Event Management

12 Tips to Help Exhibitors Get More Conversions

Skift Take

Getting traffic to the exhibit floor is only part of the success necessary for your vendors and sponsors. Help them get more sales once attendees are at their booths with these ideas.

Do you really need one more thing on your plate? That question was likely met with a resounding NO! But helping your exhibitors have more success in their booths and more foot traffic will also make your event more successful as they will decide to come back and possibly invest more with you next year.

We’ve written about driving traffic to the exhibit show floor before. And we’ve covered getting attendees to the booths in both video and article format. But that’s only part of the problem. It doesn’t do you any good to run every attendee you have past those exhibitors if your exhibitors don’t know what to do when they show up.

Some suppliers and exhibitors are new to trade show marketing and others have been doing it since hard sells and business cards in fish bowls were all the rage. Help them market to today’s modern attendees with these ideas that you can share with them:

  1. Know, Like and Trust

People want to do business with those they know, like, and trust so the first word out of a salesperson’s mouth when someone stops by a booth shouldn’t be anything about the product or service. Instead, they need to establish rapport and a common connection. Ask the visitor about themselves such as what they do, where they’re from, and/or what they’re enjoying about the event.

2. Listen and Apply

Often people will tell you what their problems are in a subtle way. Sometimes it comes out without you realizing it. For instance, you may ask them how they’re enjoying the show. They tell you they like it but have barely had any time to enjoy it because the office keeps calling with questions. For a vendor that sells productivity software, this type of confidence can be gold but a hard sell will make them clam up.

Instead, wait for them to ask what you sell then tell them you help extraordinarily busy people get more control of their day so they don’t have to be drowning in work. Now you’ve just made a connection.

3. Keep Them There

Getting back to people wanting to do business with those they know, like, and trust, you want to give them a reason to spend time in your booth. Here’s why:

  • Having them there will make your booth look more popular and people always have a fear of missing out.
  • The longer they are there, the more time you have to build a connection and get them more interested in what you have to offer.
  • The better they get to know you, the more likely they are to remember you in the future and may even tell others about you.
  • You can learn more about them and thus find out how to market most effectively to them..
  • When they’re talking to you, they’re not talking to the competition.
  • You have more time to direct them to a next step. Never let a conversation go by without presenting the next step and what action you’d like them to take.

4. Set Up Appointments with Prospects Ahead of Time

Exhibitors should scan the event attendee list ahead of time and arrange meetings with prospects who will be there. Prospects are more likely to show up at the booth if you set an appointment before the event.

5. Don’t Forget Current Clients

Invite current clients to the booth and then have a special thank you gift waiting. Not only will it delight the clients, it will impress potential clients when they see how current clients are treated. They’ll want to be a part of it.

6. Attract the Ideal Client/Customer

Many exhibitors opt for really cool swag and while that draws a crowd, if it’s not a crowd of people who will buy from the company, then the traffic is pointless. Instead, aim at creating a campaign that brings the right people to the booth to begin with. If allowed by the organizer, drip marketing before the event can help create interest and buzz and send the type of people who will buy to your booth. You don’t want to tie up your sales team’s time with tire kickers unless you’re there just for exposure and to get your name out.

7. Problem Equals Solution or No Deal

Your company solves a problem for a certain type of person. If that type of person walks up to you and doesn’t realize they have a problem, let them go. It doesn’t hurt them enough yet.

8. Make it Comfortable

A comfortable booth will entice people to stay. If your product has a sales cycle longer than five minutes, this will benefit you. Remove long tables where your sales people stand behind them and hand out brochures. Today’s successful booths are open and inviting. Think lounge style.

9. Use a Giveaway Attendees Notice

There are a lot of articles written about the best kind of swag but if you want traffic to your booth, give something away that people will be tempted to put on or use on the exhibit floor. Other attendees will stop them and ask them where they got it. And then presto! Instant crowd.

But make sure you have a way to tie that swag into what you offer. Since you’re giving them something, they’ll feel obligated to listen to what you have to say for a hot second so make it good and pique their interest. If you don’t, you’ll get to know quickly what it feels like to work at a drive-thru window.

10. Aggression Creates Defense

When someone pounces on you, biology says you go into fight or flight. When trying to win over a potential customer, neither is good. Check your over-the-top sales attitude at the door and look for ways to help instead.

11. Use Customers and Social Proof

You can be very convincing as a salesperson but nothing convinces others like someone who doesn’t work for the company. Ask customers to stop by, give them the gift mentioned above, and then introduce them to a prospect at your booth, and step out of the way. Glowing recommendations will create sales. Mediocre recommendations will still impress the prospect that you had nothing to hide. Create connections and let them work for you.

12. Get Out from Behind the Booth

The best thing you can do in your business for potential clients is to be helpful. Get out from behind your booth. Walk the floor. Be helpful. But do so in branded attire. Even if you never mention your product, people will associate your help with your business.

In Conclusion

Getting people to the booth is only half of it. Once they’re there you want to make sure your exhibitors know how to interest them and solve their problems. As an event planner it may not be in your job description to educate them on how to close a sale but if you can help them do it by sharing these ideas, you can bet they’ll return next year.