Exhibiting While Distracted

Chances are you’ve seen stories in the news about people driving while distracted by cell phones, texting, eating or some other activity that often results in a tragic accident. Some areas have even passed laws prohibiting such behavior.

Now while the same behavior in your trade show booth won’t likely cause physical injury to anyone, it can still be damaging. Indulging in distracted behavior while exhibiting can cost you leads or sales, not to mention causing a blemish on your company’s reputation.

On a recent trip to Chicago, I noticed just how often people miss what’s happening in the moment due to their tech gadgets. A young lady in my airport shuttle had a very lopsided conversation with her boyfriend. As an obvious first-time visitor, she excitedly pointed out landmarks as we drove up Lake Shore Drive. He glanced up only briefly from his ongoing conversation with someone who was somewhere else. I kept thinking, “Come on! Pay attention to your cute girlfriend who is obviously thrilled to be in this city!” It made me wonder how the rest of their trip would turn out.

When you are exhibiting, you’ve paid good money to talk with the attendees at that show. That’s not the time to be texting, making calls, or checking e-mail. I realize there are issues that need to be dealt with, but there is time for that outside the booth. When you’re in your exhibit space, that’s the time to be 110% in the moment so you can make the most of every chance for conversation and not miss out on important opportunities.


© 2011 Marlys K. Arnold  (Reprinted from the April 2011 TradeShowTips Online. To receive tips like this in your inbox every month, please take a moment to fill out this request.)

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About the Author:

With experiences as both an exhibitor and a show organizer, Marlys Arnold has a unique perspective on trade show exhibiting. She travels the country consulting and training both exhibitors and show managers, and is the author of Build a Better Trade Show Image (2002), host of the Trade Show Insights podcast and creator of the ExhibitorEd training kit. She can be reached at 816-746-7888 or www.imagespecialist.com.

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