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Upset the Status Quo

One of your company’s biggest competitors isn’t another company at all… it’s the status quo. Today’s companies and the people who “are” the company, don’t have time or energy to change. Change is scary. Making the wrong change can cost you your job! You have heard the old adage, “better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know.” That seems to be true in today’s business climate, now more than ever. So, upsetting the status quo enough to garner a change is a serious obstacle to any sales organization.

Change, Same Green Road Sign Over Dramatic Clouds and Sky.

Enter, the Trade Show! American Business Media reports that 81% of trade show attendees are at the show to see new products and services. Attendees have paid money and given up valuable time to see what’s “new” in their industry. “New” is the opposite of the status quo. Although it may seem subtle, attendees have a more open mindset to “change” at a trade show.

If you can capture their attention, effectively show the benefits of your “new” product or service, and make it easy for them to do business with you, then you have created the energy necessary for change.

Capture Attention – Create an immersive experience that will draw attendees in and that they will remember weeks after the event.

  1. Design your exhibit with the demographics of your target audience in mind
  2. Engage all of the senses – don’t forget touch and even smell and taste along with sight and sound

Create Effective Demos

  1. Position them where they can be easily seen from the aisle
  2. Make sure that you have experts there to do the demo and that they practice to create a polished presentation
  3. Make sure you allow enough space for the product(s) to be demoed, the people to do the demo and room for attendees
  4. Make sure you have enough stations to effective demo to the number of attendees expected
  5. Make sure you have other staffers (sales people) at each demo station to capture contact info (leads) if the demo can’t be done by the sales people.

Follow Up and Make it Easy for Your Prospects to Change

1. CEIR tells us that 79% of all trade show leads are never follow up on

  • a. So, create a follow up plan before the event
  • b. Make sure that you have the necessary materials to follow up with
  • c. Make sure the people responsible for following up know who they are and what the expectations for follow up are
  • d. Make sure your booth staffers capture necessary information for effective follow up
  • A business card is not a lead.

2. Work with management to eliminate or at least minimize any obstacles to doing business with your company. (i.e. offer special terms to trade show attendees)

3. Use “show incentives” – offer discounts or value added items at no charge for attendees that participate in a demo at the show, good for up to 4 weeks after the event.

Trade show attendees are looking for new business partners. Give attendees the nudge they need to make a change and you can see huge rewards in today’s risk averse business culture.


Check out the Better Booth Staffing for Greater Trade Show Results white paper. This book is half geared to increasing skills and perspectives of individual booth staffers, and have geared for the trade show manager and the trainer that has to prepare the booth staff for their company. Learn how to practice successful booth etiquette and why the correct booth staff is so important for your show. Click here for your free copy.

About the Author

Philip Foust was the VP of Growth & Development for Skyline-Holt Exhibits + Events.

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