Richard Laible’s Blog
Trade Shows can be tricky. It doesn’t take a wizard to get attendees from the aisle carpet onto YOUR booth carpet. Just follow these DOs & DON’Ts and you’ll conjure up more qualified leads and fill your booth before you can say Abracadabra!!
Most of these are just common sense for trade shows, but we all need reminders occasionally. And maybe, just maybe, you might learn something new!
Trade Show Tips are sorely needed as trade shows themselves are on the upswing and companies are spending more to attend and attract customers. So, why do I see so many easily fixed mistakes still happening in the booths I observe? No one is telling the staff on the floor how to “work” the booth! With the amount of money spent by organizations to attend a trade show you would think they would want to get the maximum ROI. Well, these very easy to follow Trade Show Tips will help you get the most out of your trade show dollars.
When I work as a Tradeshow Presenter Las Vegas is the city I find myself in most often. I figure I’ve been there over 80 separate times. So, sufficed to say, I have that city down on where to stay & eat and what to do on the nights I’m not exhausted from standing and talking all day.
STUFF TO DO:
When I first started going to Las Vegas I would always book tickets to see a big show ahead of time for 2 reasons: a lot of the shows sell out and I like good seats. I’ve seen all the Cirque shows (“O” was the best to me), Tony Bennett, Blue Man Group, Ray Charles, George Carlin (3 times), Jay Leno, David Copperfield, Siegfried & Roy, Penn & Teller, Rich Little, etc. Check the calendar as some really big stars might be doing one night, on the night you have free.
Why ‘Bob from Sales’ shouldn’t emcee your meetings
Location: ACME Corp. Meeting Room
Agenda Item: ACME National Sales & Users Meeting
Boss: Ok, so that all sounds like a good plan. Anything else before we wrap this up?
New employee: Um, have you ever hired a professional emcee to host your meeting?
Boss: Nah, Bob, our VP of Sales always does a good enough job. I’ll tell him he’s doing it again.
An email pops up on a Friday from a third-party asking if I have availability in the summer as a trade show presenter. A quick look at my calendar and the answer is, “Yes!” I quickly reply so, and a few minutes later get the response, “Great. They need to see a video of you, in action, as a trade show presenter.” Ugh. I don’t have one. Oh sure, I spent a small fortune on my corporate emcee video, but my work as a trade show presenter have always come by word of mouth or a client watching me present live on the show floor and hiring me after seeing me “in action”…not on tape…ever! I wrote back that I’d have something to them by early next week. Gulp! Okay, now what?
It’s funny, when I was asked prior to 3rd grade what I wanted to be when I grew up, my pat answer was, “A Doctor, TV Star or Ice Cream Man.” Cute, huh? But things changed. You see, in 2nd grade I was friends with everyone in my class. As a matter of fact, I was voted “Student of the Month” the first week of class: it was kind of a popularity thing. So, you can imagine my dismay when my parents announced we were moving. “What!?! NO!!!” They assured me it was just one town over and being an outgoing and “funny” kid I would make new friends easily. I thought, “Yeah, they’re right,” and enjoyed the rest of my summer before the move.
Magazine article? As a meeting emcee and trade show presenter, let’s face it, I didn’t have the New York Times, USA Today or even the Piquionne Gazette banging down my door to write an article about me and my unique career. So, I found a fun, nifty (a word that’s not used enough these days) and uncomplicated way to have an article written about one’s self and small business. This article can then be used as a marketing device and way to get some free electronic press. I am sure there are other companies you could go through, but the one I found easiest was Voyage Media.
Over the past 20+ years as a professional emcee I have become quite astute at packing ONE carry-on bag for a five days’ worth of travel as most of my work takes place away from where I live. (Caveat: being a man, I cannot speak for female travelers, as I have never packed a suitcase for a lady) One reason I do this is that I never have to worry about the airlines losing my luggage (stuff I need for my role as emcee), something I hear happens from time to time.
5 Engaging Ways to Drive Trade Show Traffic!
In the crazy world of trade shows I’ve seen almost every conceivable attempt to draw attendees into booths in my 20+ years as a presenter, writer and consultant. From a random marketing person standing in the middle of the booth awkwardly giving a PowerPoint presentation to a full-blown Cirque du Soleil act outfitted with a flying trapeze.
The former has most attendees simply walk by without a second glance, the latter gathers big crowds but costs a fortune (you’ve already paid too much for that square of carpet, drayage, flights, hotel rooms, etc.) with no personal engagement or educational benefits to your brand.
Public speaking is listed as American’s #1 fear (death is at #5 & loneliness, weighing in at #7). Guess that means that most of us are less afraid of dying alone than of “making fools of ourselves” in front of others, which is a possibility if you emcee meetings and events.
But let’s say a boss said you MUST get in front of a group of any number of people and emcee meetings, a seminar, conference, awards dinner, or any other of a number of events. Well, the best way to overcome any fear you might have is to face that fear and be as prepared as possible in your new role as an emcee. I can’t stress enough that the more you’re prepared the less you’ll feel stressed, and the list below will be a huge help getting you there. So, here are my…