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!