Beyond Free Mints and Giveaways:
Four Keys to Tradeshow Success

How to Give Yourself the Edge on Tradeshow Success

Scenario: So here you are standing in your booth. It is 10:15 am on Sunday, the last day of the show. Hordes of wandering trade show attendees stroll through the exhibition hall amidst hundreds of booths and displays—including yours. There is little or no chance these people will enter into business with your company.

Face it: they probably just stopped by for the free candy or cool "chotchky" sitting on your table. So, how do you give those people permission to engage?

Or, if you’re the attendee, how do you keep from sitting quietly in the corner looking at the education descriptions for the ninth time instead of finding and meeting new people?

One word: approachability. Sure, it’s an expression that varies from person to person. But after delivering speeches to companies and associations around the world on the topic, here’s what I’ve learned about tradeshow success:

  1. It starts with attitude. Sure, maybe this person won’t be your next big customer or trusted advisor. But you never know. Everybody is somebody’s somebody. So be sure that an attitude of approachability is manifested via your nonverbal behavior, i.e., smiling, readable nametag, and uncrossed arms.

  2. It continues with engagement. What’s your opener? Will you be like every other novice and ask, "How are you?” If so, expect to get the canned answer, "F.I.N.E," which stands for "Feelings I’m Not Expressing."

  3. It accelerates with CPI’s. Conversation is about common ground. And people will like you the minute they discover how much they are like you. So, discover the CPI (Common Point of Interest) through creative, specific, open-ended questions in order to develop a deeper connection.

  4. It solidifies with consistency. I always end my speeches with the quotation, "Consistency is far better than rare moments of greatness." This means that in the eyes of every person you come across, you = the entire company. Be certain your words and actions are congruent with you brand values.

So, even if it is the end of the day and you’re all out of energy and free mints, remember this last tip on  approachability and tradeshow success: "Fear not to entertain strangers, for by so doing some may have entertained angles unaware."

This article was written by Scott Ginsberg (www.hellomynameisscott.com) who is an author and professional speaker.


Related Information - Tradeshow Success

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Trade Show Planning Tools
Success Strategies from a Trade Show Veteran
Check List to Evaluate Event Competitors
International Exhibiting Tips
Trade Show Finder
How to Do Tradeshow Planning
Planning Timeline

Getting a Leg Up

Tradeshow Follow-up to Close the Sale
Use Media Packaging to Increase Trade Show Results
Collecting Trade Show Leads
Trade Show and Exhibiting Trends
Exhibitor List Serves as Insightful Marketing Tool
Effectively Using Humor in Your Marketing
Get the Most Out of Attending a Trade Show

Looking at the Numbers

How to Stretch Your Trade Show Budget
Tradeshow Budget Planning Tips
Know the 5 Trade Show Expenses You Can't Control
A New Way to Look At Success Measurement
Trade Show Budget Considerations
Trade Show Expense Allocation


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