How to Make the Right First Impression at a Trade Show
by Olivia Rose on December 26, 2014
Trade shows and events create a place to introduce yourself and your business to a whole new set of potential customers, business contacts, and B2B partners. You need the right set up, the right visuals, the right staff and the right location to maximize the benefit, and make all your time, effort and money worth it.
Because exhibiting at a trade show is the first contact you’ll make with a lot of event-goers, it is your key opportunity to make a good first impression. And, as they always say, you don’t get a second chance at that. With so many businesses for visitors to check out at the event, and probably a few of your competitors as well, it’s critical that you do well in those first seconds and minutes of interaction.
Wow with Your Visuals
How you look isn’t the most important thing at an event or tradeshow, but it can often be the factor that determines whether you get a chance to actually speak to and engage with a potential lead. If your tradeshow booth or event tent is shabby and boring, you’re just not likely to get a lot of people stopping by. And that would be a shame, since you probably have a great pitch all ready to go!
Don’t blow out your budget, but invest in key elements that will make your space look professional and eye-catching. We’d suggest large structural elements like a back drop wall or custom drapes, or even customized carpeting or trade show flooring. These will define your space and your brand from a distance. A table with a good-looking table cover will also create a natural space for dialogue, showing visitors where they should come to engage with you and find out more.
Impress Them in Person
This is the meat and potatoes of your trade show experience. Event-goers don’t come to trade shows to walk around and look at the nice displays – they come to talk with potential contacts, partners, suppliers, and customers. Your visuals will get you noticed, but then it’s time to get down to business.
Don’t memorize one speech or pitch – ask questions and tailor your conversation to fit the industry, interests, pain points, and specialties of the people you’re talking to. You’ll also want to have your “elevator pitch” down perfectly. An elevator pitch is a super-succinct summary of what you do, why you do it, and how you do it better, short enough to deliver before the proverbial elevator reaches the right floor.
If a potential customer comes up to your table and says, “So what do you do?” you don’t want to hem and haw, or loosely describe your business day-to-day. They want to know the general outline in a few words – and then you can ask questions and get down to the details of how you can help them.
We’re big believers in planning ahead and putting some thought into your trade show strategy. If you want to talk about the visuals you need to make a big impression, we want to hear from you! Get in touch here.
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