Lisa Apolinski is a professional speaker, blogger, and digital strategist. With her company, 3DogWrite.com, she works with event managers to get their message to attendees, particularly through digital channels, on and off the show floor.
Just Show Up
Woody Allen gave a very memorable quote to the New York Times in 1977, saying “showing up is 80 percent of life.” This seems to be still true today, where many times the key to a great attendee engagement is the act of being present. So, how can you ‘show up’ at your next trade show?
No distractions: First and foremost is to eliminate distractions when you are working your booth. This includes, but is not limited to, cell phones, drinks/food, laptops and side conversations. Why is this important? It is very difficult to split your focus and have a genuine engagement with your attendee. Also, we live in a world where we have so much competing noise for attention. When you do something as simple as being present, you can stand out with your potential customers.
Listen: Many times, attendees will be very direct in what they want and need. If you are thinking about what your ‘sales pitch’ will be, and you don’t actually listen to your attendees, you could miss very easy wins and effective engagement with your attendees. Actively listening, when you repeat back what you heard, as well as focused and specific questions, can help with that genuine engagement.
Say, and then do: This is the one place where many trade show managers and sales staff fall down. Take the time to say what you are going to do for the attendee, and then actually do it. Seems simple, yet our very distracted lives can get in the way of following up, and following through, with the attendee engagement. For example, if you have a form for an attendee to get more info or a follow up call, when the attendee fills it out, make sure the process is in place to do so.
If you and your trade show staff can commit to just showing up, imagine the potential for success.
Until recently, the opportunity to have a celebrity attend an event, attach themselves to a name-brand or endorse a certain product or idea was untouchable. The thought of paying a person to promote a product was seen as something only Fortune 500 companies could afford. Social media has changed all that with brands and businesses utilizing celebrity influencers to connect directly with their demographics and increase sales and profits.