Attracting Visitors to an Exhibition Stand

Photo provided by Kokoon Ltd

I am often astounded at the lengths some exhibitors will go to in order to get a “prospect” to stop on their stand.

These stop and sell methods include anything from scantily clad bodies (male and female), magicians, games, competitions etc. I have even witnessed exhibitors physically standing in the isles thrusting brochures into peoples hands hoping to get them to stop or at least take away literature that is most likely of no relevance whatsoever to the recipient. Having used these tactics to “successfully” stop their victim they then go on to force these poor unsuspecting souls into “taking a look at what they have to offer”.

Granted as an exhibitor one does need to find a way to attract people onto a stand – not only to establish if there is any way in which you can both work together but also without actual visitors it is impossible to get an return on the investment. However do we really need to physically man handle people onto the stand or draw them in under false pretences just so we can sell at them?

Here is a simple and very effective way to get someone to stop for long enough to  start-up a conversation. Having gained their attention you go on to build some rapport and then through a process of effective dialogue establish if they might be interested in what you have to offer.

All visitors to exhibitions and conferences these days are issued with a name badge. Assuming like me you can read a delegate badge at five paces simply smile warmly and say.

Good Morning Jim (Person’s name)

Now Jim  will immediately stop and say good morning. On hearing ones name it is a natural reaction to stop and turn to the person who has greeted you. As they try to work out how you know each other simply ask;

How are you finding the exhibition Jim?

Jim quite naturally responds.

Very good thank you.

You have now struck up a conversation and can then ask other questions.

What brings you to the exhibition?

As you build up some level of rapport, you will eventually get to a point when either they will ask you to tell them what you do or you can ask them;

What do you know about (our company)?

Now you have their permission to say what it is you do. From here you can discover if there is any interest in what you have to offer and start to build a relationship and take it on from there.

I used this name technique the other week when working for a client on their exhibition stand and achieved the following results;

  1. 85% of people whom I greeted using their name, stopped to talk.
  2. approx 75% of those who stopped asked me to tell them what it is we do!
  3. Approx 60% actually booked onto a course within the next eight weeks.

Compare this with the same greeting including the smile;

Good Morning. How are you?

How many people stopped to talk with this greeting? Well I will tell you it was around 15-20%. What does this tell us?

It tells us very clearly that names are important to us as individuals. Try it the next time you are working an exhibition stand.

I guarantee you will get more people to stop and talk without the need for any tricks or gimmicks.

If you want to know more about getting results from you exhibitions why not contact me.

Happy hunting.