I wanted to explore the topic in a little more detail…
How do you get the most traffic at your tradeshow booth?
As always, you’ll really benefit from planning ahead. Use your current contact list to invite current customers, business associates, and strong prospects to the event. Create a stylish e-mail newsletter to serve as an “announcement” that lets them know where you’ll be located in the expo, and what your booth will be offering. A personal email or phone call to particular contacts you’d really like to see will also do the trick. Next, get a list of all the registered attendees for the expo (the organization that’s putting it together should have this information) and send all those people an invitation to your booth. One of the best things about trade shows and expos is that you have a huge network of other businesses – so try not to confine yourself to your own booth throughout the show. Take time to go around and visit, make new contacts, scope out competition, and get a feel for the crowd in the event space. If you’re into Twitter, find out what the hashtag is for the event and start tweeting throughout the day about things you see/hear/do at the expo.
Offering incentives at your booth is a fail-safe way to bring in traffic
But make sure it’s the kind of traffic you want! Every expo has people who are only there to collect free merch, not find out about your business. If you’re merely giving out a sales card, coupon, or lower-value promotional item, it’s up to you how you want to distribute them. If you have a limited supply, or have higher-ticket items (like T-shirts, coolers, tote bags, mugs, etc.), don’t be afraid to be selective. Those specialty gifts should only go to people who are interested in what your company does – if they’re willing to have a brief conversation with you about your product/service, and seem like they could be a useful prospect, they get a prize!
Think of your booth as your home for the day
The attendees are all people you’d like to come over to your house. So make sure your house is ready for guests! A clean, warm environment with neat, warm people is a huge draw in itself. If you have other people helping you at the expo, make sure you choose associates who have assertive, positive personalities. You need the kind of people who won’t hide behind your booth table, but won’t stand in the aisles trying to drag people in. Being knowledgeable about your company, your products/services, and special offers is a must.
You don’t have to have flashing lights, a clown, a dunk tank, or expensive prizes to get maximum booth traffic at an expo
Being too gimmicky can even drive people away! It’s about creating an environment that people want to visit, giving them a reason to stop by, and leaving them feeling glad they came over to talk to you.