How You Can Run An Awesome Tradeshow Or Expo Booth

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If you are giving away a T-shirt or something cool, you are guaranteed to give them away, but you are not guaranteed that anyone will truly pay attention to you. I have been to conventions where exhibitors paid $5,000 or more to have their booth, just to suffer the same demise most exhibitors go through with zero generation of interested potential clients or new clients. This article is meant to help those that present their company or services via a tradeshow or expo.

The most important thing to do is to get your company message out! This is not simply having a good looking banner or a nice gift; you have to get people’s attention. One strategy is gift timing. Gift timing is where you give away a nice gift at a certain time at the event; tell everyone at the expo when you are giving it away and tell them you must be present to win. At a recent real estate investment expo I gave away three Ipods at three different times. Three different times of the event I had a captive audience huddled around my booth. I had three different times in front of 60-70 people to give my 5 minute pitch for my company. This is sort of like bribing but it works. While other booths around me generated one or two people at their booth at any given time, I had 60-70 people at three different times! This is a great option if you will only have one person at the booth.

Another strategy is to utilize some sort of game. Everyone likes to play games and this is a great way, especially if you have more than one person running the booth, to really hammer your message out and get a lot of attention. Unlike gift timing, the gifts and prizes are not nearly as important. This is cheaper than gift timing and one that generates a lot of energy and fun. At a recent realtor trade show, we hung our banner in the middle of the booth and put three target boards to the left and right side of the banner. Then, we had two foam suction dart guns that participants would use to hit the targets. Again, where all other booths had one or two people at any given time, we had two lines of 20+ people waiting to play the game! While they were waiting, one of our staff members working the booth was handing them flyers and telling them about our company. As the founder of the Forever Wealth Club (, we gave out meeting passes (zero cost), T-Shirts ($5 cost) and DVD’s ($1 cost).

Finally, one thing that drives me crazy is when companies have a great looking booth, a nice expensive gift, but, they fail to follow up with people. A lot of this comes down to who manages the booth at the expo or tradeshow. This is NOT the time for business owners to put hourly employees in the booth. Hourly, non-commission people typically do not care if they get business cards or talk to people as they are paid the same amount anyway. You want to be there as the owner or put someone that is commission based in the spot and you will have a much better chance of getting more clients. Remember, it is extremely rare to grab a new client at a tradeshow or expo but simply following up may get you more clients than you could imagine as so few people follow up.

write by Venn

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