There’s a new ‘buzz’ word in the world of exhibitions at the moment. Everyone is talking about ‘engagement’.
No, not the kind where you get down on one knee and offer a marriage proposal to the first person you meet at an exhibition! I am talking about engaging with your target audience at trade shows. It’s all about starting a dialogue with prospective customers in a way which doesn’t feel too intrusive.
Although exhibition attendees expect to be ‘sold to’, it’s never a good idea to pounce on people when they step foot on your stand. Think about the last time you went into a swanky boutique and the shop assistant asked you if they could help in any way. Nine times of ten you’ll say “no thanks, I am just looking” and make a hasty retreat. Sales opportunity over!However, what if the shop assistant came over and said how much they liked your shoes and asked you where you bought them from? You’d almost certainly tell them. Call it the retail ice breaker if you will!
Exhibitors need to think along the same lines. How can you start a dialogue with someone without appearing too pushy? Well, there are several little tricks you can employ. Think about staging a competition to attract people on to your stand. What about offering fresh tea and coffee on your stand to passers by?
Once you have people on your stand, start talking about something connected to the show but without getting on the sales offensive. Build rapport not barriers!
We’ll talk about about the ‘exhibition experience’ at a later date. In the meantime, think about what would tempt you on to a stand if you had no idea what a company was promoting. Think outside the gift box, not about the engagement ring inside it!