3 Trade Show Lifesavers When You’re Down to Your Last Brochure

What do you do when you’re down to your last brochure?

While it’s true that the vast majority of marketing materials distributed at trade shows and conventions wind up in the trash long before the attendee gets on a plane headed home, there’s still a clear expectation that exhibitors will have some kind of sales collateral material to hand out to interested parties at the show.  These include catalogs, brochures, spec sheets and more.
What happens if you’ve underpacked?  You’ve brought 500 spec sheets, and it turns out you have 2,000 people interested in that item.  Do you send the attendee away empty handed?

You don’t ever want to give away your last brochure!  Instead, make one booth staffer accountable for keeping track of literature supplies throughout the show.  If you start running low, it’s time to take action!  Here are your three options to ensure you don’t run out:

1. Hit the Copy Shop

If you’re running low on an easy to reproduce item, like a spec sheet or flyer, have a staffer hit the local copy shop and run off a few hundred more.

2. Call the Home Office

Catalogs, glossy brochures, and the like can’t reasonably be produced on the spur of the moment.  If you see supplies running low, call the home office and have them express ship additional supplies to the show.

3. Ship It Direct

As a last resort, collect the attendee’s contact information and promise to ship the catalog or literature to their office.  If you do this, it is absolutely critical that you keep your promise!  Make sure to have the material shipped out as soon as possible — preferably before the attendee makes it home for the show!

The Tradeshow Show is open 24/7 – come in and look around!

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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3 Reasons Why You Should Speak the Universal Tradeshow Language

Did you know that there is a universal tradeshow language, and, almost everyone of you reading this knows how to speak it, even though you, perhaps, don’t recognize it as such?

Regardless of language or culture, we learn this communication style at a very early age, but often tend to forget it as we grow older.

You’ve probably guessed that I’m referring to the language of “smiling.” A language we so admire in kids, who just know how to beam from ear to ear to show their pure joy.

On the tradeshow floor, there are many gestures that communicate a host of different gestures both positive and negative. Some are offensive, and some misunderstood. However, a smile speaks to, almost everyone, as a sign of friendliness, and approachability.

Plus, it’s been said that speaking the “smiling” language is good for your health.

Here are three reasons why you should practice this simple, easy, yet highly effective, communication tool on the show floor:

1.  Smiling makes you more approachable.
When you smile, you attract people to you.  This attraction factor acts like a magnet. People do business with people they like and they trust.  Being approachable is the first step to encourage this relationship. Grimaces that show your lack of enthusiasm, or interest for being at the show, are more likely to repel prospects rather than attract them to you — but a smile draws them in.
Plus, smiling people come across as being more confident. Check out the difference in the way people react to you when you smile, rather than frown.

2.  Smiling is a mood changer.

Often, the long show hours, the stale show floor air, and the slow traffic, can make you feel down, and depressed. Put a smile on your face, and there’s a high probability your mood will make a shift for the better. It’ll help you stay positive, and add some energy when you most need it. It’s been said that smiling can trick the body into helping you change your mood.  Plus, any time you’re feeling a little stressed on the show floor, smile and you’ll be amazed at how this little “pick me up” works.  Give it a try next time you feel a little down or stressed.

3. Smiling is catching.

When you smile, there’s a strong chance that you make others do the same.  Just think of the last time you “coo-cooed” at a baby, they smiled at you, and you probably returned the compliment. When you smile, you lighten up the environment, change people’s moods, and set the “likeability factor” into action.

According to my good friend, and colleague, Rick Segel, the retail guru, “logic makes us shop BUT emotions make us buy. Many times, the biggest thing that differentiates one business from another is the “likeability factor.” We are in the people business. Customers don’t buy logically; they buy emotionally.”

Smiling speaks to that. But, don’t take my word for it, give it a try!

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Scripting Your Way to Tradeshow Success

In my tradeshow training programs, I’ve always encouraged my clients’ exhibiting team to be 100% scripted and 100% flexible when it comes to interacting with booth visitors. What I mean by this is, you need to know what questions to ask to get the end result. For example, if your goal for the show is to find out more about how the economy is affecting various projects your prospects or existing customers are working on, you need prepare the right questions to ask, to collect that information. However, I have always advocated that despite how prepared you are, you also extreme flexibility, because the trade show floor is very unpredictable. You can never foresee 100% what’s going to happen, as no two shows are identical.

This weekend I attended a very special program conducted by Eric Lofholm, sales trainer and script writing guru.  Eric advocates the opposite philosophy. He believes that, with thought and pre-planning, you can anticipate almost all the situations and questions surrounding your prospects and customers.  Eric teaches that script writing is the key to help get you through any good, bad, or ugly situation.

Until this weekend, scripts, for me, conjured up visions of those telemarketers, who love to call during dinner time, and robotically spew out their script, which, in your mind, you can see them reading.  In other words, it was a totally negative exercise, which I’ve resisted like the plague.  How wrong could I be? The Eric Lofholm system prescribes script preparation for every possible scenario. Then, when written, internalizing your words to the point where they become a totally natural part of your conversation.  When you listen to the master exercising his skill, it’s totally mesmerizing and utterly believable. On the flight home from San Diego, my pen was flying across pages in my exercise book working on the numerous scripts I need.

Now, I realize that for many sales professionals, this concept isn’t new.  They use scripts in their field selling all the time.  However, does your exhibit team prepare scripts for the time on the show floor, or do they wing it? Because visitor interaction time is extremely limited, often 3-5 minutes, according to tradeshow research, sales reps need different scripts from the ones they use day-to-day.  The question is, do they have them? If not, I highly recommend they do, especially if you want to maximize prospect time in the booth.

Oh, I forgot to mention that once your scripts are written, they’re done for life. Editing and adding to your script book (another of Eric’s recommendations), is always allowable.

Back in a couple of days.  In the meantime, I’m busy writing my scripts.

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