Imagine this –
It is the day of your most important convention. There are hundreds of booths lined up neatly next to each other, each geared to make the most of this opportunity to sell, to generate a lead or to create brand awareness. Far from all these booths, in the corner, under poor lighting and crammed up space stands your booth. If that’s not bad enough, your display banners are not the right size. Your demo product is not working; the business cards are nowhere in sight. Your team of newbie event staff members is running amok trying to do some last-minute fixes. Your salespeople are not completely sure what the product is about.
It is time for the trade show to start. People come trickling in. They pass by each booth casually, pausing at some to ask about a product, service or the other. When they come to your booth, they don’t seem to get a clear picture from the display and signage about who you are and what you are trying to showcase. They ask for a brochure or some kind of information material. A member of your staff hands over a shabby-looking leaflet that barely explains anything. The attendee thanks her politely, walks away, and throws the leaflet away in the garbage bin.
You may have lost one great lead. One great client! The attendee could have become one of your biggest customers, had you put your act together. Perhaps now you will never know.
In the world of exhibit marketing, first impressions are everything. With so much ground to cover, your attendees are going to rely heavily on first impressions to decide if you are any good. First impressions are often the making and breaking point of any convention. In order to create a lasting first impression, your booth and staff must showcase ‘value’ as soon as attendees lay their eyes on you.
Here are some skills that you can encourage in your staff and to create that unforgettable first impression.
- Sales, Sales, Sales!
This word should be on top of your mind and your exhibit marketing efforts should be channeled to achieve this goal. Having a clear idea of your sales goals helps to set realistic expectations for yourself and your staff. It also ensures efficient use of resources in a time-bound event.
- Communication Skills
You can never undermine the importance of verbal and nonverbal communication skills. You must make sure that the team you hire has great communication and listening skills. Your team should be articulate, knowledgeable and handle tough questions smoothly. They should also be well-versed in the local language. Good body language also forms an important component of overall communication. Eye contact, facial expressions – the little things matter!
A good marketer or salesperson is intuitive about their customer needs. Sometimes, an attendee may be looking for something but may not be able to articulate well. Your team member should be able to look for signs and attempt to understand what the potential customer is not able to put into words. Delivering an impression that you ‘get it’ is the beginning of a great relationship.
Persuasion is an art. Attempting to make a sale without sounding ‘salesy’ is something that must either come naturally or with loads of practice.
Highlighting the benefits of your product or service, taking a genuine interest in your potential customer, understanding its wants and needs and relating it to your product or service are some persuasive ways of generating a lead or making a sale.
- Multi-tasking skills
A trade show booth is a small space with lots of things happening at the same time. A staff member with great multitasking skills is a huge asset. You don’t want too many people in such a crammed up space, so having few, well-coordinated team members with good trade show skills can maximize efficiency and minimize staffing costs.
Flexibility is a highly under-rated skill. In a live event such as a trade show, several unexpected scenarios may occur which need to be handled immediately and with skill. You definitely want someone on the team who is able to deal with these surprises and adapt easily to fluctuating scenarios.
- Remember, every trade show event is an opportunity to create a lasting impression. You want to put your best foot forward. Hiring an efficient and effective team can make all the difference.