Sunday, June 17, 2007

Compelling tradeshow exhibits

After recently attending the biggest agricultural show in the Southern Hemisphere (Field Days at Mystery Creek in Hamilton), it was interesting to reflect on the compelling exhibits that grabbed my attention.

There were certainly thousands of people trying to get my attention. From modified cars to free coffee, dancers with hammers and freebies to seminars and discounts, it was hard to choose what to spend my time (and money) on.

The successful sites had done their homework and followed the 3 steps to success.

Step 1: Who were they trying to attract? What were their potential customers interested in? What would make them stop and look? Are there related products the exhibitor should set up near to? What pictures or props could draw in the customers with the right demographics?

Step 2: What issues or problems did their potential customers want solved? This is where an effective (open-ended) question can provide the exhibitor with a gold-mine of information. Interestingly, most questions or comments were lame or unrelated (like; "Are you enjoying the show?", or "Nice weather."). They could've asked "What's interested you most today?" or "How did you hear about (our product)?".

Step 3: How would their product solve those problems? Use testimonials, guarantees and special exhibit-only offers to complete the deal.

Most of the work in being successful at tradeshows is doing your homework & preparing effectively.

Remember to give yourself a budget - some of the most creative thinking occurs on a limited budget!

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