A few months into 2012, some manufacturers I have spoken with mention tangible signs of improvement in the economy. They are getting more requests for quotes and converting some of those quotes into orders, which means they are getting more business overall.
Likewise, while attending trade shows this season, I’ve
noticed more attendees - prospective customers - walking the show and stopping
in booths. This too is an encouraging sign. Even if a prospective customer is
not yet ready to sign on the dotted line, they are ready to learn more about
technologies that can help solve their problems.
What has been less encouraging at these
trade shows is the behavior I’ve noticed by some of the exhibitors. I
understand that we’re all being asked to do more with fewer people, and gone
are the days when you can attend a tradeshow and completely leave office duties
behind. Current customers still have questions, your colleagues may not know
the project as well as you do, and you need to keep in touch about the work in
progress. Still, I was disturbed to see - too frequently - behaviors best
described as “How Not to Exhibit at a Tradeshow.”
Remember you’re there to talk to customers
and prospects. So if you’re wearing matching shirts, you shouldn’t be talking
to one another. Who hasn’t walked by a booth and seen booth personnel all
clumped into small groups talking to colleagues? Is it really that the
company’s products are so bad that no one wants to learn more about them?
Probably not. The booth staff has forgotten who they are there to meet. They
may even be talking about current or future business, ongoing problems or other
company business. Problem is, they’re doing it in the wrong place.
Remember, you know where to find those
people in the matching shirts, and even those who you call as you stand 10'
from your booth: in the company directory (if not in the office next door) or
in your Outlook contacts. Those relationships are valuable but they already
Being prepared for a tradeshow requires
doing more than simply packing brochures, booth and equipment and booking a
hotel room. If you or your team is planning to exhibit at a tradeshow in 2012,
please give your company the best chance it has to capitalize on this pent-up
demand. Make your focus the customers and prospects right in front of you and
capitalize on your tradeshow investment.
Linda Becker, Associate
Publisher and Editor, BeckerL@bnpmedia.com
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