10 Steps to get more business from a consumer Expo

Certainly the fee you pay a promoter for space at a consumer expo like Brides and Grooms Expo, as well as the time, supplies and staffing costs, are a serious investment for most businesses. There are steps you can take to maximize your investment and leverage your resources and skills to a competitive advantage. Many exhibitors do not consistently adhere to all of the following steps, which are neither exclusive nor comprehensive. These are simply the BASIC rules, and you’d be surprised at how many folks don’t even follow them.

10. Smile and make eye contact. Simple, huh? I’ve been running expos since 2000 and we always see this rule broken (along with #9). Special events good and services are personal services. It does not matter if your artistry or venue or food or product is the best on the market if you turn off customers. They have to like and trust you first, so forget about selling for a few seconds, work on likeability. Then at least they will hear your message. If they don’t want you, they don’t want what you’re selling.

9. Stand, don’t sit. We see this all the time. Most vendors who have consistently poor results from expos have problems with this or #10. Put the phone down, stand up, make eye contact and turn on the charm!

8. Ask customers a question. Congratulations, have you picked a photographer yet? Do you have a venue selected? Would you like to hear more about our coffee bar? Who is making your cake? try to make any follow up questions open ended.

7. Have an attractive display with clear and concise signage. So important for many businesses, particularly those with choices, multiple products or useages, unusual or unorthodox services, etc. You have about seven seconds to get a customer’s attention and make a connection. A very clean and clear display is helpful as a visual cue. Use a simple, clear tag line or logo, if the logo is recognizable or conveys the substance of your message. Otherwise you have to use gimmicks to attract customers to your display when a clearly understood message may work better.

6. Samples and giveaways. These work like magic. Food and nice prizes, even candy and pens. The nicer the giveaway, the more attraction it has. But be sure to display it, don’t hide it.

5. Groomed and presentable. Again, we shouldn’t even have to put this one down, but we have seen it violated. You are selling a personal service, yourself or someone else on your team, to serve customers for or at a wedding. And first impressions are everything in this field.

4. Good literature. As a takeaway, nothing beats a good brochure. Sure, it’s got to be up online as well, but a brochure or post card is a tangible reminder of you and your services, and they are another reflection on your professional appearance, standing and demeanor. When the customer is ready to make the cricial decision, “pull the trigger” on the purchase or booking, you want to be on the short list or top contenders for their business.

3. Date book. Many people do not expect to book a date right at a wedding show, but it happens all the time. You don’t want to hesitate when they are waiving a check at you, so take your date book.

2. Arrive and be ready on time. At every expo, someone either does not show, shows up last minute or late. There are already customers in the room, so they are missing some opportunities, as well as displaying a disregard for timeliness to witnesses. Not a great selling point.

1. Don’t leave early. It makes everyone look bad, and there are always late customer arrivals. You are cheating yourself of opportunities you’ve paid for, as well showing customers and your industry peers, who may be in a position to offer referrals, that you just don’t care. yes, stuff happens, and the kids may need to be picked up or a gig starts at 6 pm. But it still looks bad to the rest of the crowd, so please plan carefully.

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