How Do You Engage Customers at a Trade Show?

With people moving from booth to booth at a trade show, you want a pitch that will make them stop to listen. You need to take a different approach than a typical sales pitch, while also realizing that not everyone in attendance will fit among your audience. How do you stand out from the crowd while reaching your target audience?

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How Do You Engage Customers at a Trade Show?

In an age where people can fast forward through the commercials to get to their regular program, people are eager to find exactly what the want, as quickly as they can. At a trade show, potential customers will not linger at your booth if you do not give them a strong enough reason to stay. A simple explanation of your product and its features won’t satisfy the crowd. Here are some tips to boost your pitching method:

1. Have a Conversation

Though selling your product involves a fair amount of explaining in order to advertise it, a scripted sales pitch can become boring and impersonal. Talking to your customers rather than at them will show them that your brand has personality. Show them that you care about the customer, not just the potential profit. This approach is more casual and relaxing, allowing you to incorporate how your product could be useful to each person.

2. Have an Attractive Booth

Let’s face it: People judge books by their covers. A well-decorated and organized booth will entice potential customers to survey your stock while showing them you’re a reliable retailer. On the other hand, less professional booths could dissuade customers from working with you.

3. Use Interactive Events

More than simple conversation, engaging customers in your pitch through interactive activities will make your booth more memorable. For instance, ou might ask for volunteers to demonstrate your product for the other customers. Another option would be using games, or giveaways, such as letting attendees play spin-the-wheel for a chance to win one of several prizes.

4. Offer Freebies

Freebies will entice potential customers to your booth. No one can have too many pens, especially if they’re free. Make sure it has your brand advertised on it, so your customers won’t forget where it came from. If possible, try to make your swag relevant to the event to make it more effective at giving your booth and brand visibility.

5. Use Social Media

Advertise your trade show appearance on social media to entice your current customers to attend. On Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and any other platform you use, you can give your customers sneak peeks at the products and samples and swag you’ll be offering. As your current customers flock to your stand, their gossip could pique the interest of others.Afterward, you can do a recap with some of the best moments from the event.

6. Understand Your Competition

Imitation may be the highest form of flattery, but at a trade show, similar booths and offerings could look like copies of each other. By scoping out your competition ahead of time (perhaps through their own social media accounts), you can get a sense of how they’re drawing in their crowds and make your booth separate and unique, able to stand apart.

7. Snag a Decent Location

Getting tucked into a back corner of the trade show center will not help your booth’s visibility. You can’t sell to customers if they can’t find you. Without breaking your budget, try to rent out a spot toward the center of the action.

8. Incorporate Technology

Light graphics, demo videos, and brand lighting can add extra flair to your booth’s display. This will allow you to spend more time conversing with your customers. You’ll have a creative and dazzling way to communicate key aspects of your brand to customers, saving time for more valuable interactions.

Related: What’s the Best Material for Trade Show Booth Signage?

9. Feature Entertainment

Depending on your budget, hosting some sort of show or guest at your booth will draw attention to your brand. Your options can be as simple as a costumed mascot roaming the aisles with your swag, pumping up the crowd, to live, celebrity musicians. 

10.  Include Seating

Trade shows are huge, and people are on their feet for hours. As the day wears on, you may find people seated on the floor as they regain their momentum. People can rest while being surrounded by your booth’s display. Whether or not they intended to walk away with your product, they will inevitably learn something about you by relaxing within hearing range. Plus, their downtime is the perfect moment to swoop in and start a conversation.

Trade Show Conversation Starters

No matter where you are, first impressions matter. The way you approach potential or even current customers will affect whether or not they would be interested in using or continuing to use your brand or product. A couple of ways to ease customers into your booth include:

  • Are you aware of our brand?
  • Have you found what you’re looking for at the show?
  • What type of brand/product are you looking for?

At an event surrounded by dozens of competitors offering similar products, you need to develop an advertising technique that distinguishes you from the rest. By utilizing one or more of these tips, you will have a better chance of appealing to the crowd and finding your target audience. Leave the script to your competitors, while you showcase your product in an individualized, fresh way. By focusing on creating unique, genuine interactions and a concerted effort to establish your own identity, you can leave a lasting impression on attendees.