We had the pleasure of being an exhibtor at the Tri-City Mixer this week at the new Fredericton Convention Centre. This is an event that brings together Chamber of Commerce members from Fredericton, Saint John and Moncton. The great thing about this show is the cross section of exhibitors from different industry sectors.
I took some time off from manning the Kiers Marketing booth and wandered around the complex looking at how companies were presenting themselves and it was kind of like the old spaghetti western “the Good, the Bad and the Ugly”.
Many of the booths were very well done and the people staffing their exhibits were very focussed on the task at hand. Kudos to the Ramada, Delta and Maritime Coffee for having great tasting samples of their food and beverages. It is always a great idea to feed potential customers, it makes them spend more time at your booth.
I did notice that the trend of companies using banner stands instead of display booths is continuing. Both have their advantages. Display booths give you the biggest bang for your buck, they are big and bold and attract a lot of attention. Banner stands on the other hand give you more flexibility with your booth configuration and they are more portable.
I also noticed a lot of trade show faux pas along the way as well. Some exhibitors were eating in their booth, people won’t stop by if you are eating, they don’t want to disturb you. A lot of booths had a table across the front of their space. Don’t put up a barrier, let people come into your booth and visit with you. If you have brochures, advertising premiums or if you are having a prize draw, get the organizers to bring you a small round table to put off to one side.
Some booths didn’t have a lot of focus to their message. A common mistake that many companies make, is that they try to tell their whole story with their booth. The booth is there for one reason only and that is to attract attention. Nothing more. In this case, less is better.
All in all it was another successful event put on by the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce. There was great attendance and we all got to experience an event at the new convention centre.
In closing, when you get ready to go to a trade show, make sure you are prepared. Make your sure your booth has a strong message, your staff has a goal and the most important part – follow up on your leads as soon as you can when you get back to your office.