This past Saturday I had a table at a local trade show/craft fair, and had great results meeting some new potential customers and clients. In the facility with 29 other vendors, I saw varying degrees of interest in selling and promoting services. The approach by the most successful was to offer a pleasant greeting when people came by, and by taking a passive but professional approach to each customer.
Some of the best trade shows and booths that I have been to over the years have had a high energy feel to them, but didn’t go to far with it by coming across as hard-sell. Booths that saw less results either had people who hid behind displays, seemed disinterested in being there, or were too pushy or not pushy enough.
The key with trade shows, to me, is to try different venues and target markets out each year, and only repeat a show if you saw results that were above and beyond expectations. Sometimes, changing a venue opens you up to a completely different audience before and a new mix of vendors.
Sometimes, the best source of new business as well is the people hosting the event or the vendors you work alongside; don’t dismiss them as potential new partners, customers or resources.
Next time you do a trade show or booth for your business, take all these things into account.