Whether a vendor is exhibiting at a large or small expo; it’s all about self-promoting your company’s products or services. Simple practices get your business noticed.
Expo organizers should advertise the event often on every media-based platform they can. Press releases shouldn’t just focus on the guest speaker(s) but should comprise a vendor list. In addition, add a printed vendors’ list complete with company information plus contact name to the attendee’s show goodie bag. Email the list to all attendees after the event with a thank you.
I am a huge believer in signage. It doesn’t matter if the expo is the only event at a facility or traffic flow can only go one way. Have a sign (eye level) saying welcome to “the event,” along with other signs “enter here” “food” or “coat check.” Direct traffic so attendees know where they are going. I attended a tradeshow at the Georgia Convention Center, where just one little sign stating walk thru here to the other section would’ve done wonders. This sign was added when the show began but how simple it would have been if the sign was up during the two day set-up. Instead time was wasted along with exhausting physical resources with the twice daily 2 mile walk where exhibitor’s services and the exit was located. Signs answers questions, save time and give everyone an even playing field. Don’t assume people know where to go.
When exhibiting at large convention centers exhibitors must adhere to the rules of conduct on how a booth is set-up, consideration for fellow exhibitors, etc. At a small expo the rules are determined by the event organizer. Planners should consider vendor rules beside a contractual agreement of payment, if one isn’t in place already.
Vendors (table or a booth) here are tips not to overlook:
- Try to stand behind your table always facing the crowd. Talk to anyone who walks by. Say hello, how are you? Say something. Smile. What are you there for anyway if not to attract business?
- Resist the urge to display every item you sell—less is more.
- Bring a banner or sign to hang or put in front of the table, don’t put a small sign on the table itself in the event the expo doesn’t supply one.
- Purchase card and literature holders. Don’t just place these items on the table. People need to know what is available to take. Place your information where it is prominently showcased; add a small sign “take please.”
- If your product requires a demonstration using a model place them with their back to the traffic. This will allow you to face the attendees, talk and allow people to come closer to see what you are doing.
- Brand yourself with a uniform or name tag.
- Learn how to sell your product in 30 seconds or less. Develop a sales pitch because once they leave you’re forgotten. Learn basic selling techniques. Don’t go into a full presentation every time someone enters your domain—say why you’re different; stress your products highlights. Present your product, quickly assess the customers’ needs then move on. If someone is really interested schedule an appointment there. Adjust your time with the traffic flow; more traffic shorter pitch less traffic expand your sales pitch. Talk so you can attract a crowd and learn how to manage them.
- If you have your information in bags then hang on a rack or place samples in the area next to the literature. Don’t put anything on the floor it looks messy. Think of your area as a mini-store.
- If you are talented at making your product but aren’t good at selling it, hire a salesperson to attract the business (if only at shows). People buy from people they like. Beats losing business because you’re not a people person.
- Showing respect and being courteous are powerful skills to learn and possess.
- Bands or DJ’s need to demonstrate without the ability to talk. Think about hiring someone to pass out your literature or book appointments.
- Anyone who works for you should have business cards. What nonsense to pass out cards with no contact name. Are you there to do business or be anonymous? What do you think this says about your business?
Event Hosts remember “Guest Speakers” come and go; it’s your vendors who allow you to continue hosting your expo; promote them first. Remember attendees are naturally overwhelmed with sounds, colors and new places so make it easy by finding ways to keep traffic flowing.
Hosts here are some tips to promote everyone’s business:
- Have smiling well informed greeters at the main table. First impressions always matter. Have a vendor information table in case attendees missed someone where they can grab literature on their way out.
- Have signage that announces, thanks and keeps traffic flowing. Have a sign at the entrance. Hire an usher, if it’s in the budget, to greet attendees.
- Make sure you have a complete list of vendors with full contact information added to any show giveaway bags.
- Offer good size banners that can be hung or attached to the front of the table with the vendors’ name in bold large font. Signs placed on tables are generally too small, get blocked by traffic or blend in with vendors’ own merchandise.
- Try to keep music on the soft side. Vendors shouldn’t have to shout over the music. If possible, keep vendors away from the music. Put food or display tables in those areas.
- Promote the vendors throughout the event if possible.
- Have an interactive session where attendees can ask questions to vendors in a spotlight format.
- Make sure your event literature information talks about you and your event company too. You worked hard give yourself added recognition.
- Keep vendors together in one room or area but if you can’t then add signage to get traffic there.
- Get the press to promote with an article or write a review.
- If you have models displaying a product or service have them hold placards and/or pass out business cards of the company they are promoting.
- When it comes to signs, brochures, information go for simple easy-to-read save the aesthetics for displays or other points of interest. Make the font large.
- In all my decades of selling after any trade show I reviewed cards and it was the person who came to mind not the design of the card. People do business with people who can fulfill that age-old requirement, “What’s in it for me?”
When an expo is planned with the intention of promoting vendors then attendees automatically benefit. Making information easily accessible will guarantee that brides and businesses unite satisfying both in a common goal.