If you’re planning to go “big” at your next trade show, then be sure that you’re consistent about it.
At a show I attended recently, I noticed some exhibitor inconsistencies. There was one company with a high profile in the industry who was one of the show’s sponsors, yet only had a 10×10′ space. While that alone was surprising, what was more curious was the way the staff treated attendees. There was no greeting, and when an attendee expressed interest in the product, only a short and aloof answer was given. No offer to demonstrate the product, no questions about what the attendee wanted, nothing. Needless to say, attendees weren’t lingering at that booth.
While there are a lot of things worth copying about the success of the Consumer Electronics Show, there’s one area where they lag far behind other expos.
It seems that among the hundreds of media mentions at last week’s event, there were several (including Inc. Magazine and the Huffington Post) who zeroed in on the fact that a number of CES exhibits still feature what’s commonly known as “booth babes.” This antiquated practice started decades ago in male-dominated industries as a way to draw men into the exhibit. But there are a number of problems with this strategy today, as pointed out in a video by the BBC.
Whether or not you’re a fan of Lady Gaga, chances are you’ve heard about some of her wild and crazy antics. (Remember the meat dress?) But regardless of your feelings for her or her music, if you pay attention you can learn some great marketing lessons.
Lesson #1: No matter how big you are, act small.
In about three years, Lady Gaga went from a total unknown to having over 42 million Facebook fans and 13 million Twitter followers. But she still maintains a two-way dialogue and even engages fans in real-time by tweeting at her shows.
Image by vgajic on iStockphoto
Unless you’ve been on a desert island for the past year, you likely heard about the meltdown of Hollywood bad boy, Charlie Sheen. In a seemingly endless series of rambling interviews, he both looked and sounded like a crazy man.
While hopefully you’ve never had a booth staff member on the scale of Charlie-mania, you’ve likely had some that didn’t reflect well on your company. Perhaps they show up late for booth duty (in less than professional form), or they are complete renegades during their time off-duty from the booth.
I’ve often said that exhibiting is a lot like retail, but here’s a new twist: Make your exhibit more like Apple’s Genius Bar.
Whether or not you’re a Mac person, you can learn a lot from how their stores work. This article from the Harvard Business Review outlines why the Genius Bars are successful and how other companies can follow their model. (And be sure to take note of what average sales per square foot at Apple Stores are, compared to other retailers.) Some key ideas that apply to exhibitors:
- Make your exhibit reflect your corporate personality
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Want More Results Per Square Foot of Exhibit Space? Follow the Genius Bar Model
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