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.


3 Foolish Things You’re Doing Bad Mouthing Your Competition on the Tradeshow Floor

Remember the old saying, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all?”  It might have been good manners while you were growing up, but does the same hold true in the cut throat business world we all live in?

The cynical among us would say “of course not.”  Dorothy Parker perhaps coined it best: “If you can’t say anything nice, come over here and sit by me.”  But what happens if you’ve got Parker-esque booth staffers working at your event?

It’s tempting to disparage your competition.  Pointing out differences in quality, price, delivery times and return policies is “part and parcel” of doing business: but the way you do these things says a lot about your corporate culture.

When you talk about your competition to your attendees, you’re doing three things:

1.     Confusing the customer. In the fast-paced show environment, you can never take it for granted that they know who YOU are, much less who the players in your industry are.

2.     Giving credibility to the one company you’re trying to disparage.  No one tries to tear down the worst company in the world — if you’re attacking someone, even verbally, it must be because you’re worried about them.

3.     Adding an aura of unpleasant nastiness to your reputation. Your staffers are your ambassadors. If attendees perceive them as being jealous or mean-spirited, they’ll assume the whole organization thinks that way.  Not a positive way to be perceived! Remember that “perception = reality.”

“It’s better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and leave no doubt.” — Mark Twain


The 3 Types of Tradeshow Exhibitors

I was inspired to write this blog today after reading a chapter in Carmine Gallo’s book “Fire Them Up!.” In it he talks about three types of communicators, “the blah, the mediocre and the inspirational.”

The first thing that popped into my mind was how this was the exact way to describe exhibitors – blah, mediocre and inspirational. Of these three types of trade show exhibitors, only one of should represent your company on the trade show floor.

You’ve all seen the “blah” exhibitors who have zero drive and enthusiasm or energy to be in the booth.  They’re on their computer, or cell phone most of the day. They’re convinced that exhibiting is a total waste of their time, and they just want to go and do their “real job” – whatever that is.

The “mediocre” exhibitor is one step better than the “blah” exhibitor. They take care of being in the booth, but aren’t really clear about what to do, and they just wing it in robotic fashion.

Finally, there’s the “inspirational” exhibitor who is energizing, engaging and electric!

What makes the difference between the three types? In a nutshell, the inspirational exhibitor wants to be at the show, knows what he or she wants to accomplish, and enjoys interacting with visitors. This person is also proud to be a company ambassador at the show, and finds real meaning (and fun) in the role they play.

If your have blah or mediocre people representing you, consider finding substitutes – people should consider it a privilege to be a company representative at the show. Plus, make sure that you provide some trade show training, so they are well-prepared with the essential exhibiting skills before they step foot in your booth.

Remember, it’s your people who can make or break relationships on the show floor, so prepare them well!

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