Getting Traffic At Your Trade Show Booth

by Judy Camp

If you have ever attended a trade show, and who hasn't, you know how hard it can be to get anyone's attention. If you are trying to draw traffic to your exhibit, the mass of people and displays make it hard to get prospects to focus on you. What's more, the average booth visit lasts only 3 to 5 minutes, so you find yourself talking to about 20 prospects every hour. Once you've chosen the best trade show booth, then done your pre-show publicity, your advertising and your marketing, here are some ways you can get more out of each contact once the show starts:

First, establish eye contact with a prospect coming near the booth. Try to create an inviting atmosphere, by smiling, letting him know you are available to answer questions. Look approachable. Don't, for example, read through a brochure at this time.

Next, introduce yourself, possibly with another smile and a handshake. Ask a leading question to find out what the prospect is looking for, or hoping to accomplish while at the show. Continue with this person if your product or service seems to fit his needs. If there is obviously no match, you should have a spot picked out in the booth containing products or literature that can serve as a "dumping ground." Thank the person for stopping by the booth and suggest they move to that area to peruse the material. Then you are free to go on to the next person, who may have more potential.

When you do hit on a genuine prospect, try to find out more about his or her needs. Get a business card if possible, and ask questions meant to reveal whether the prospect has a role in the buying process and what companies he has dealt with in the past. If there is someone else you should contact at his company, try to get this information as well. If possible, try to discern a ballpark amount the company may want to spend, as well as how soon the purchase will probably be made.

If you have gotten this far, you probably have established a good rapport with the prospect. Next, try to make an appointment. Give the prospect some literature, and let him know you were pleased to make his acquaintance. Be sure to provide more eye contact, a smile, a handshake, and a reminder of your follow-up meeting.

Once the prospect is gone, immediately make note of all you have learned, while it is still fresh in your mind. If possible, attach your notes to the person's business card.

When the trade show is over, your head will be swarming. But your notes will allow you to relax and follow up with ease.

About the author:
Judy Camp is a writer for

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