Strategic Keys to Communication—Before, During & After “The Tradeshow”

Feb 1, 2020Guest Blogger

By Diane Wingerter, The Tradeshow Doctor™

Let me start out by stating that all events are NOT created equal and contrary to popular belief, every event is not a “Tradeshow.” Face-to-Face events can take the form of a Fair, Festival, Show, Expo, Conference or Tradeshow and they each have their own list of attributes and specific strategies as you engage each audience of attendees. With that said, I will use the collective phrase of “Tradeshow” or “Event” in this article, but understand the strategies discussed are successful when implemented and applied at the proper Face-to-Face event.

Keys to Exhibitor Communication—BEFORE THE TRADESHOW

While it is not the ultimate responsibility of the Exhibitor to drive traffic to the Event, it certainly benefits everyone when the Exhibitors contribute and make an effort to implement the suggestions as listed below. Think about it, the more attendees, the better the opportunities are, for all the Exhibitors.

Here are three strategies to implement:

  1. Add the Tradeshow to your email and/or newsletter signature. Something as simple as “Visit Me At Booth #123 on Feb 7-8-9, 2020 at The XYZ Event” along with a link to the event’s website. Why? Because this helps to promote the Tradeshow and it also gives YOUR company credibility.
  2. Review your prospect list and select 10 Prospects who you think are in a geographical proximity to attend. Contact them via phone and personally invite them to visit you at your booth, so you can show them your newest product/service which solve a problem they are experiencing! Also tell them, that you have a special thank-you gift for them, just for stopping by and seeing you. Again, this promotes the Event, creates foot traffic and gives them a reason to come see YOU! (Who doesn’t love a special gift?) Why does this work? Let’s look at the power of this strategy. Say the Tradeshow has 140 Exhibitors and each one invites 10 Prospects, this could potentially bring 1400 Attendees to the event, which is a significant number and will impact the success of the event for everyone!
  3. Utilize your social media channels to communicate, post and share the fact that you will be at XYZ Event and invite them to come see YOU in Booth #123. Why? Although this will cast a wider net, it can still be effective in generating foot traffic to YOUR booth and to the Event.

Keys to Exhibitor Communication—DURING THE TRADESHOW

During the Event, it IS the Exhibitor’s responsibility to be friendly, approachable, engaging and sincere while in their booth. This seems like a very logical request, but it tends to be the exception to the rule and not the normal behavior, as an Exhibitor is working in their booth.

Here are three strategies to implement:

  1. Treat Others as You Wish to be Treated. Don’t cat-call, whistle, use a bullhorn or exude an arrogant demeanor to get the attendee’s attention. This will NOT work in the long-run and you may even be ‘asked’ (in other words warned) by the Show Promoter to curtail your behavior and in the worst-case scenario, you may be asked to pack up and LEAVE the Event.
  2. Be Present in Your Booth! Not only physically, but mentally as well. The attendee can tell by your actions and body language if you want to be there, or not. I coach my clients and tell them to avoid the list I call The 9-Symptoms of Sabotage™ which includes the following: Sitting, Eating, Talking on Your Cell Phone, Texting, Working on Your Laptop/I-Pad, Co-Worker Pow-Wows, Staff Meetings, Reading Books or Magazines & Sleeping. Yes, I said SLEEPING….this behavior does not get you any brownie points with the attendees (or Show Promoter) and it’s rather embarrassing to everyone around you!
  3. Be Genuine, Sincere & Listen! Too many Exhibitors are rigid and scripted and repeat the same speech over and over to every one who comes by their booth, without letting the Attendee say a word….until it’s NO THANK-YOU! People want to connect, feel as if you have something in common and LIKE You! Think to yourself, when is the last time YOU purchased a product or service from someone you truly did not even like! That’s right….RARE or NEVER! Try a dose of laughter and compliments, while solving a problem that the attendee has, and see how they respond to you and watch how you meet or exceed your sales expectations!

Keys to Exhibitor Communication—AFTER THE TRADESHOW

One of the critical keys to success is Follow-Through!!! After the Tradeshow is over, it is YOUR responsibility to stay top-of-mind and memorable, so that the Attendee thinks of YOU, when they need to purchase from you for the first time or re-order your product or service.

Here are three strategies to implement:

  1. Since you captured email addresses at your booth, now (24-48 hours after the event is over) is the time to follow-up and send an email to THANK the attendees for their time. (Remember, they did not HAVE to stop at your booth.) Since you also had a giveaway at your booth, ANNOUNCE the WINNER and because you extended a Special Offer or had a specific Call-To-Action at your booth, you want to remind them of your offer or the next steps to do business with you!
  2. Based on your product or service, it is wise to send a Hand-Written thank-you note to those who did business with you at the Tradeshow. (How do YOU feel, when you receive a handwritten thank-you note in the mail? Exactly, you feel Special.)
  3. If you are in the Business-To-Business arena, and the Attendee who purchased from you also has a business, make an effort to REFER a potential Client to them, or introduce them to a Center-Of-Influence. Talk about becoming Memorable…that is how you do it!

About the Author: …..As a result of witnessing self-sabotage and ‘unhealthy’ Exhibitor Booths at Tradeshows, Conferences, Shows, Expos, Festivals and Fairs, Diane Wingerter, The Tradeshow Doctor™, was compelled to discover the cure for this bevy of exhibitor booth symptoms and self-sabotaging behavior. She is the creator of an ENTIRE 6-Step Prescription for Success™ devoted to achieving results, starting with Selection and ending with Analysis. You will be amazed at the outcome you are able to pre-determine and ultimately achieve as you follow proven strategies and implement the secrets shared by The Tradeshow Doctor™! Diane is a Speaker and Consultant as well as the Author of “Tradeshows, Expos & More. Your Guide to Healthy and Profitable Show Results” which is available on her website:


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