Avoid the Empty Aisle Syndrome

I was looking at my Twitter stream recently and saw some disturbing pictures from @TimboReid as he was visiting an Expo in Melbourne.  The scariest of which was this one:

Scary expo, huh?

Unfortunately exhibitors get into the habit of expecting the organiser to bring in the crowds.  That is not how it always works.  They are flat out organising the exhibitors, the set up, charging the visitors and doing some broad marketing for the entire show.  What you want is people and companies who are specifically focussed on your product and services.  No one knows them better that you.  Typically the Expo organiser will give you some free tickets as part of your exhibitor package, if they don’t then ask for some – they can only say no!

Once you have some of these free tickets, use them wisely.  Invite some people from the group below and even book some appointment times with them so you can focus on them.  So here is who to invite:

Your existing customers   
It is commonly accepted that it is five times easier to sell to an existing customer yet most organisations focus solely on marketing to new clients.  Build on your existing relationships and re-engage with your customers by having them refresh what they think they know about you.  You can show them what is new for you and what else you can do for them

Industry Leaders
If you have been wanting to get the attention of Industry Leaders or key players, invite them along to visit your stand.  You know they will probably want to come to the show anyway, so why not make a time for them to be at your stand.  At the very least it will be a good photo opportunity for your marketing or internal newsletter.

Hot Prospects
If you have some hot prospects or organisations then get them to your stand.  Yes they will probably visit your competitor or see what else is around but they will know who invited them.  You will have enough confidence in your own solutions that you can deal with the fact that they will be visiting your competitor.  Take the opportunity to shine in front of your prospect.

Your Niche
No doubt you have some kind of regular marketing process, be it your blog, newsletter, twitter stream, advertising or networking.  Make sure that your niche know that you will be at the Expo and you would love for them to visit.  Give them a reason to visit – maybe a “Mention this newsletter/blog/card and get a free…..”  If you are giving away gifts you may as well give it to someone in your niche versus someone who just walks past.

So now it’s your turn.  Who are you going to invite to your next show?  Get it started well before the show and you will definitely avoid the Empty Aisle Syndrome.


The Get More Guy

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