Trade shows and exhibitions are a mainstay in the armoury of sales and marketing teams. They cost a lot of money to rent the booths. To design the stand. To have resources and people for the duration of the event. But are they making the most of the opportunity?
Presentation Skills at Trade Shows
many exhibition organisers offer training and guidance on standing, greeting and engaging people as they walk around the event. many are still not heeding this advice. At this years event for example there were several stands where people were sat behind desks. I wont embarrass them by showing the photos here!
Who do exhibitors talk to?
At an event at the end of day 1 of the 2017 CIPD Learning and Development Show I was talking to some fellow visitors. They commented that people looked at the name badges before making eye contact. This intrigued me.
The next day I spoke to a few people I know on stands to discuss this. They confirmed that they did not want to waste time talking to the “wrong people”.
2 badges 1 person – 2 very different experiences
I was able to get 2 badges printed for me. One with PRESS (It could easily have said CONSULTANT) the other with Head of Global Training – and a well known company.
I walked around for just a few minutes with each badge showing.
With the PRESS version – not one person spoke to me
With the HEAD OF GLOBAL TRAINING version I was stopped 9 times.
Now why is this important?
In the HR & L&D world, the job I do today will be different from tomorrow. The contract i do today may be local. Tomorrow it may be a major change. Talking with a fellow freelancer, he pointed out that often his clients asked for recommendations for products and services. And yet many people on stands ignore him.
The truth behind the badges
The reason why I chose the “HEAD OF…” badge, this this was a role I held just a short while ago. So this was a real and realistic test. Even on the same day. Wearing the same clothes, I was treated differently based on the TITLE. I suspect EMPLOYER also makes a little difference.
In a world where an increasing number of people are interim or contracting the old world of “fixed job titles” is going. In addition firms often prefer the opinion of people that have wider experiences. When events are ANNUAL, sales people at these events need to take account a long time zones
Learn to LOVE the ‘Press’
Increasingly at events organisers engage with industry bloggers and social media champions. These people are given PRESS passes in exchange for media coverage. there job is to promote you. they will just want a photo and a quote. So why are they ignored?
Many of these people have tens of thousands of Twitter or Instagram followers. they may have a high value YouTube channel or have 1000s of people that read their blogs. An article in a trade journal may get 5000 views in the month of feature. On a blog it can easily be tens of thousands over the course of the year.
5 Tips to have a successful trade show
- First Impressions are Everything
- Create a buzz – when there is a queue – others will join – they hate being the only person there
- Extend Your Reach – use social media to ENGAGE – get others to promote your brand & message
- Get Your Best Clients to the Show – show and tell!
- Stop Selling- Start Gelling – build relationships
5 Trade show tips for exhibitors #cipdLDshow 2 Badges – one person – How to get a very different experience at Trade Shows and Exhibitions