As we launch 2017, I do need to set the stage for how I intend to utilize My Blog. I will be sharing examples of Exhibitor Booth Behavior, which I encounter at Tradeshows, Conferences, Expos, Shows, Fairs & Festivals. The purpose of the Blog is for you….a future exhibitor…to avoid common symptoms of self-sabotage, so as to NOT MAKE THE SAME MISTAKES. You have one chance to make a positive first impression, therefore if the initial impression is not favorable, you are doing more harm than good! Your actions are visible to everyone!
There are 6-Steps which encompass every event: Selection, Planning, Preparation, Execution, Follow-Through and Analysis. So, for the purpose of my Blog, I will only assess the “Execution” Step, as that is the step which is taking place during the event. FYI, all 6-Steps are equally important, so if you don’t intend to commit to all the steps, then I say don’t write the check and don’t bother with the event…as it won’t lend itself to a return on your investment of money and time!
So, I will quickly list the 9 Symptoms Sabotage™ which are the basis for the “Hall of Shame” Ranking…..perform all nine, and you score a 9 out of 9…..how pathetic! If an Exhibitor has booth space and the booth is unattended….meaning there is no one in the booth when I walk by….I automatically score them a 9 out of 9. (As the unspoken message sent to the attendees is ‘Whatever I am doing right now, is more important than you!’) The 9 Symptoms of Sabotage Include: Talking On Cell Phone, Texting, Reading, Sitting, Eating, Co-Worker Pow-Wow, Staff Meeting, On Laptop/iPad & the worst embarrassment of all….Sleeping! (Doesn’t mean there aren’t others, but these are the most common.)
On the flip side, here are 6 Attributes you can perform in your Booth to raise your status and land you in The Tradeshow Doctor’s “Hall of Fame”…..perform all six, and you score a 6 out of 6….you are FANTASTIC & FABULOUS!!! These 6 Attributes include: Smiling, Standing, Engaging in Conversation with the Attendees, Listening to the Attendees, Creating Motion/Action and Providing a Clear Call To Action.
Let’s see how the following 4 Exhibitors performed at The Build, Remodel & Landscape Expo during January 6-8, 2017:
Exhibitor: Direct Satellite Service. Initially, they received a 9 of 9 Hall of Shame Ranking, as NO ONE was in the booth. But, about an hour later, when I went by again and observed…..3 Individuals were now “manning the booth” and it didn’t get much better. Their new Hall of Shame Ranking turned into a 5 out of 9. Among the three individuals (which, by the way, is one to many for a 10’x10′ booth) the following was occurring: texting, sitting, eating, co-worker pow-wow & on laptop. They really could have just stayed home!
Exhibitor: Central Ohio Fair Housing Association. 9 of 9 Hall of Shame, NO ONE there.
Exhibitor: LG Roofing & Remodeling. Sitting and Hiding behind the Gutter Display. As he was hiding, representative was on an ‘electronic device’ and literally had his ear buds in…so his Hall of Shame Ranking is 4 out of 9. I made an overt action to ask him for his business card to see if that would change his immediate behavior….nope:(
Exhibitor: Holdfast Technologies, LLC. Jennifer Hilty is AWESOME and does a wonderful job engaging the public. I have observed her at several Expos and during all instances she lands in my “Hall of Fame” and believe it or not, receives a 7 out of 6!!!! How so???? She is smiling, standing, engaging, listening, moving around the booth, and getting the attendees to take the next step in the sales process. Jennifer receives a bonus point as she is even shaking hands as she meets and wraps up with the attendees. FANTASTIC JOB JENNIFER…..keep it up!