Over the last couple of weeks, I have attended and exhibited at a number of exhibitions and expos, and it was clear to see which stands received the highest levels of interest from those passing by. It wasn’t those stands with the best giveaways or most eye-catching banners, but those being manned by people who were willing to engage with the delegates at the event.
Exhibiting at business or trade exhibitions are a great way to promote your product or service to those you don’t know, and give people a hands-on chance to experience the product or to meet you and your staff.
I found it worrying how many people sat behind their exhibition tables and tapped away on laptops during the exhibitions I’ve attended recently. No-one will speak to you or ask you questions if you aren’t ready to say hello, start a conversation and capture their attention. You may as well not bother attending at all if you’re going to sit behind a table and ignore everyone passing by.
The best thing to do (especially if your exhibition stand is to be manned by your staff or volunteers) is to remove the chairs and move the table to the back of the pitch or space. Obviously, keep a chair available for when you/your staff need a rest (you can spend a long time on your feet at these events) but position yourself in front of the table and ensure you communicate to anyone representing your business that you want them to be ready to engage whenever the opportunity arises.
Often, the outcome of these events is what you make of the opportunity so decide how you want people to perceive you and your business, then make sure you embody that on the day.