How to Engage Visitors at Your Booth

Many first time and infrequent exhibitors are unsure what is the most effective way to engage a person when they walk by the booth. We encourage exhibitors to treat a visitor as they would a guest at their home. Welcome them, take a genuine interest in them and look for ways to serve them.

We encourage exhibitors to use icebreakers that put the focus of the conversation on the visitor, rather than on the company, product or service they are trying to sell. Openers such as “What brings you to the show today” will get the prospect talking about their needs and in the process may reveal an opportunity for you to demonstrate how you can help them. Since the majority of attendees have spent weeks planning to attend the show, most will be able to articulate what they hope to learn from it. Whereas asking “what brings you to our booth” may put the person on the defensive and elicit the dreaded “I’m just looking” reply.

On the other hand, some visitors may take the initiative, walk up and ask, “So tell me what does your company do.” Rather than recite the laundry list of your product features, we find it more effective to pick one or two compelling benefits that will strongly resonate with your audience.

In order to do so, you need to have done some advance research into the type of people attending the show and the key challenges they are facing. For example, if you are exhibiting at a teacher’s conference, you might reply “We help teachers make math fun.” If you are at a small business show you might say, “We help companies find the money to grow.” This short, but compelling statement, will almost always tease the person into asking for more.

The number of ways to engage booth visitors is limited only by your imagination. Bodden Partners has over 40 years’ experience designing and implementing booth traffic programs. If you would like help with an upcoming event, meeting or trade show, contact us for a free consultation.

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