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Old 26th September 2006, 04:57 PM   #11

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Default What Would P.T. Barnum Do?

I've been reading Joe Vitale's book, There's a Customer Born Every Minute, and it is amazing some of the outrageous things P. T. Barnum did to get attention. For instance, he had an elephant plow his fields in order to get the attention of passersby on the trains that ran by his property. Of course, he also ran a circus and a museum of oddities, so I'm not sure how much of that would apply to other businesses.

However, we are all aware of the overabundance of marketing messages and attempts we are being bombarded with today. It seems like our choices are to stand out or become invisible. I think we are all becoming more discriminating in what we choose to read, watch, listen to simply because there is so much to choose from. It has to be attention-grabbing or we quickly move on to something more appealing or fascinating.

On the other hand, it may be possible to overdo it. Can anyone think of an example of this?

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Old 28th September 2006, 06:47 PM   #12
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I'm a little bit late in contributing however for other readers one of the best things you can do to attract customers to your booth is do a pre-show mailing to potential attendees.

Do a special offer for stopping by booth # so and so and they'll flock to your booth.

I recommend it to my clients and it is what works on me.


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Old 26th October 2006, 08:36 PM   #13
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We had a client who was successful at trade shows because they would have 1 piece that was a new technology. I'm not wording that very well so i'll provide an example... He ran an AV company, so he brought in the new philips mirror tv.. you've probably seen them, it's a mirror when it's off, but a tv when it's on. We ran movies on it during the trade show, offered chairs to sit and watch..we made it look nice. A shag carpet, a vase with some fresh flowers... like a little living room for all those dragged to the home show by their spouse. Worked FABULOUSLY. We ended up having the radio dj's coming over offering free advertising, news broadcasters dropping by and even had an article on in the paper. Be different yes, but do something nice for your customers or potential customers in this case. You'd be surprised how effective it can really be.

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Old 23rd November 2006, 03:58 AM   #14

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Default Get 1 person to come by, and others will follow

For some reason, people always seem to approach your booth as long as someone else is already standing there. So, even if the current person is really a Non-Lead, keep them around with engaging conversation....about ANYTHING...until a better prospect comes by. A little brutal, but it does work. Learn to juggle multiple customers if possible, as that will also create a buzz for your booth.

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Old 3rd January 2007, 09:50 PM   #15

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For my 2 cents: I've attended numerous tradeshows in various industries and most often, the vendors send a postcard or other 'invitation' in advance of the show but they always include what they really want me to have: their institutional or marketing literature. Typically, the card is 'bring this card to booth xx for a chance to win a Superwidget." They know ahead of time who I am and the org I represent. They know I'm likely to be interested in their product. It's interesting to see how I have been 'profiled' by discovering who did NOT send me these advance attention-getters. Others have sent gimmicky things like 3 cards of a poker hand with the idea that a visit to their booth will get me the other cards to win something.

I would be careful about doing gimmicky things if they do nothing more than drag an otherwise disinterested person to your booth just to win a prize, clogging the area, taking your time with their obligatory interest and preventing real customers from approaching. Obviously there is something to be said for the exposure to someone who may later be an interested customer, but your time is too limited to ignore the ready-to-buy folks.

Your 'hook' has to match your target attendee or you'll just spend money entertaining a looker.

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Old 3rd April 2007, 10:01 PM   #16

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Hi everyone,

We were at a show last week in Vegas and tried this effect which packed our booth like you wouldn't believe. We used Sonic Rocks which are normally used for stress relievers, but when you throw them up in the air, because they are magnetic it makes this chirping noise. People eyes turned and came right over to see what they were. Once they came over we got to talking about their company and gather their information on what they needed for this upcoming year.

It was a sucessful technique for us and did the job for us! I am convinced any way to get the customers over to your booth is key. I walked around the show myself and noticed maybe 5% of the booths were doing something to bring the traffic over, it was unreal. It was like they were there just to be there. Please, please, please, if you are reading this, do something to get people over to you, it's crucial to make a trade show successful.

Another technique we used was we sent an email to our the attendee list. We had them bring this printed email to gain a free t-shirt, which worked very well for us. This technique gets people to your booth for something free and you get a chance to chat with them.

Good Luck!
Good Luck!

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Old 4th April 2007, 03:46 AM   #17
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Yes I attended the 2007 Hong Kong jewelry trade show. I'd even go so far as to say that only 2% of the vendors there where trying to actively get people into their booth. Really ashamed considering how much these companies pay to establish a booth there.

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Old 12th April 2007, 09:26 PM   #18
Steve Hoffacker

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I see a lot of responses about generating traffic, but what I don't see is what to do with the traffic when they arrive. What I typically see at the trade shows I attend are displays, gadgets, giveaways, contests, graphics, performers, and other means of getting people to stop by the booth (i.e. generate traffic) but almost no effort devoted to actually engaging those who stop by and talking with them about anything except the most superficial stuff. All the effort is on lead generation with no attempt (very little attempt) at discovery or learning people's needs. In fact sometimes I see how many booths I can attend without one person saying anything to me except maybe a hello - often it's virtually all of them. What a waste! It's one thing to have a list of names, stack of business cards, or data base from attendees at a show without any idea of their level of interest or if there ever was any interest short of getting the giveaway or registering for the prize - and quite another to have a list with a least some idea of who the most interested ones are and specifically what their interest is. This is the only way to do targeted post-event contact effectively.


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Old 16th April 2007, 04:18 PM   #19
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We had a promotion where we gave away bright yellow yardsticks (it was a farm show). Everyone could be seen walking around holding the big stick. It did result in more people coming to our booth but I found that the vast majority only wanted a yardstick - our salespeople could not get them to sit and chat about the products.

Another year, we had one of those "bring in this ad to get a FREE do-dad" - well, EVERYONE brought the ad in and we ran out of "do-dads" to give away 1/2 way through the show. Now everyone was upset but we took names (now that's a creative way to get leads) and promised to send them one later.

The best promo's are those that result in a sales conversation with the potential customer. We started taking some survey information so that we could get a sense of the market interest in our products. Many resulted in sales!

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Old 29th August 2007, 06:38 AM   #20

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Default Invitations is a big help

Invitations before the date of the IT show helps attract people to your booth.

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