Nice “Surprise Corner” at Home Improvement Show, Columbus OH

Last weekend, I visited the Home Improvement Show in Columbus, Ohio.  While 85% of the Exhibit Floor seemed to include the typical “Home Improvement Exhibitors”…I stumbled upon a nice surprise in the back corner….an “Artists Showcase Corner” which included the types of Exhibitors that you would normally see at a Juried Arts Festival along with some other ‘Household Product Vendors.”  These Exhibitors were a good fit for the Expo, as ultimately, their products enhance and improve the look or functionally of the Interior or Exterior of Your Home.  But, the other notible attribute was that these booths engaged one or more senses…see, hear, taste, touch or smell.   Although the area only encompassed about 15% of the Exhibit Floor Space, it had closer to 25% of the Attendee Foot Traffic.  So, what does that say… is easier to capture attention when your booth is INTERESTING and ENGAGING and involves the senses.

This is something that ALL Exhibitors should keep in mind when determining ‘an activity’ to draw attendees into their booth.  An activity can be as simple as having the attendee SEE a demonstration,  HEAR how a product sounds, TASTE the product via a sampling, TOUCH the item to understand is texture, softness, strength, durability (whatever the selling point is that you want to get across) or SMELL the pleasant aroma.  The more opportunities in which you have to engage with an ATTENDEE in your  booth….besides just talking with them….the longer they will stay in your booth and enjoy the experience they had in your booth.  Both of these positive results will lead to the end-game of selling more on-site or selling to the Attendee in the near future as you made them feel good about visiting your booth.

Happy Exhibiting…until we chat again!  -Doctor Diane


Stamina & Scheduling is Key at The Home & Garden Show

The Home & Garden Show in Columbus Ohio is a 9-Day Show, therefore, is not well-suited for an Exhibitor who cannot maintain stamina and energy for hours on end!  Whenever you commit to exhibit at such a long event, be sure to schedule just as you would for a ‘retail environment’……meaning everyday schedule short 5-6 hour shifts and an overlap of 30 minutes.  For example, each Saturday the Show was open from 10am-8pm.  So the wise Exhibitor would schedule one person from 9:30am-3:00pm and the second person from 2:30pm-8:30pm, if you cannot afford ‘to staff’ 2 people in the booth at all times.  What does this accomplish????  First, arriving 30 minutes early and expecting to say 30 minutes after the doors are locked, allows you to be fully prepared to engage with those attendees who arrive promptly at 10:00am and those who linger past 8:00pm.  These attendees are just as important and meaningful as those who come in the middle of the day.  For some reason, I observe that this fact gets overlooked by the weary Exhibitor, who runs in at the very last minute or who cannot wait to leave, and forgoes these opportunities to engage!

Second, it keeps the Exhibitors fresh and allows time for a brief update with the changing of the guards.  Communicate if you think someone may be stopping back by your booth, or if you put a purchase on hold for a customer who did not want to carry their purchase around the Show.  The attendee will appreciate a seamless transition as they are welcomed back and their presence seems ‘expected.’  What you don’t want to happen, is for the attendee to experience confusion and the feeling that their purchase has been misplaced, lost, or worse yet, given to someone else.  This scenario will turn what was a positive purchase into a negative experience.  As I repeatedly say, “Put yourself in the Attendees Shoes….and treat them how YOU would want to be treated.”

Happy Exhibiting….until we chat again!  -Doctor Diane



Exhibitor Booths: Hall of Fame or Hall of Shame?

As we launch 2017, I do need to set the stage for how I intend to utilize My Blog.  I will be sharing examples of Exhibitor Booth Behavior, which I encounter at Tradeshows, Conferences, Expos, Shows, Fairs & Festivals. The purpose of the Blog is for you….a future exhibitor…to avoid common symptoms of self-sabotage, so as to NOT MAKE THE SAME MISTAKES.  You have one chance to make a positive first impression, therefore if the initial impression is not favorable, you are doing more harm than good!   Your actions are visible to everyone!

There are 6-Steps which encompass every event:  Selection, Planning, Preparation, Execution, Follow-Through and Analysis.  So, for the purpose of my Blog, I will only assess the “Execution” Step, as that is the step which is taking place during the event.  FYI, all 6-Steps are equally important, so if you don’t intend to commit to all the steps, then I say don’t write the check and don’t bother with the event…as it won’t lend itself to a return on your investment of money and time!

So, I will quickly list the 9 Symptoms Sabotage™ which are the basis for the “Hall of Shame” Ranking…..perform all nine, and you score a 9 out of 9… pathetic!  If an Exhibitor has booth space and the booth is unattended….meaning there is  no one in the booth when I walk by….I automatically score them a 9 out of 9. (As the unspoken message sent to the attendees is ‘Whatever I am doing right now, is more important than you!’)  The 9 Symptoms of Sabotage Include:  Talking On Cell Phone, Texting, Reading, Sitting, Eating, Co-Worker Pow-Wow, Staff Meeting, On Laptop/iPad &  the worst embarrassment of all….Sleeping! (Doesn’t mean there aren’t others, but these are the most common.)

On the flip side, here are 6 Attributes you can perform in your Booth to raise your status and land you in The Tradeshow Doctor’s “Hall of Fame”…..perform all six, and you score a 6 out of 6….you are FANTASTIC & FABULOUS!!!  These 6 Attributes include: Smiling, Standing, Engaging in Conversation with the Attendees, Listening to the Attendees, Creating Motion/Action and Providing a Clear Call To Action.  

Let’s see how the following 4 Exhibitors performed at The Build, Remodel & Landscape Expo during January 6-8, 2017:

Exhibitor:  Direct Satellite Service.  Initially, they received a 9 of 9 Hall of Shame Ranking, as NO ONE was in the booth.  But, about an hour later, when I went by again and observed…..3 Individuals were now “manning the booth” and it didn’t get much better.  Their new Hall of Shame Ranking turned into a 5 out of 9.  Among the three individuals (which, by the way, is one to many for a 10’x10′ booth) the following was occurring:  texting, sitting, eating, co-worker pow-wow & on laptop.   They really could have just stayed home!

Exhibitor:  Central Ohio Fair Housing Association.  9 of 9 Hall of Shame, NO ONE there.

Exhibitor:  LG Roofing & Remodeling.  Sitting and Hiding behind the Gutter Display.  As he was hiding, representative was on an ‘electronic device’ and literally had his ear buds in…so his Hall of Shame Ranking is 4 out of 9.  I made an overt action to ask him for his business card to see if that would change his immediate behavior….nope:(

Exhibitor:  Holdfast Technologies, LLC.  Jennifer Hilty is AWESOME and does a wonderful job engaging the public.  I have observed her at several Expos and during all instances she lands in my “Hall of Fame” and believe it or not, receives a 7 out of 6!!!!  How so???? She is smiling, standing, engaging, listening, moving around the booth, and getting the attendees to take the next step in the sales process.  Jennifer receives a bonus point as she is even shaking hands as she meets and wraps up with the attendees.  FANTASTIC JOB JENNIFER…..keep it up!