Category : Tips & Resources

Confuse or Lose: 3 Keys to Avoid Trade Show Confusion

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In a recent coaching session, my client started telling me all about the different products he was going to be showing at the trade show he was preparing for. I listened patiently and then asked “which is the most important one?” “They all are” was my client’s response.

Over the years I’ve seen this mistake played over and over again at various shows.  Booths stuffed full of stuff, different stations and activities that makes it look like a three-ring circus. Presented with this jumble, the visitor may or may not try to figure out whether the exhibitor has something of interest to offer.

According to psychological research, when the brain is presented with too much information to absorb, it easily becomes confused. And at a trade show, a befuddled mind often takes the easy way out, and together with the body, moves on to the next booth.

The message I get from these types of exhibitors is three-fold – ill-prepared, lazy, and selfish. They are ill-prepared and lazy because they haven’t taken the time to focus on one specific product or message for their target audience, and selfish because it’s all about them and not about their prospects and customers.

To avoid buyer confusion at your next show, here are three important keys:

1.    Take time to plan and crystallize your exhibiting goals and objectives.  The purpose of your booth is to attract the right buyers so that you can have a meaningful conversation about their needs and wants.

2.    Have one clear message and focus for your booth.  Remember that according to trade show research, over 76% of visitors go to shows to see “what’s new.”  With this in mind, present something new, exciting and different.

3.    Keep your booth open and welcoming.
a.    Get rid of chairs to avoid the sitting temptation.
b.    Keep tables at the sides or at the back of the booth (tables at the front act as a barrier).
c.    Make sure your booth isn’t overflowing with your own staff who stand around chitchatting with each other when the show is slow.

Finally, as you prepare for your next show, remember to keep focused on what’s most important to your target audience – not you!

Susan Friedmann, CSP, The Tradeshow Coach, internationally recognized exhibit marketing expert working with companies to increase their profitability at trade shows. Author: “Riches in Niches: How to Make it BIG in a small Market,” “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Target Marketing,” “Meeting & Event Planning for Dummies”and many other titles. For more great information on trade show marketing strategies that work, and for a complimentary copy of “Exhibiting Success,” visit http://www.thetradeshowcoach.com. Click to download the “Riches in Niches” app.

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Virtually Attired: 7 Tips to Dress for Cyberspace Success

First impressions matter, virtually or in-person. “Your appearance, makeup, hair and clothes are as important as your smile. When you project an image of confidence, you are more likely to succeed in business and social relationships,” according New York image consultants.

Whether you’re seen or not, participating in a virtually event doesn’t mean that you have to forget about how you look.

Nowadays, with office-casual attire accepted in most corporate environments, and given that you can work from home in your PJs (if you feel like it), you might under-estimate the value of business attire in a virtual meeting or event environment. Lazing around in PJs or shorts and a tee-shirt with tousled hair makes you look and feel unprofessional. Even if you’re not on video during your virtual event, the way you look definitely affects the way you perform, speak and think!

Check out The CBS Interactive business network’s savvy video about dressing for business.

When you attend a virtual event where you’re seen by your colleagues, consider the following seven tips to make sure that you come across professionally and feel good doing it:

  1. Focus on the upper half of your body since head and shoulders are usually the most visible on a webcam.
  2. Make sure that the background around you is neat and tidy.
  3. Dress professionally. Your attire and grooming are important for you to feel and act more business-like.
  4. Make sure that your hair is clean and styled, teeth brushed and face washed and/or shaved. Women, if you normally wear make-up, apply it as usual, and use some powder to get rid of any of those shiny spots.
  5. Sit up straight. It shows that you’re interested and paying attention, plus, good posture helps keep your energy level up.
  6. Wear a plain shirt or top, or one that has a small insignificant design. Heavily patterned, brightly colored, or too detailed-oriented garments will distract your audience away from your message.
  7. Avoid gaudy jewelry like large earrings and chunky necklaces – another major distraction.

The Golden Rule is that “understated works best.” However, even though you’re concentrating more on the upper part of your body, don’t ignore the lower half.  If you dress the part, you’ll be the part, geared up for your virtual event success.

Susan Friedmann, CSP, The Tradeshow Coach, internationally recognized exhibit marketing expert working with companies to increase their profitability at trade shows. Author: “Riches in Niches: How to Make it BIG in a small Market,” “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Target Marketing,” “Meeting & Event Planning for Dummies” and many other titles. For more great information on trade show marketing strategies that work, and for a complimentary copy of “Exhibiting Success,” visit http://www.thetradeshowcoach.com. Click to download the “Riches in Niches” app.

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A Meaningful Memento at Your Next Trade Show

Business headshots make a hit trade show giveaway

In chatting with you about trade show giveaways, I’ve encouraged you to get your money’s worth by placing value in whatever you choose as a trade show memento, by avoiding gimmicks and trinkets that end up decorating landfills, and by providing something that your busy clients and potential customers truly want and need. Something they will remember you for and that will put your company in the front row of their thinking when considering services and products such as yours.

The world is a blur of business entities. Entrepreneurs understand that thanks to personalized marketing forums such as social media, the individual counts. So much of contemporary business is carried on between people who never meet face to face that it’s beneficial to let your customers “see” you. Nothing achieves that better than a professional headshot, just like actors use in their portfolios.

A headshot makes you human, visible, real. Continue reading…

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