Forcing people really is not the answer when it comes to attending exhibitions.

Attending one of the largest Business Show’s last week at the excel centre was as usual an education on a number of levels.  It is not the first time I have been to the show but much had changed and some things were still the same.

The primary networking organisation exhibiting has changed over the years with a large Your Business Community Village this year, now making up a big part of the show, enabling small businesses to dip their toe into the water of exhibiting.

I was saddened by the number of no show stands within the exhibition area.  Those stands for which the only visible sign of anything was the name of the organisation above the front of the stand.  Everything else about the stand was empty….

More disappointment was that despite travelling the length and breadth of the stand, only 3 people made an approach to me.  Not that I was walking around it defensively or actively trying not to make contact- quite the opposite.  In fact each person who did engage in conversation was praised by me for doing just that.

I entirely agree that attending an exhibition is not the place to push sales down people’s throats.  I would say however that it is imperative that you engage.  It is critical that each person who walks past your stand has a reason to stop.  You need something attention grabbing on your stand to make people want to know more – and someone who is there who will strike up some kind of engagement conversation to give you a cat in whatever’s chance of beginning a business relationship with them.

That is not to say that you should force people who do not want to be on the stand, to be there.  Which is of course where I can be of assistance.  But seriously folks.  This is something you can outsource.  To me, or others, who would willingly spend all day on your stand being friendly to passers by and engaging them in conversation.  

Oh and do remember to follow up, but don’t assume…  Yep this morning I received an email from one of the places I stopped while travelling around the show which made all sorts of assumptions about my level of interest in their product.  That has the potential to really put people off.

So if you are planning attending a show in 2019 and would like to chat about some ways you could massively increase your return on your investment, I would love to have a chat with you.  There are a number of tools in my toolbox which I think could really transform the experience of your visitors.

1 reply
  1. Ted Wigzell
    Ted Wigzell says:

    Thanks for mentioning us Jay and glad you found YBC Village!

    Sorry I couldn’t chat as we were so busy. Not complaining!


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