Have you been to a tradeshow and seen an empty booth? Or staff talking on a cell phone? Playing games?
Watching TV? Ignoring attendees? Doesn’t it make you wonder WHO’S IN CHARGE, ANYWAY?
Naturally, when you see that kind of behavior at a tradeshow, you’re NOT inclined to go into the booth.
So the question ‘who’s in charge?’ is a good one! And not only does it matter that there is someone responsible for booth operations, but that person should be well trained and aware of the team’s mission objectives – and how best to bring about success in that endeavor!
When it comes to tradeshow success, 88% of a visitor’s overall first impression is based on the booth staffer. And that staffer also accounts for 80% of the final decision on whether or not they’ll do business with your company, according to various industry surveys (and quoted from Marlys K. Arnold’s “Build a Better Trade Show Image”).
The ‘Name Tag Guy’ Scott Ginsberg has made a career out of teaching and preaching ‘approachability.’ Simply put, it’s the attitude that you’re always open to starting a conversation with someone you don’t know. This is even more important at a tradeshow where it’s your JOB to do just that. Shy people probably won’t do well at a tradeshow, but even shy people can be trained and become effective.
One important item is your name tag. Put it up high on the right side of your chest so that when you’re shaking some one’s hand they have easy access to read your name. While having your name tag around your neck on a lanyard may open the doors to ‘approachability,’ you can add immensely to it by being friendly, offering a smile, and asking an engaging question.
Being informed adds to your approachability. If you are knowledgeable about your product or service, it will show within a few seconds of the start of a conversation.
If your booth visitor is wearing a nametag (and who doesn’t at a tradeshow), take a moment to get their name and use it in your greeting. “Hi, Deborah, how are you doing today?” means a lot more to Deborah than “Howdy, what brings you here?”
Bottom Line: make your guest feel welcome. They’ll only be there for a short time – and it’s easy to leave and never return. Every show attendee that turns away because your booth isn’t ‘welcoming’ is a missed opportunity.