The most popular vendors were usually smaller businesses with key personnel on hand. Regardless of their niche...
They smiled and made eye contact with attendees
They were theatrical – offering free samples and product demonstrations
They featured a special offer for trade show attendees
They were energetic and projected a large presence
They asked patrons intelligent questions
They pitched proposals and partnerships
They avoided letting any one person monopolize their time
Although trade shows primarily draw business buyers, the personal touch always wins. Most businesses, especially larger corporations, downplay the necessity of engaging attendees and focus on other things like sponsorship, booth location, and marketing material.
“Trade shows are a lot like carnivals,” says Mike Devaney, a Seattle-based marketing consultant, “and the smart vendor is like a barker. They know what trade show attendees respond to and give it to them.”
“What too many vendors miss is that B2B buyers are just like the general public. They want to make a connection with YOU and usually aren't looking for MORE data. They could stay home for that! I tell clients to use the same tactics at a trade show as they use in their personal life – smiling, eye contact, listening.”
Smaller businesses that lack the warmth necessary for trade show success might draw the wrong conclusions. They could mistakenly think trade shows don't work for generating leads, or that they need to spend more money to get noticed. If they were to study the other vendors from last week's Seattle Chamber event, they would know neither is true.
Mike Devaney is a copywriter and small business consultant in Seattle, WA. He primarily works in the senior care industry. Contact him with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit him at http://www.mikedevaney.com/