Not Getting Enough Visitors to Your Trade Show Display? Here’s Why.

Few things are more frustrating than hanging out at a trade show booth, watching foot traffic pass by, and wondering why no one stops to talk. Here are a few possible reasons you’re not seeing enough visitors and how to correct these issues.

Your display lacks eye-catching draw 

At a trade show, you have mere seconds to grab the attention of a passerby. If no one glances your way, there’s a good chance your booth is missing that eye-catching draw.  

Often, the issue is lack of or ineffectual signage. You need signage that is: 

  • Highly visible and legible from a distance
  • Targeted to the needs of your potential clients
  • Clear in its messaging without a lot of complicated terminologies
  • Solution-oriented, so attendees know the value your company provides

As mentioned above, when creating your signage – and all booth graphics – it is essential to speak directly to your target audience. That will mean that a significant segment of the crowd will continue to pass by you. That’s ok. You don’t need to grab every attendee, just the right attendees.  

You’re at the show, but your target audience isn’t 

Trade show apathy – attending the same shows year after year – is often the worst thing for a trade show program. If you’ve perfected your trade show display and you’re still not getting enough visitors, likely not enough people at the show need your products or services.   

You need to find the shows that your target audience attends.  

Finding the right trade shows for your company can be a labor-intensive task. However, once accomplished, you have a comprehensive database of every trade show list that will benefit your program now and in the future.  

There are several resources to help you discover trade shows. Check with your current customers to see which shows they attend. Thoroughly review prospectuses and industry literature. Speak directly to show organizers. Finding the right shows for your company is a rewarding process that results in a robust trade show program. 

For more details on choosing the right trade shows for your company, including a list of questions to ask show organizers, check out this blog.

Your booth staff is dropping the ball 

It is not possible to over-stress the importance of the role your booth staff plays. Six months after an event, 80% of what visitors to your trade show booth remember about your company is based on their interactions with your booth staff. If you want to make a positive, lasting impression, it begins with your personnel. 

If your booth staffers face away from the aisle, stand with their arms crossed, lean against exhibit graphics, or stare at their screens, they create an uninviting atmosphere. Attendees are much less likely to approach your booth.  

On the other hand, if your staff makes eye contact, smiles, and greets visitors as they approach, that produces a warm, hospitable ambiance that makes visitors want to stop by your display. 

However, the right atmosphere is only half the battle. Your visitors won’t stick around too long if they ask a question and your staff hems and haws, looks confused, or tells them to hang on because another staffer has the answer. Your staff must be knowledgeable enough about your products and services to answer every visitor’s questions.  

Ensure your staff understands how to behave while managing the booth and is fully versed in your products and services. A few months before your event, plan a series of training sessions with your booth staff. If your company exhibits multiple times a year, consider establishing a regular schedule of booth training sessions.

For step-by-step instructions for getting your team ready for your next trade show, click here

Your display lacks engagement 

Some attendees need a little motivation to head to a booth. Give your company every advantage by including some engaging activities.  

One option is to include some gamification elements. People like games because they stimulate a person’s mind – literally. Playing games can cause dopamine levels in the brain to increase as much as 100 percent. Some ideas include a prize wheel, raffle, trivia challenge, photo contest, or virtual reality experience.  

Another option is to perform product demonstrations. Demonstrations, especially when performed by an energetic staffer, are a great way to draw a crowd. Not only do demos allow attendees to see your products in action, but they can ask questions and (when possible) interact with it. Nothing shows the effectiveness of your merchandise like witnessing it firsthand.  

Finally, consider handing out some branded swag. If you do, however, make sure it is something meaningful to your target audience. While everyone loves freebies, many trade show handouts wind up in hotel room trash cans. When your swag is a thoughtful reflection of your brand, it is much more likely to resonate with your target audience – and remain in their possession. 

You forgot to tell anyone about your exhibit 

Today’s trade show attendees hastily dart around the show floor because they know where they want to be and when. If you fail to let attendees know you’re exhibiting, you’ve missed a valuable opportunity to get on their schedule. 

Promote your trade show display before the show opens. Start with a memorable hashtag, something that distinctly links you to the event. Then, reach out to current and prospective customers. Next, develop an email campaign and take advantage of emails sent by the show, too. Be sure to utilize the social media platforms that your target audience prefers. Finally, create a personal campaign that lets your most important clients and prospects know where you’ll be and gives them a reason to visit your exhibit. 

We all make mistakes. The goal is to both correct these errors and not make them again. Reach out to The Trade Group, and see how we can improve your display. Please call 972-734-8585 or contact us here.

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