You don’t become exclusive until you exclude. There is nothing more exciting than being on the invitation list of an exclusive event. Now imagine your shattered expectations when you arrive in your formals only to find a hastily placed bowl of candy on the table – and no one there to greet you with a warm welcome.
Ridiculous? Well, consider what is happening in your booth. Even though nobody is going to show up in their formals, they certainly DO have expectations of you at a trade show. Don’t disappoint them! Nothing communicates a more complete lack of style or consideration than the ubiquitous candy bowl. Could you POSSIBLY have put any LESS thought into serving your role as a host??
If you REALLY want to make a great impression – and the size and profile of your prospect base makes it cost-justified – consider offering a Hospitality Suite. Otherwise, consider the need for hospitality altogether. Hospitality encourages people to linger – and that might not serve you well. Your prospects will much prefer your sincere efforts in building a mutually profitable relationship – than by offering them a hunk of sugar. On behalf of all your customers, a candy bowl IS NOT hospitality!
Worse yet, a candy bowl encourages EVERYONE to stop – and might pull you into conversations with unqualified visitors. Unless EVERYONE is your prospect, you’re better off to free up the space for more productive sales related materials. If you MUST provide candy, then you should AT LEAST have it custom imprinted with a compelling message about what you have to offer. Otherwise FORGET IT.
This is the last article in the “Secrets of Trade Show Selling” series. If you take all 10 points into consideration when planning your show, you will be leaps and bounds ahead of your competition and have unprecedented success to show for all of the hard work and time that goes into trade show marketing.