Trade Show Basics

Wifey and I went to the Holiday Expo at the Melbourne Royal Exhibition Building on the weekend. We went looking for information on an up coming holiday Wifey is having with one of her friends and to just have a look at the Expo and how people and companies worked it.

First things first, The Royal Exhibition Building is a stunning building. The very first Australian Parliament met here in 1801 and it has recently gone through a major refurbishment. It has a great deal of history associated with it and it is amazing reading some of the plaques there. Having said that, it is not really the best location for a trade show. The layout of the building makes it challenging to maximise the space for the exhibitors and the flow through of the traffic and air. Air?? Yes, air. It was so hot and stifling even though the weather was not very hot. This is one old building without the benefit of air conditioning!

There were a stack of people there, which was great news for the exhibitors. Many exhibitors were giving away free holidays so there was a frenzy of people wanting to win the trip to Disneyland, Tour of Africa and even a trip to Port Stephens. Experienced Trade Show people know that they are collecting the details of interested people to market to after the show. What most of the competitions did not have was a sign saying that by entering the person was agreeing to be contacted by the company to let them know more about their great offers. In this “new age” of privacy this is essential

Another thing that is essential is booth presence.

One booth had no posters. You read that correctly NO POSTERS. So while everyone else had glossy posters of the destination, pictures of people having a fabulous time, even dummys hanging from the top of the booth, this one person had just the blue walls of the booth. He had a stack of brochures on the table but nothing to attract people to him to get them. Even if he had stuck the front page of the brochure around the place, it would have made a difference. You booth needs to have a presence. You don’t need to cover the walls, but something that will attract or engage the customer.

You also need something when the customer comes over. Another booth had run out of brochures on the first day and so had none for the second day. Running our of brochures is a good thing. It means you had way more prospects than you expected, but to have nothing to give is not OK. Surely the guy could have found a place to photocopy the front cover of a brochure with his website on it. While it may not have been as sexy or attractive as a glossy it gives them some resource to work with. He spent most of the day just sitting in the chair waiting for people to come and talk to him. You could see people look his way, notice the brochure stands were empty and walk away.

What have you done to dress up your walls or to replace brochure stock when you ran out? How do you create a Both Presence? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


Warwick Merry
The Get More Guy

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