A Trade Show Manager’s Wishes

If I were a trade show manager and I had my most important show coming up what would I wish for if I could wave my magic wand?

I’d have a great looking booth in a great location. My graphics would be eye-catching and informative and the lighting in my booth would highlight key areas. My pre-show promotion would be focused on the the sub-set of the attendees that I really would like to see in my booth.

But the most important element to the success of every show I produce is the interaction that happens between my exhibit staff and my booth visitors. Even with everything dialed in and as perfect as it can be, if my staff messes up, the show suffers.

So if I wave my magic wand again, what would I wish would happen to my exhibit staff? I would cast a spell on them to be on time and to not wander out of the booth. I would offer up a hex that would keep them from talking in closed circles with their colleagues, drinking coffee or soda in the booth, eating in the booth, and using their mobile devices in the booth.

The fairy dust I would sprinkle over them would compel them to greet visitors quickly and politely. It would make them focus their conversation on what each individual visitor wants to see or hear about instead of what my staffer wants to talk about – sometimes there is a vast difference.

And the fairly dust would immediately give them the ability to politely add visitors to an on-going conversation when it’s busy, to politely and professional disengage from a conversation when it’s over or when it’s becoming a waste of time, and to ask the right questions at the right time so my staffers know everything a visitor wants to see and hear about in my booth.

But I am not quite finished with my magic yet. I need some magic to make sure I get something tangible out of my trade shows and especially the biggest show I produce. I want sales. I want appointments. I want agreements from visitors to return phone calls and to respond to emails. I want detailed information taken on each leas so the follow-up is easier and more focused on each visitor. I want every visitor to have the most positive and a very different experience in my booth compared with any other booth at this trade show.

Even a magic wand and some fairy dust may not be enough to do make these outcomes that I think are important to happen. But I am going to give it a try. Maybe if I sprinkle fairly dust on my magic wand I can get what I really want. And what I want is a very cool trade show tool to be in the hands of everyone working in my booth.

I this magical tool to be able to generate qualified leads, show product information, intiate literature fulfillment in the booth, enable product demonstrations, take orders, provide for specific follow-up actions like making appointments, and all the while offering a unique personalized experience that takes the interaction of my staff with their visitors to the next level.

I don’t want my exhibit staff pocketing business cards or fumbling with a different lead device at every show. I don’t want them doing a product overview by pointing at a brochure. And I definitely don’t want them not even trying to do the right thing because they know the right tool isn’t available to them.

What my fairy dusted magic wand has made appear is an iPad loaded up and programmed so that it can efficiently search my own website for products (even if I have 10,000+ products), do product demos via videos or PowerPoint, highlight competitive comparisons, offer white papers, literature, testimonials, pricing, etc. And right from the iPad, I can email any of this information to the visitor I am showing this to. And right from this iPad I can set-up a follow-up appointment because my calendar is on it too.

This magical iPad can also can generate a complete, qualified lead within 30 seconds that includes all the information my salespeople want – not just contact information; product interest, budget, buying time frame, buying influence, how they want to be contacted after the show, etc.

The iPad also has all of the exhibit staff’s photos on it with their cell phone numbers so any visitor can walk up to any staffer and that staffer can identify who the visitor needs or wants to talk with, what they look like, if they’re at the show, and, if the want to meeting them, they can call them.

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