We have talked about trade shows and their effectiveness in the past. Even though so much of the marketing and business world has turned to digital technologies, trade shows have stood the test of time. There is something to be said about the power of face to face meetings, networking, and the highly competitive trade show environment. When you consider a statistic from the Sage Blog, meeting with a prospect at a trade show costs companies an average of $142 while meeting that same prospect at his or her office costs an average of $259.

MarketingProfs.com  recently posts a podcast interview with tradeshow engagement expert David Spark. He gives several examples of how making some simple changes to your trade show routines and policies can make a big difference in getting the most out of your investment.  Here are four ways to ensure you are using your time wisely and efficiently when exhibiting at a trade show.

  1. Focus and ‘Be Present” at All Times. If you aren’t paying close attention, you can miss a big opportunity. Your booth staff should always be ready to connect and on the lookout for prospects. Your booth staff doesn’t necessarily need to be salespeople. Instead, they should be experts in connecting with people. Engaging individuals will be more successful than someone who is a hard sell.
  2. Don’t Allow the ‘Booth Huddle’. The trade show days can sometimes drag on and seem long. Be sure to train your staff accordingly and ensure that they remain refreshed with breaks when necessary. Everyone working in the booth should be “on” when they are in that booth. The ‘booth huddle’ is when the staff is huddled together talking with their backs out. It is uninviting for prospects and trade show attendees. Don’t give anyone a reason to pass by your booth without learning something about your company.
  3. Don’t Be Afraid of Rejection. Fear of rejection is natural, but it can be a detriment to your trade show. When you train your staff, make sure they understand that rejection is part of the job and comes with the territory. It isn’t an “if” it’s a “when”. Just don’t take it personally, trade show attendees have different agendas, appointments and goals they must achieve too.
  4. Make Every Experience Positive. Another inevitable thing that comes along with trade shows is that someone you engage and speak to will end up not being a qualified target customer. Be very careful and tread lightly. Still end the interaction with a positive experience because you never know if they might need your company’s products or services another time. Or, they might have a friend or colleague that they might recommend your business to.