Standing out at the trade show is an exercise in swimming upstream. You can be dwarfed by larger, more elaborate booths, overpowered by loud neighbors, or missed entirely because of poor traffic flow. But in an exhibition hall full of cheap giveaways and gimmicks, you also have the opportunity to make a unique and memorable impression by the way you address your visitors and conduct your business.
Consumers are demanding more personalization, perhaps as a reaction to mass production, and while they still want low-cost goods, they are insisting on being catered to. How does your business tailor your product or service to the consumer? To a wholesale buyer? Draw them to your booth with a hint that it is here, at this particular trade show display, that they will find a tailored product, a personalized approach, and a concierge to the business.
The trade show opportunity is key in another area of personalization, the person-to-person start-to-finish relationship. Staffing the booth is an opportunity to introduce yourself and your business, but it’s also a way to introduce the way you handle customer relations. Be knowledgable about your product, yes, but ask questions about your customer. Gather information to make their experience richer, to make sure they’re getting exactly the product or service they need, and to discover ways to tailor their visit to your booth so that they feel uniquely cared for. Follow up in a day or two, calling them by name, and recalling bits of the conversation so the are assured you’re talking to them as an individual, not just a 3×5 card follow-up. When a human connection is felt, consumers are more likely to be inspired by a product.
A refrigerator magnet is nice, but isn’t going to result in a long-term customer unless it’s accompanied by the memory of a shared connection. Time to put humanity back in marketing. Get to know your customers, truly, and they’ll love getting to know you and your business.