4 Tips to Connecting With Your Trade Show Audience

April 17, 2015

Kristin Hovde

Kristin Hovde is the Website Manager and Blogger for Smash Hit Displays, an online trade show display company that has many booths, accessories, and flooring available.

We’ve all been to trade shows where exhibitors try to outdo each with the biggest booth and the most state-of-the-art gadgets to draw in a crowd. As much attention as these display systems receive, sometimes it is smaller, more intimate and personal settings that attendees will remember over how many trinkets and brochures they collected.

Having fancy giveaways and booths do not necessarily mean you will stand out to potential buyers, it just shows you spent more money. Attendees love knowing that they are listened to, that their space is respected, and that they will not be pressured to buy anything. Creating an environment like this for your audience is actually very simple with these ideas.

Think Small

Large trade show displays that are bigger than some houses can actually be pretty overwhelming to attendees, especially when the trade show aisles are lined with exhibits just like this one. It’s easy for anxiety to kick in when surrounded by over-the-top booths like these, so opt for a smaller, more intimate booth instead. Give it a  homey feel by adding a table or two with some chairs where you can comfortably sit down with your potential customers and have a conversation with them.

Give Them Their Space

Attendees are like deer; one sudden movement and they will disappear faster than you can say “Is there something I can help you with?” Watch for body language cues that show the attendee wants to be left alone, such as avoiding eye contact and turning their backs to you as they view your booth. Also, be cautious with attendees who have one foot in  your booth and one outside of it because these people could be ready to bolt at any given moment. Give these people space and when they are ready to talk to you, they will.

Tell a Story

The most memorable booths are not those that have flashy, yet random graphics scattered throughout the exhibit, but those that have images, literature, and other marketing materials that tell a story. If your company is family-owned, you could let your audience know where your company started, how much it has grown, and what you and your employees have done for the community. Let potential customers know who you are through the use of story-telling, which will create a more personal relationship with your audience.

Include Giveaways That Matter

Pens, stress balls, and t-shirts have been handed out so often at trade shows, they have lost their appeal. Hand out items that would matter to your audience, such as signed books by an industry leader or another product that would mean something to your audience and can’t be thrown away. If your company creates cookware, consider handing out a set of branded spatulas, timers, or anything else they may find useful in the kitchen.

Exhibiting isn’t always about being the biggest and best, but is more about making meaningful relationships and connections with attendees that they will remember long after the trade show has ended. 

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