When it comes to attendees at your trade shows, they are hoping to soak in all of the information and knowledge that they can. They are hoping to see new innovations and find new products that fit their needs. What they aren’t hoping for is to have to put in a ton of work and find themselves in conversations that they aren’t connecting to.
One way that you can make their lives easier as they stroll through your booth is to make your communication easy, effective, and appealing.From verbal conversations with your attendees to the messaging used in your exhibit, the communication you use matters. Here are a few ways that you can make sure you’re using appealing and compelling communication at your next trade show.
Simple messaging may be best.A clean and minimal design will always draw eyes quicker than an elaborate, bogged-down design that’s difficult to follow. That’s why it is important for your exhibit to make a quick first impression with strategic and impactful messaging.
Easy messaging is important in trade shows, and you should think of your exhibit as a billboard rather than a brochure. Picture your attendees walking down the aisles like you would a person driving their car down the street; they don’t have time to pull over to read overly wordy billboards. Keep it short and to the point to help them absorb your messaging quickly so they can make an easy decision if they are interested in stopping to say hello and find out more. We elaborate on this here and share more about this analogy.
Keeping messages inside your booth under 50 words is also a great way to get to the point of what you are saying. A prospect seeing this messaging should know right off the bat if you are a contender in their search.
Hone the traits and skills of a good presenter.Having a good presentation prepared is a must, but a good presenter will really hit it home for your audience. There are plenty of traits that differentiate a good presenter from a great one, and we’ll chat about a few of them here!
The first is owning and organizing their time. It is important for your presenters to understand the allotted time for a presentation and make the best use of each of those minutes.
Another key trait of a great presenter is bringing positive energy to the room. Some people just come with this trait naturally, making them a great asset to a trade show staffing team. Someone who is very passionate and engaging will also have an upbeat presence to them. This is someone who can humanize your business’s presentation, rather than reading word for word from a slideshow. They may also have a lot of experience with your business and can share their own past experiences with clients for the audience to really relate to.
A great presenter is able to think on their feet. When follow-up questions start, they’re going to need to be prepared to support the ideas of your company while being open to feedback.
They understand what matters to their audience and what motivates them. Making sure your presenter knows the big picture of what they’re sharing will ensure that they’re connecting it to real-world scenarios. This lets the audience connect and information becomes more appealing to them when they’re able to relate on a personal level.
A prepared staff is a well-spoken staff.You really want to ensure that your staff is well-trained as they will be speaking with highly qualified buyers. Being able to speak in a way that is easy for attendees to digest is key. It is also important to keep conversations compelling. Training your booth staff on products and services that you’re marketing will help them to communicate clearly and intelligently about them. If they are passionate in the way they speak and are able to connect with your attendees, then their communication will also be more compelling!
Training your staff to engage in active listening is another communication skill that attendees will appreciate. Conversations aren’t just a one-way street, so it’s important to welcome feedback and listen to questions fully.
Letting someone completely finish their question before butting in to respond, fully understanding their question rather than brainstorming a response before they’ve even finished speaking and listening for key emotions are just a few ways to be a good listener.
Read more here about how listening can play a huge role in your trade show marketing success (and get a few more tips on training your booth staff to be better listeners!)
Authentic communication is appealing.No trade show staff is going to be perfectly polished and have every answer in the book for the questions or concerns that come their way. However, authenticity will win every time.
The best types of people to have on your trade show team are those who can be authentic and real in their conversations.
Being able to add humor and vulnerability into a conversation reminds attendees that they’re speaking to a real person. This helps to build on relationships and trust. Plus, isn’t it so much easier to speak with someone in a normal, flowing conversation rather than feeling like you’re talking to someone who seems scripted and rehearsed?
Attendees want to be heard, and if they feel like they’re speaking to a robot with rehearsed responses, they won’t feel the connection they’re hoping for.
Don’t forget that body language is a huge part of communication.Training your booth staff to be aware of their own body language as well as taking note of attendee body language is another key to connecting with your audience. Non-verbal communication can help you promote trust as well. Having good eye contact is always a must for your staff.
Facial expressions, such as being able to keep a smile on their face will ensure your audience feels the upbeat and positive energy from your staff. This also includes taking facial cues from your audience to tell if they’re comprehending your information and fully interested.
Posture is another important aspect of body language – keeping your head high and shoulders back with your body open to someone rather than turned slightly away will show confidence and openness. This is in comparison to standing cross-armed which can seem defensive or closed off.
You should also ensure that your staff keeps their hands out of their pockets and avoids touching their neck or shoulders or rubbing their hands together – this can convey that they may feel anxious or uncomfortable.
There are so many ways to communicate in a way that’s appealing to your trade show audience. To recap:
- Simple messaging outside your booth will be most compelling to attendees.
- Find a presenter who is able to make use of their time, brings energy to the room, can think on their feet, and understand the needs of your audience.
- Make sure your staff is well-prepared to share information clearly and understands the importance of listening.
- Remind your staff to be authentic in their conversations.
- Remind your booth staffers that their body language should come across as friendly and as engaging as possible. They should also be on alert to body language cues from your audience.