Can your trade show booth staff achieve real engagement?

Posted 30/11/2017
Can your trade show booth staff achieve real engagement?

Are your trade show booth staff really engaging your prospects? As the exhibitions industry continues to evolve, companies are under pressure to adapt their offerings and keep up with the competition. So, can your booth staff meet new unique needs of trade show attendees?

Do trade shows still work in 2017?

No need to panic – the trade show industry is still alive and kicking, According to Eventbrite’s Pulse Report 2017, 65% of organisers expect their existing events to grow and 56% plan on launching new events.

Certain products or services simply have to be seen in person. In these cases, companies will travel to trade shows in order to meet their suppliers, compare offerings and network with other companies in their industry.

Trade shows also offer young companies and entrepreneurs a way to gather a huge professional network otherwise accumulated over a number of years.

Even established companies can use trade shows to maintain their brand recognition, meet prospective leads and nurture existing customers.

Adapting to new trade show needs

Trade shows aren’t dead, but they’ve become a different creature.

“I still think they’re relevant, but the purpose needs to be different,” Mark Goren, CEO of B2B communications agency Point to Point, told Crain’s Cleveland Business.

“They used to be a place to gather a bunch of sales literature. Now, all the information you’d collect is generally available on the web.”

“Trade shows now have a bigger concept of community and getting a bunch of people together with a shared interest, and with that comes an opportunity to provide higher levels of engagement.”

What your trade show booth really needs

There are also new industry concerns to grapple with in 2017.

Efficiency is the top trend expected to impact growth in the events industry, with 40% of Eventbrite survey respondents citing a drive for efficiency or cost reduction as the biggest factor shaping their future.

Not a big surprise – ROI always has and always will be a concern. Companies are looking for more cost-effective ways to attract and engage their leads. The important point here is prioritising function over fashion.

There’s little space anymore for flashy and expensive gimmicks. Both in terms of new lead generation and client relationship management, engagement is vital.

“Apple comprehends engagement really well,” Goren said. “An Apple retail experience is not because of the magic of Apple and its products — it’s the way they guide you into a purchase. Trade shows should do the exact same thing.”

Exhibitors should focus on making their booth a destination with an engaging journey, but branded giveaways and competitions are only going to do so much in this respect. Your trade show booth staff need to capture and hold their attention in a more meaningful manner and provide compelling reasons to attendees to want to follow up after the exhibition to continue the conversation.

Preparing your trade show booth staff

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. This saying applies to many things, including trade show marketing.

Basic exhibitor preparation can include sending nurturing emails in the lead up to an event, compiling research on attendees and conducting outreach to set up meetings.

However, your trade show booth staff need to be able to take this information on board and react appropriately. There’s no point in having valuable lead data at your fingertips if your booth host doesn’t know what your company does.

In the case of booth staff, preparation should involve reading through your company’s collateral and gaining a firm understanding of your offering. Expo Stars works with clients to identify or develop an event strategy well ahead of time. This helps to inform our staff and ensure they are prepared to contribute to your goals.

Here at Expo Stars, we also provide a single point of contact for clients and our trade show booth staff. This account management process makes it effortless for our clients to manage their event staffing no matter where they are in the world.

Trade show booth staff shouldn’t just be a pretty face – that’s not a good use of your marketing budget and it won’t achieve an impressive ROI. Instead, staff should be prepared and able to support your overall marketing strategy.

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Posted 30/11/2017