Exhibiting at a trade show can be costly, but for the world of me, I fail to understand what most companies are thinking when they bring a whole team or hire temporary “booth babes” but have absolutely no clue or a game plan what they want to accomplish. Without proper and effective training, some booth staffers may not realize how some inadvertent actions can impact an organizations reputation and potential business. Below is a Top 10 list to keep in mind before the next show.
1 ) If you “ran out” of business cards on Day 1. Time and time again I constantly hear, “Oh I am sorry, I ran out of business cards.” Really? You spend all this time and money and forget something so simple but critically important?
2 ) If the first words out of your mouth are, “Where are the parties tonight?” While parties are a great venue to network and drum up some business, it should not be your sole motivation to attend.
3) If you find texting more exciting than the people waiting for you at your booth. You can’t begin to imagine how many booths I visited at the Ad-tech and what % of the employees were on their phones texting. Forget the employees; I saw numerous C-level execs doing the same.
4 ) If you prefer talking on the phone while people are waiting for you at your booth. See comments to bullet 3 above.
5 ) If you prefer eating while people are waiting for you at your booth. We all get hungry while manning the booth – but schedule a time with your team where you get a break and go eat in a designated area.
6 ) If you prefer “passing” the card to someone not present to follow up. This is a favorite of mine. I am at your booth, ready to give you some business but what do I hear, “email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will have one of our dedicated reps contact you.”
7 ) If you prefer talking to your neighbor more so then potential customers. See point 3 above.
8 ) If you are late to your meeting appointment. We have numerous meetings lined up at these shows and often times they run a bit longer than expects – and that is perfectly fine. But extend the courtesy of emailing, calling or texting the next appointment that you are running a bit late and let them know.
9 ) If you are more concerned about giving your pitch rather than taking the time to find out my needs. Often times I hear companies ramble on and on about how great they are but not for a sec take a moment and ask what it is that I truly want.
10 ) If I know more about your company than YOU do. This has to be my all time favorite. Most of the staffers have absolutely no clue what their company truly does, what their benefits are relative to their competition, how they can help me achieve my goals. If you are going to be at a booth – take the time to learn some basic concepts such as (I am sure they may be difficult for some of you): CPA, CPL, CPS, Affiliate Marketing, PPC, SEO, PPV, Co-reg, etc. See where I am going with this?
Ricky Ahuja is the CEO of Affiliate Venture Group