So many companies and people think that when they sign up for a trade show that there will be sufficient marketing done by the show producer, and because of this, they will have plenty of activity at their booth.
The fact of the matter is that no trade show producer guarantees that you will have activity at your booth. No trade show producer will guarantee you will get any orders from the show either. A trade show producer is just selling you space at this trade show. Everything else you have to provide. You as the Exhibitor have to make the investment to contact your Clients, Prospects and Suspects to invite that to the trade show and to stop by your booth. There are some interesting statistics that state that many people were asked why they didn’t attend a particular trade show and the answer that they got back in most cases was that no one invited them. People want to be invited, they want to know that if they go to a specific trade show that there will be someone there that they will know, and that will be interested in seeing them.
Why do people go to trade shows? To me, it is because it is neutral ground. I am not in this person office and he is not in my office. The attendee can come up to your booth, listens to your presentation, and if after a few minutes he or she realizes that this is not something of interest for their company they can just move on. If that same person was in your office and halfway through your presentation, realizes that this is not the product for their company, it is very hard for that individual to just get up and leave. Besides being impolite, it would certainly not give a good impression of your company. It is a known fact that the average attendee spends 8.5 hours at a trade show and visits over 25 booths. Figure it out; it would take you a lot longer to visit those companies on a one on one basis, where you traveled to their individual offices.
What you don’t want to happen…and certainly a most embarrassing situation, is to have one of your company’s major clients stop in front of your booth and announce to anyone from the company that is listening, “I didn’t know that you were going to be exhibiting at this trade show” You have, in effect, told one of your major clients that they didn’t think that they were important enough to make them aware that you were exhibiting at this trade show. That you in effect were concentrating only on new business. Remember, your booth is not just for them…you never know who they know.