By the time doors open on a trade show floor, it can feel like all the important work has been accomplished.
- The perfect agenda has been created
- Attendees to target have been identified and invited to your exhibit
- Your partner trade show booth design company has created a stellar booth, including engagement activities to ensure optimal interaction
- Your staff is primed to meet all show objectives
While the pre-show work is behind you, tasks that determine the ultimate success of the show begins with opening day of the event.
One of the reasons trade shows can be so effective is that they give various stakeholders an opportunity to meet face-to-face. With so much of business now being conducted via phone, email and internet, the opportunity to gather in one location can make a large impression on everyone involved. Most guests have likely attended numerous trade shows before and seen dozens of custom trade show exhibits, and it can feel hard to determine ways to stand out from the crowd.
While the majority of show attendees say they attend shows to learn about products and industry trends, what people typically remember is the experience. Acting as a host for attendees can help them to feel cared for, leaving a lasting impression.
Most people think of entertaining clients and business prospects in the context of a nice steakhouse, some cocktails, or a small networking event. While these can be effective and have their place, sometimes it helps to think outside of the box.
Keep reading for some unique ways to host your clients and other targeted attendees at your next event.
During the days of the trade show, look up some fun things to do. Concerts, Broadway shows, museum visits, stadium tours, and local tourist attractions are all good ideas.
You may also want to treat special targets to a sporting event by getting box seats to a football, baseball, or hockey game, getting paddock seats at a racing event, or going to a big gold tournament like the Masters or a tour championship.
These can often be great bonding activities that make clients feel more like friends than business partners, and they will associate the host with the good time that they had at the event.
Make Them Feel at Home
Often, clients are traveling to an unfamiliar city, and while they may have done some research on the best places to visit, a local tour guide is always the best option.
Identify any local activities or landmarks that may be interesting and plan an outing. Again, the attendee will associate the event with the good time they had or the unique experience you helped create when they wouldn’t have done it for themselves. If there are any local festivals happening during the trade show, this can be an excellent opportunity for entertainment as well.
Even if attendees elect to go to these events on their own, providing vouchers or suggested itineraries can help them to feel comfortable exploring the city.
Treat Them Like VIPs
No matter how many people are attending a trade show, they all want to feel important. All attendees should leave feeling like they received special treatment.
Simple acts like a warm greeting or a brief personal exchange can make a difference in how an attendee remembers your exhibit and their experience with your brand. Introducing clients to colleagues and each other can also imply their importance and facilitate relationship-building for all.
Additionally, since they are a guest, attendees should be treated with extreme hospitality. Offering to grab any drinks or snacks for a client or helping them with any questions can make all the difference.
You may also want to treat clients and certain targeted attendees to a high-end after-hours dinner, host an event that includes exclusive entertainment, or set up a hospitality space for them at the event.
When It Comes to Promotional Items, Think Ahead
The hope is that after a great trade show, clients return to work motivated to take the next step with your company. While this should always be the case, trade shows can often be overwhelming with a large number of vendors, and being the one to stand out is important.
When deciding on items to give away at your exhibit, think about things attendees will use beyond their time at the conference, and even outside of the office. Using go-to items can keep an organization top of mind for a client. This can be the difference between making a lasting impression at a trade show or not.
Planning a trade show can be a daunting task—before, during, and after the event itself. Exhibitus is here to support you. Our dedicated teams handle the details, allowing exhibitors to focus on what’s most important—the attendee experience. To learn more about how a trade show event can be smooth and stress-free, contact us today.