The One-on-One Conference Presentation: 6 Trade Show Booth Tips

Posted by Elizabeth Levey
July 10, 2015

by Elizabeth Levey

elizabeth-levey-1Welcome back, readers!  In past posts, we’ve offered you an in-depth review of how to prepare to nail your conference presentation.  But sometimes, you might not be presenting to an auditorium full of people — you're giving a one-on-one presentation at your company's booth. What if you’re working the conference or trade show floor?  Think you don’t need to be mindful of your communication skills, that your giveaway water bottles and mouse pads will do the work for you? Well, think again…

1. Create a preshow plan.  Remember our audience analysis blog?  The same applies here.  Think about whom you’d like to attract to your booth, and who is likely to pass by.  Can you get a preregistration list of attendees?  If so, extend a personal invitation to your booth and give the attendee a reason to stop by — something new that they can’t get from the general sessions.

2. Keep your eye on the big picture. Familiarize yourself with the entire convention agenda. Be aware of keynote speakers, educational sessions and networking events. Create a strategy for yourself and attend as many as you can. Referencing these can serve as great icebreakers and talking points when attendees visit your booth.

3. Don’t forget to smile!  You’ll most likely have a lot of foot traffic passing your booth. A simple smile conference-presentation-trade_showand eye contact will engage passersby and hopefully draw them into your booth.

4. And along those lines, be approachable. Dig deep into your Business Etiquette toolbox.  Remember – perspective matters.  Refrain from eating in the trade show booth, checking your smart phone, or holding extended conversations with coworkers. These types of behavior may seem rude or uninviting to the passersby.

5. Keep your questions open-ended. Your goal should be to encourage the prospect to talk about themselves or their company, so that you can tailor your presentation to their interests.

6. Take notes for follow-up.  They don’t have to be long or detailed, but just enough so your follow-up can be most effective.  And make sure your follow-up is timely, so your prospect doesn’t have the chance to forget you.

Just because you’re in a booth, doesn’t mean you’re not presenting.  All of your strong presentation technique still comes into play – remember, your visual and vocal communication comprise 93% of the impression you’ll make on your booth visitors.  Make sure that 93% empowers the remaining 7%  your content.  After all, your message is far more important than any swag you may have to hand out.


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