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Why Should the Attendee Choose You?

Trade shows house a plethora of your industry competitors. It’s no secret that in order to make your investment worthwhile, you have to show up and prove to be more worthy than your competition. So how do you do that?

Let’s start by defining your business. Who are you? What do you do exactly? And why on earth should a potential customer choose you over your major competitor?


Who are you? This sounds like an obvious question, but for most exhibiting businesses it is the question that never gets asked. Or, if it does, many times it is not thorough or honest. It’s absolutely imperative to know who you are as a company and communicate that personality appropriately to the target audience. Your trade show display should reflect the answer to this question through it’s design, colors, message, and so on. What you exhibit should also show who you are.

What do you do exactly? Great. Above we communicated we’re the happiest most fabulous company on the planet, and if you don’t believe us, just look at the cheer of our palette and branding gestures. Ha. Again, that’s great, but what is it that do you do?

What you do in a general sense isn’t good enough. It needs to be exactly what you do. Make it easy and obvious for your audience, especially at trade shows where all the noise and overabundance of visual activity is distracting. It doesn’t mean you can’t be creative, but just make sure the message is clear and that they can gather the information they’re seeking at first glance. Remember most people are lazy by nature and are not going to work to figure out your message or what it is that you do. If it is not clear, that attendee is going to walk by you, and there goes a potential customer.

Why should they choose you? I wish I had a dollar for every time I saw the deer in the headlights look when I have asked customers this question over the last twenty years. And, I wish I had a second dollar for every time they realized they had never thought it over and simply replied, “Because we’re nice.” I’d be retired.

Seriously, why should companies choose you over your competition? What makes you so different? I have many times drawn three squares in a row on a piece of paper and labeled the center square as the trade show space, and the squares to the right and left as the number one and number two competition. If this was the case at your next trade show, why should a particular attendee choose to speak with and want to work with you over the other guys? This is where it gets down to the nitty gritty and the differences come out to play—good or bad. The real story is told here and we find out what should be emphasized or not and help you make your compelling case.

Look in the mirror before you go to your next trade show. Make sure you ask yourself who you are as a company, what you do exactly, and why companies do and should choose you over the competition. These are great conversation points and will really help you adjust your goals and your message. Now, ensure that your exhibit communicates clearly and appropriately with the right personality and that your show staff exudes those same qualities.

Make your case. I promise you success.

new book-social mediaTo help you get even more attendees into your booth, read the Using Promotions & Social Media To Get More Trade Show Visitors white paper. By incorporating the above 3 questions into your marketing, exhibiting, and promotions, you’re bound to have an extremely successful show! Click here for your free copy. 

About the Author

Kevin Jahr is a Creative Consultant and Sales Consultant for Skyline Displays Midwest in Burnsville, MN. His skills span simple consultation to heavily involved design completion. Kevin has over 20 years of experience in the trade show industry.

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