image, a few bullet points of copy and a call to action.
Why?… I’ve yet to hear of any exhibitor that rewards its stand staff for giving away the least number of brochures or catalogues at the show.
Sure, brochures cost money, catalogues more so, but these are the bait that encourage visitors to the stand.
Position them at the front of the stand in a nice display and within eye-shot.
You think! This is old-school I know. Maybe it’s a hierarchical thing, a show of authority, or maybe the person is just bored. All I know is, this defensive body language creates a barrier between the exhibitor and stand visitor, so the visitor is encouraged to move on to the next stand rather than stop and have a conversation.
How dare a prospective customer come onto the stand while you are having a catchup with colleagues! The next two are equally as bad…
Of course, you need to get emails and take business calls but do this away from the stand.
Talking to customers at a trade show is the next best thing to a conversation at the trade counter.
Let’s not forget people do business with people they trust.
So, it’s important that a good first impression puts the prospective customer at ease before either party has uttered a word!
Now ask them how you can help!
Need help with your 2022 plans? Come talk to us over a coffee at one of the following 2021 trade shows:
Design London, Magazine, London – 22-25 September
Independent Hotel Show, Olympia London – 4-5th October
Decorex International, Olympia London – 10-13th October
ELEX Sandown, Sandown Park – 4-5th November
ELEX Exeter, Westpoint Arena – 9-10th December