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Lessons Exhibitors Can Learn From Reality TV

lessons-reality-tvI admit it, I watch reality TV!

My current obsessions are the A&E and TLC Foxtel Channels.  While tuning in for my regular fix of Storage Wars and Man Vs. Food I came across a show called Bar Rescue.

On the show, Jon Taffer is a bar and nightclub owner who has started, flipped, or owned over 600 bars and clubs in his career.  Jon travels around the USA and employs his expertise to return struggling bars to the profitable businesses they once were.  Everything from the science of the perfect pour, to the height of the bar stools is a key factor in making a bar the hottest place in town.  While watching it was evident that many of the issues tackled in Bar Rescue apply to exhibiting at Trade Shows.

An Effective Menu

This comes up a lot on Bar Rescue and it seems pretty simple: a menu should attract your customer’s eye to the most profitable items on your menu.

Does your trade show display attract your potential and actual client’s eye to your stand?  Does it outline the key products and/or services you provide?  Are you promoting the most profitable products or services you supply?

Trained and Efficient Staff

On Bar Rescue if the staff are not trained on how to pour the correct sized drink, upsell the menu or get food out quickly and efficiently – the bar loses money and opportunity.

If your booth staff are not trained and briefed on your trade show objectives will they effectively and efficiently qualify leads?  Will they maximize their time with every conversation on the stand?  Will they effectively engage your prospects and clients visiting your booth? Do they know what items to upsell from your menu?

Train and brief your staff in a pre-event meeting to ensure you meet your return on investment at your next show.

Atmosphere for Visitors to Stay a Little Longer

This is another item that just seems so simple, but often the simple things get overlooked.  In a bar, things like comfortable seating, good sightlines to large screens, fast and efficient service and areas for conversation are things that make patrons stay longer and order more food and drinks.

Does you trade show booth graphically, architecturally and functionally create the atmosphere you would like your visitors to experience?  Does it facilitate conversation?  Does the positioning of your products or audio visual entice and make your visitors hang around for that conversation?

I hope in admitting my vice, you too found some valuable lessons that can be learned from Reality TV!


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 Exhibit Marketers are always faced with new challenges and responsibilities. To learn and find advice about how to handle these challenges from your peers in exhibiting, get your copy of the Evolving Role Of Exhibit Marketers, a 34-page white paper.  Click here to request your free copy.

About the Author

Samantha Heyden was the Marketing Manager for Skyline Displays Australia before retiring.

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