It's All About that Booth
You know you have the best product out there, but trying to convince the throngs of people marching past your booth is like trying to convince them to pluck out their own teeth! What the heck is the problem?
Here’s the thing that is going to be hard to accept. The problem is likely you. Maybe your booth isn’t interesting looking. Maybe you aren’t doing enough to engage the crowd. Don’t worry! Making a profit at a convention or other event is something that anybody can learn to do.
Here are some tips that you can use.
Build a Really Really Great Booth
It is not enough to show up to your table, stack some products or brochures on it and expect the sales to follow. You need to decorate! You need to make your table look different than the tables and booths that surround you. Even if you could only afford a small table in merchant alley, there are things that you can do to create an intriguing display.
Create Depth: So many people focus on just the table itself. If you want to get people’s attention, you need to use all of the space allotted to you. This means that you’ll want to put up at least one or two banner stands. Banner stands are essential because they speed up your setup and breakdown times and are reusable, so if you treat them well, you won’t have to buy new banners or stands for every event. If the event will let you, set up a tall sign or banner in front of your booth.
Create Height: Your banners and stands will help with that, but you also need to create height on the table. Use fabric crates, small shelving units, tall display stands, etc to give your table layers on which to display your products and information.
Use Your Own Signs: The event will likely provide you with a placard that has your business name on it. Put that somewhere else. Design your own table length banner to hang on the front of your table.
Stand Up and Reach Out
If you’re just sitting there, playing on your phone, nobody is going to come up and talk to you. Wear some comfortable shoes and do your best to stand up for most of the day. People who are standing are easier to approach than those who are sitting.
It is generally seen as poor form to shout at people and beg them to stop at your booth. A better approach is to pick something out about a person and compliment it. Calling out “I like your shirt!” is perfectly acceptable because it gets the person’s attention but doesn’t force them to come over and talk to you (though most will). If nothing else, simply say “Hi there!” to whoever makes eye contact or gets close enough to your table to hear you.
Bribery is Your Best Bet
Make sure you have something that people can grab for free at your booth. Convention and conference attendees love swag. It doesn’t have to be a large or expensive something. Buttons, pens and pencils, notepads, stickers, cheap tote bags--these are all welcomed and appreciated. And, while they’re looking at your freebie, you can give them your elevator pitch. It works for both of you!
Making events work for you is as much about you working for yourself as it is anything else. If you are uncomfortable with design or talking to people, hire someone to do those things for you! With practice you’ll figure out how to make each event you attend as profitable as possible.
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*Image courtesy of SOMMAI at FreeDigitalPhotos.net