Attending an expo as a business is an expensive and time consuming investment. Expos offer once in a lifetime networking and marketing opportunities, so there is a lot riding on the outcome. Here are five ways to attract more expo traffic to your booth.
Potential customers wandering around an expo will spend only a few seconds looking over each booth. Therefore, the booth itself must be inviting and professional, but the people also need to be friendly and welcoming. Booth employees need to be confident, gregarious and full of energy. The people who are best suited for working in booths are individuals who excel at naturally and comfortably striking up conversations with strangers. While planning for the expo, spend time with managers to select employees who have the right skills and personality to attract prospects. Focus on Relationships
Businesses at expos sometimes mistakenly focus on aggressive sales tactics because they want to take advantage of every opportunity. This is counterproductive because most people who attend expos want to look for new ideas, enjoy themselves and explore potential leads. Unless expo attendees specifically need to purchase something, they probably want to relax and talk with people. The focus of booth employees shouldn’t be driving sales, but to form positive impressions and open the door for follow-up calls and emails. Expos are opportunities to start business relationships while also driving sales.
Change Your Perspective
If you truly want to understand how expo attendees experience the event, explore the expo as a potential customer. Analyze and record the weaknesses and strengths of every booth. Regardless of the industry, borrow successful practices and techniques of other booths. Streamline the booth’s display to immediately attract the right customers while helping the wrong ones move along. This is accomplished through using the right signs, pictures and videos to create a quick and comprehensive display that succinctly communicates what you have to offer and the associated benefits.
Recruit Your Own Audience
A few weeks before the expo, contact all existing, previous and prospective customers and invite them to attend the expo and visit your booth. If necessary, ask friends, family and acquaintances to stop by the booth. As a last resort, invite employees to bring their family and hang out at the company booth. Having people visit the booth will create social buzz and a favorable impression with potential customers.
Give Away Free Merchandise
Everyone loves free promotional items, which are very effective ways to advertise and market a business during an expo. First, mail out pre-show gifts to target businesses. Next, prepare plenty of in-booth giveaways, such as hats, stationary and toys for children. All items should be imprinted with the company logo and contact information. Some business owners actually divide certain gifts in half and give away the first half at the beginning and the second half at the end. These two-part teaser gifts are great ways to encourage expo attendees to return to the booth.
In wrapping up, business owners should personally visit other booths and business owners to stop by their booths.