Removing Friction from Your Trade Show Booth

February 14, 2019

Chloe Mortimer

Chloe Mortimer is the Marketing Manager for Events 720, a full-service exhibition company based in Australia that offers creative conceptual booths for exhibitors and customized exhibition solutions for organizers. 

“Friction” has become a recent buzzword used to describe a break down in the sales process. Anything that causes your customer to hesitate is friction. Removing friction ensures customers and visitors can easily buy from you. 

Visitors attending trade shows are looking to make deals, buy things in large quantities and sign contracts. Friction on your exhibition booth will inhibit deals at the expo and limit your contact with visitors. Use the guide below to remove the friction from your exhibit and increase your sales.

Attracting and Qualifying Leads

Incorporating interactive elements on your exhibit attracts attendees. Sometimes there will be an obvious way to do this, i.e. if you attend a food expo, you might offer free tastings. Conducting demonstrations on the stand can also be a great way to attract leads. 

Qualifying leads is crucial for your trade show success. The way to do this isn’t asking them to fill in complicated forms. The best way to qualify your leads is to simplify your conversations to include three questions.

These questions should form part of your conversations naturally, so you will need to assess what the three most important characteristics are to identify qualified leads. Quickly and easily assessing whether a lead is worth pursuing allows you to progress your sales process.  

Exchanging Business Cards

Handing out your business card and expecting the attendee to contact you creates friction. If you have qualified a potential customer as being worth your time, you should never hand them a business card hoping that they will call you. 

There are systems you can use such as iCapture that allows you to take a picture of a business card and instantly upload all details to your CRM, leaving you free to keep having a conversation with your visitor and follow-up with them at a later time. 

Business cards still have a place in networking and sales but used in the traditional way they add friction to your exhibition booth. 

Onsite Meeting Room

A meeting room in your booth is one sure-fire way to remove friction. You can schedule meetings ahead of the show and hold meetings with potential leads right away. This removes friction because there’s no guesswork – you can have a meeting immediately. 

If your budget doesn’t allow for onsite meeting rooms, good furniture is necessary. To remove the friction from your booth, consider the most appropriate place for the furniture. Ensure you properly communicate these needs to your exhibit builders, so they can help you achieve your goals. 

Ultimately, you want to remove any ambiguity on how your potential customers can speak with you. This makes it easier to have discussions, create sales and removes unnecessary barriers for your customers. 

Follow-Up Process

The more you exhibit, the more refined your follow-up process should be. If it’s been a while since you reviewed your follow-up process, then now is the perfect time to remove some friction.

If your follow-up process is ambiguous, it’s highly likely you are losing sales. Having a clear plan makes the follow-up process run smoother, as it allows for the potential customer to spend more money with you, due to fewer barriers. 

Removing the friction from your exhibition booth will allow your sales to grow from your trade show appearance. It will make exhibiting well worth it and encourage future growth for your company. Exhibiting takes a lot of effort and energy, so to really capitalize on that effort, you need to ensure you’re not inadvertently driving potential customers away. 


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