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How to Use a Coping Mechanism to Interact with Attendees in Your Trade Show Booth

You want people to stop by your trade show booth. When they do, are you equipped with the tools of interaction?

First, let’s take a quick tour of neuroeconomics.

Neuroeconomics is an emerging field that combines economics with biology neuroscience and psychology.

In a series of studies spanning across 9 years, Dr. Paul J. Zak found that Oxytocin (aka the cuddle drug) is the “social glue that binds families, communities and societies.” Hence, it acts as a lubricant in our every day capitalistic commerce of trade and transaction.

This is the KEY FINDING:

  • Oxytocin is the recognized human stimulant of empathy, generosity and trust. Empathy is an essential catalyst in triggering meaningful interactions and relationships with your audience. Above all empathy is contagious and detectable.
  • When you demonstrate an awareness and understanding of the challenges that your audience faces, you are empowering them to ask the tough questions. As a result, their attention focuses on your brand and your message.
  • To garner empathy, you must first educate yourself what moves your audience, your industry – then communicate value and create a sense of belonging. You and your brand truly have to become the people you are trying to reach.

In a trade show venue, if you and your sales team are trying to understand the people you are trying to reach, you need understand their mindset. After all, the people attending the event will have their own agendas and you’ll need to know how to work with that.

Your sales reps need to understand how to work effectively with the attendees of the show, and to do that they need to know a few secrets.

Don’t Rely Exclusively on Your Trade Show Display to Do the Work for You

Obviously, a well-planned and effective trade show booth is important for some success at your event. But that’s just the beginning!

Here is a list of possible emotions and moods the visitors are probably going through during a show. Be prepared to meet them with empathy and engage them appropriately.

  • If the attendee seems impatient. If their offices are sending them to trade shows, chances are the attendees are influential – and busy! They don’t have time to waste and they’ll want you to get to the point without too much schmoozing. Be polite, of course, but also be concise. If a visitor to your booth feels like you’re just wasting their time, they won’t want to stick around and do business with you.
  • If the attendee seems forgetful. Like we said, these are busy people, and they’ll have a million details to keep track of. Remember, you’re not the only vendor they will talk to at the show! Do as much as you can right there at the booth to close the deal so that they don’t have to remember all of the details once they get back to the office. Do the work for them so they won’t have to remember to do it themselves.
  • If the attendee seems hassled. Convention goers are surrounded in every direction by vendors who want their business. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and irritable with all that commotion, and when you’re in that frame of mind it’s hard to keep details straight. Remind your sales staff to keep things as simple and straight forward as possible to make it easy on the clients. Make the conversation about their needs and let them steer the conversation. If you do not have a solution, point out to the vendor who does have. Do not waste their time.
  • If the attendee seems hesitant. Visitors to your display are not ignorant. They can see your signs and brochures perfectly well. But with so many options surrounding them, they might need a gentle nudge toward signing a deal. Offer some nice incentives to move them in the right direction, but don’t give them the hard sell! Again, remember that they have lots of options, and if the sales staff pushes too hard, they might just push those clients away altogether. Give them straightforward reasons of how you can reach their needs and talk with them enough where they feel that the choice is clear.
  • If the attendee seems egotistical. With so many vendors fighting for their business, trade show attendees have the upper hand and they know it! So go out of your way to make them feel special and give yourself the extra edge that you need.

Know that 81% of trade show attendees have buying authority (and being ego driven comes with the territory). Which means more than 4 out of 5 people walking the aisles are potential customers for exhibitors. (Source: CEIR: The Spend Decision: Analyzing How Exhibits Fit Into The Overall Marketing Budget)

Start before the convention by asking your marketing team to contact your regular clients and offer an incentive to customers who visit your trade show display. Also, if your existing customers send a referral, that deal will be extended to them as well. In addition, offer exclusive discounts for serious buyers for new clients who seem interested. A little flattery will get you far.

The very best trade show display booth and location won’t do you any good at all if you don’t work it right. Always remember to see the situation from your customer’s point of view, and that will give your staff the edge that they need to stand out from the crowd.

About the Author

Sarmistha Tarafder is the Creative Director and Choice Architect for Skyline Northern California trade show exhibits. She is the co-creator of brands in 3D spaces.

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