At almost every show there comes a time when your watch seems to be moving in slow motion. If you had three wishes from a genie, you’d use one to have the show end.
But trade show time should never be wished away. Your company has made a big investment to get in front of hundreds, if not thousands of potential clients during a finite number of show hours.
That’s why booth staffers must retain a sense of urgency as long as there are attendees walking the show floor. You’ve paid for the access, get your money’s worth.
Make It Real
To make your investment more tangible for your tradeshow booth staffers, show them how much you are spending every second of the show.
For example, if you have a total show budget of 36 thousand dollars, and there are 10 hours of show floor time, then your trade show presence is costing you a dollar every second.
You can make that even more explicit to your staffers in a pre-show meeting by laying dollars out on the table, one after another every second, saying, “Every second, this show will cost us a dollar – a dollar, a dollar, a dollar, a dollar, a dollar.” That way, your staffers understand the cost of easing up.
Even if you have a small booth space and are only spending, let’s say $9,000 for a single show with 10 hours of show floor time, then your company is spending about a quarter every second, or a dollar every 4 seconds.
While that cost to exhibit seems like a lot of money, remember that there will be thousands of dollars of potential business walking by your exhibit every minute. You just have to maintain your focus throughout the show to get your best ROI.
Two Times Booth Staffers Relax
Two common slow times at shows are near the end of the show, and during lunch time. If you slack off at the end of the show because it’s slower, remember that some of the most serious buyers come by then, because they’ve shopped the floor and now know who they want to get even more info from. And think about during lunch: People who skip lunch to walk the show are very motivated!
Two Other Traps
A common trap booth staffers fall into during slower times is what I call the 30 second rule. The people picked to do booth staffing are friendly, outgoing, even gregarious. So if they haven’t talked to an attendee in a while, about 30 seconds, they turn and start talking to their co-worker instead. Bam, now you have two booth staffers out of action.
Another challenge is that some staffers get a great lead and get cocky. They want to take the next ten minutes telling everyone about it, rather than getting another lead. Instead, booth staffers need to keep their focus on getting that next lead…and the lead after that…and the lead after that. And if they can’t keep that focus going all day long, then you need to choose booth staffers who can, or have enough booth staffers to schedule shifts to keep them fresh.
So, when your booth staffers truly understand your company’s trade show investment, and keep focused on getting leads every second of the show, then you’ll get even more from your investment. Because while time at the show may seem sometimes to be passing slowly, it’s actually quite precious.
About the Author: Mike Thimmesch is Skyline Exhibits' Director of Lead Generation and Industry Relations, with over 20 years of Marketing and Trade Show Display Marketing experience.