Last week, we (Kiers) had a booth in the Connect 2012 Tri-City Expo trade show at the Saint John Trade and Convention Centre. This is an annual collaboration between the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce, Saint John Board of Trade and the Greater Moncton Chamber of Commerce. It really is a great way to bring members of each of the three Chambers together to promote their products and services.
When you go to a show, whether it is for four hours or for four days, you have to commit to making new contacts and developing new customers. Many exhibitors had great displays and worked the show very well. Others didn’t put a lot of effort into their space and were absent from their booth for long periods of time.
As I browsed the aisles, I made a few observations that I will pass on to you that I think are important.
The venue was not well lit and most of the booths didn’t have any lights. Do what you can to make your booth brighter and stand out in the crowd.
Many booth holders were sitting in the back of their booth either texting or surfing the internet. They obviously weren’t interested in my business. Come on folks, if you really don’t care about your business, why should I.
There were lots of draws for door prizes at the booths, which is a great way to gather business cards from people interested in your business. When you are doing a draw, make sure it is relevant to your business.
Why do so many booth holders give out candy? Don’t get me wrong, I came back from the show with a bag of candy, but I don’t remember which booths I got it from. If you have to entice attendees into your booth with candy, then they are really not that interested in your business, just your candy.
All in all, it was a good show. Of course as a booth holder, I wish there was more traffic. But, with less traffic, you have more time to talk to people who are genuinely interested in your business. It only takes one hot business lead to make the show pay for itself.
By focusing on the main reason you’re there in the first place, you can make the most of your trade show marketing opportunity.