Welcome to the First Post at Bling my Booth

If you are ready to get down and dirty with what’s going to make you money when you exhibit, then you’ve come to the right place. Whether you are in a business expo, a craft fair, a recruiting show or consumer selling, event image is everything.  Unfortunately it won’t matter much if you don’t execute. 

It amazes me how much money companies waste throughout the entire exhibit planning process and how much opportunity is lost at the booth when the staff is not prepared or held accountable for their productivity.  How about a little planning ahead people. 

Thousands of dollars can be saved by reading the exhibitor kit the moment you get it.  Attention to details is the key to savings.  Don’t wait until the last minute to inventory your existing display for problems.  Order your graphics early.  Ship advance to the warehouse to avoid hassles with I&D. 

I’m going to keep it short and encourage your questions and comments about what bugs you about the tradeshow business.  I will elaborate more on how to stand out from the crowd and keep expenses down.  In the mean time take a look at the attached flyer offering 20 Tips to Trick Out Your Tradeshow Booth or Customize Your Consumer Show Exhibit.

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2 Responses to “Welcome to the First Post at Bling my Booth”


  1. 1 Jon December 12, 2007 at 2:47 am

    Susan,

    Many thanks for making your PDF — “Bling My Booth” — available!

    In my business, I attend many trade shows every year. Although it’s obvious that some organizations invest significant amounts of time and money on their booths and do a great job, it surprises me that others do such a poor job of training and preparing their staff.

    I find it hard to believe that many companies fail to coach people on booth management and customer interaction.

    At a recent show in Europe, my firm completed a survey of selected exhibits and evaluated the ‘quality of booth communications’ (e.g., Is the staff approachable? Showing an interest in greeting visitors? Conveying a professional image? etc. We also considered graphics design and marcom materials in the evaluation.)

    We found vast differences in quality. At one exhibit, we observed four staff members in a small booth, sitting at a table and ignoring people walking past the booth. One staff member was involved in a discussion with a visitor, and two others sat at the same table with their backs to the trade show floor! Amazing to see all staff members attending to a single visitor, while other potential visitors to the booth were ignored.

    The staff members in this booth were oblivious to the fact that numerous people walked past their booth, and many of these
    paused to look at the booth, but kept walking when no one greeted them! How can this exhibitor expect to achieve a high return on their investment in trade show marketing? They need your help!

    Many booths at the show clearly exceeded your guideline of “two people max in a 10 x 10 booth”. But a few of these at least had trained and energetic representatives who made a genuine effort to greet people, show interest, exchange business cards, and respond to questions. They made it look easy, although I’m sure it’s not!

  2. 2 susanratliff December 12, 2007 at 9:33 am

    Hi Jon,
    Thanks for sharing your observations. It’s really crazy isn’t it? The inconsistency is astounding. What is really hard to believe is how much money a company will spend to participate in a tradeshow yet have no expectations of return on investment. They pay thousands for the space, thousands more for the booth, hundreds to ship it, thousands to take staff out of the office, transport them to the show and put them up in hotel. Add to that the hundreds spent on literature that gets tossed, free-bees that get passed out getting nothing in return. Then they sent the staff with no goals and no accountability. There are no clear expectations expressed by management so there is no buy-in on goals from the staff. The Center for Exhibition industry Research says “80% of attendees base their opinion of your company on the actions of the employees at your booth.” It’s exactly what you are saying. Training the staff is absolutely necessary. I follow the 5 E’s Formula. Engage everyone, excite and educate them about the product or service, encourage them to act and know when to exit. I also recommend listing the company goals before the show. Script a presentation that everyone uses to ensure each attendee receives the most critical product information before they leave the booth. Incentivise the staff with prizes for outstanding production.


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