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Don’t Forget Trade Show Basics – Part 3

This is part 3 of a rant on some of the Trade Show marketing basics that were ignored by exhibitors at the recent ITExpo show, which TechMarketeers attended.

Rule 4 – Details. Details.

There were many other things that I saw or heard at this show.  There were several booths where the personnel stumbled over the “what-do-you do” question (the basic elevator pitch) or didn’t know how to talk about their product’s benefits.  There were also several booths from international exhibitors where the booth personnel didn’t understand enough English to converse with attendees.  They simply scanned my badge and moved on.

‘Get-away day’ (the last day of the show) is always a problem for booth managers.  Many booths have limited storage for things like sales literature and give aways.  There is rarely room for the booth personnel’s luggage.  No matter how many times people are told not to bring their luggage to the booth, they do it anyway.  Exhibit managers must be tough on this.  Booths are not checkrooms.  The number of booths that I saw with luggage piled all over the place was staggering.  Not only does the booth look messy, it leaves the impression that the most important thing to you is not your prospects and customers – it’s getting out of the exhibit hall as fast as you can.

There were many more examples of lack of attention to details.  Booths so cluttered you couldn’t enter.  Signage so low on a panel that the people in the booth blocked it or you couldn’t read it without stooping over.  Seven vendors had no company/product description in the show guide (someone missed a deadline!).

The success of your trade show program depends on taking care of a large number of details – from logistics to signage, from freebies to booth personnel training, from pre-show promotion to post-show follow-up.  Trade shows are hard work for both the exhibitor and the attendee.  The best way to maximize the results of your trade show program is to remember that shows are also hard work for the attendees.  They are spending time and money to learn how they can solve their problems and help their company move forward.  Exhibitors that help the attendees get what they want out of attending a show also help themselves!

There were a large number of good-to-excellent booths at ITExpo.  However, it seems to me that far too many exhibitors were not paying attention to details and following the rules of good trade show marketing.  Organizations spend a great deal of money on event marketing.  It is up to us marketers to make sure that the money is well spent and not going down the Tradeshow 101 Drain.

End of rant.

Click here to go back and review Rule 1 – Treat Trade Shows as a Program

Click here for more: Rule 2 – Say What You Do and Rule 3 – Listen, Please Listen!

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