Over your marketing career you will attend or exhibit at dozens of tradeshows. So you may recognize in others (or yourself) that hang-dog expression of someone who does NOT want to be there. Nothing is worse than the tradeshow exhibitor who thinks it’s a waste of their time — worse, YOU are a waste of their time. Here’s a few quick tips on how to avoid a sucky tradeshow experience.
1. Pick good events. Be very meticulous about the tradeshow you agree to exhibit at. Study their stats, geography and members. Review pricing. If a booth is $250, then you may get $250 in value. If booth is $2,500 then that tells you something.
2. Suck it up buttercup. If you find yourself at an event you consider sub-par (for whatever reason) suck it up and be happy (or at least act like it). There’s no use pouting. And for god’s sake: don’t tell others you don’t like the tradeshow. As a visitor you have confirmed my worst fear — I’m not worthy.
3. Ditch the fish bowl. Nothing says 1992 like a business card collection and bowl of candy. “Hey, join my dumb mailing list and get toffee stuck in your molar!” Instead try something interactive. Ask tradeshow attendees to use inspirational stamps to decorate their own mini-journals. For less than two bucks, your booth visitors get something they personally designed with no teeth injury!
5. Visit fellow tradeshow exhibitors. The other exhibitors may be your only chance to save a sub-par event. Avoid the temptation to gripe and instead make new connections. Expand your community!
The Patterson Brands team have more than fifty years experience in branding, merchandising and event management. Ask us how we can help with one or more of the fixes above.