- Set up your “Professional” looking booth
- Show up at the show and hope to find some leads
- Bring home some business cards
- Maybe close a deal or two
What about the winners?
They Get Seen. When people are walking the show floor there are two states of mind – The Beta state is the normal zombie state of anybody walking the streets. Not really paying attention to anything, having that normal monologue going on in their head. Alpha state is when you snap somebody out of Beta and they are paying direct attention. They are talking to someone, reading something – they are now fully focused and not paying attention to everything else going on around them. Step one to winning – get them to Alpha. As far as the booth is concerned, looking “Professional” is code for “Unremarkable” and a recipe to fail. Work with your marketing team to create a remarkable booth, shocking, offbeat, casual, whatever as long as it doesn’t look like everyone else on the row. Two easy tricks – hire a chair massage, or just pay the extra $100 for super thick floor padding for those shows where everybody has to walk 5 miles of show floor a day.
Signage is important, do what you can within your budget, but optimum would be huge overhead that can be seen anywhere on the floor. A masthead that can be read on the whole aisle. The key here is to keep getting the text smaller as you go lower to literally pull people into your booth.
They Have A Hook. What makes them remarkable also connects to their story. “Sure, you can have a 5 minute shoulder rub, c’mon over here. We’ve been working with this spa for 3 years handling all their accounting, do you get help with your accounting?” Yes. Even an accountant can have a remarkable booth and story.
They Have Appointments Set. The 3 months before the show is where the winners are determined. Winning organizations already have a list of appointments and even a few deals in the pipe before their plane lands in town. These players know that the show will pay for itself before the booth is set up. Don’t be afraid to outsource appointment setting, use a calling automation tool, or a virtual assistant to both set appointments and monitor social media to filter through attendees who are mentioning the show beforehand to determine who might be a prospect.