Exhibiting at trade shows is a lot like using the popular dating app, Tinder.
If you’ve never used Tinder before, here’s (briefly) how it works:.
- Photos of nearby users appear on your screen.
- You make a split-second judgement to hook-up (swipe right), or ignore (swipe left.).
- Rinse & Repeat.
Attendee behavior at tradeshows is essentially the same:
- They walk down the aisle and see images of booths.
- They make a split-second decision to hook-up (step in), or ignore (walk by).
- Rinse & Repeat.
Seasoned exhibitors know they only have seconds to “hook” an attendee and compel them to want to learn more. You may get a little more time if you’re an established brand, but preconceptions about who you are and what you offer can actually make it harder to get updated messages heard.
To optimize attendee connections and thrive in today’s Tinder-like tradeshow atmosphere, follow these dating basics:
Cast your “Line.” Have a great opening, and don’t be afraid to take it to the aisles (show-rules permitting). Your opening message should be well-defined, well-rehearsed, and let attendees know in seconds who you are, what you do, and what you can do for them.
Set the Hook: Tell a good story. Would you rather hear about how great an organization is, or a brief real-world example of their solutions in action? A powerful solution story helps an attendee quickly appreciate the value you deliver.
Reel them in. Focus on them … their challenges, their wants, their needs. When it’s all about them, they’ll be much more inclined to remain in the conversation.
Bring it home. Have a clear set of next steps; setting a conference call, arranging an onsite demo, or signing them up for a trial. The point is, never be unsure what to do next.
Of course, like dating, you’ll face many unforeseen challenges, but if the basics are sound, your successes will increase.
So break out the Altoids, bring your “A” game, and be home by midnight.