3 Surefire Questions to Get Your Booth Attendees Talking!
It’s no surprise that the most important goal at a trade show is also the biggest challenge – getting people into your booth space. Obviously, the first step is to have an eye-catching exhibit. Many companies try product demos, professional entertainers, and giveaways to attract visitors. But what if your budget doesn’t afford professional corporate entertainers? What if your exhibit is more subtle than dazzling? What if your product or service doesn’t lend itself to a demo?
How will you get people into your booth to give your products a chance?
Well, why are people there? Why is there such a thing as a trade show? Because customers have needs, and they come to trade shows to get those needs filled. People will come into your booth space if they think you can meet their needs. First, you have to find out those needs. The way to do that is to get them talking – talking about why they’re there, what they are looking for that you can provide them with, how they think the trade show can help them. You aren’t pounding them with your company or product or brand. You’re listening. You’re listening to what their conversation about themselves is revealing. You’re listening to see if you CAN meet their needs. Then, when it’s your turn to talk, you can offer them a solution or at least a conversation about them, their problem, their wants.
Simple, right? Sure, but not everyone is comfortable just starting up a deep conversation about company needs and customer fulfillment. You need some starter questions.
- “What are you looking for at the show?” or “What brings you to the show?” The answer to either question reveals not only WHAT they’re looking for, but also IF they know what they’re looking for. This is an important distinction because your job is vastly different if a person doesn’t know what they’re looking for. And since every attendee’s goals are different, you need to hear exactly what any given person has to tell you.
- “Have you heard of us before?” This kind of feeler question gives you an idea of how deep and wide you’ll need to go with explaining who you are to the customer. Perhaps your visitor is a long-time loyal customer; maybe they’ve never heard of your company and you have a chance to write an impression on a blank slate; hopefully, they are not a jaded customer whose opinion you’d be wise to change. Regardless, knowing how your booth attendees feel about your brand will help you help them. Also, asking how someone has heard of you lets you know if your company is part of the trade show buzz. Did they hear about you from other attendees? Is your company’s reputation a positive energy on the trade show floor?
- “What’s your biggest challenge?” This is a great way to basically ask what the client needs without asking it exactly. Sometimes, people can’t actually identify their need. But by identifying the most challenging problem a company has, you can offer a creative solution to solve it. Asking them to name their most puzzling challenge does two things: it communicates concern for the customer and it gives you a chance to see if you can help. Is your product flexible enough to cater to clients’ needs?
Each of these questions is real and thought-provoking. They require you to engage with the customer and they require the customer to respond. This is exactly where you want to be when you’re trying to attract people to your booth. By focusing on the clients and their concerns, you automatically make them the most important part of the conversation. They will intuit this, and they will know you’re trying to help them. Instead of feeling like you’re trying to sell them something or push a service, they will feel comfortable enough to continue the conversation. At any point in this process, it’s fairly simple to steer yourselves into the booth. You’re literally inviting them in, and since they already feel comfortable with you, they’ll be glad to come in.
This article was inspired by "3 Best Conversation Starters To Get Attendees Talking In Your Trade Show Display" by Scott Price and first appeared at skyline.com