Getting ready for a trade show involves a lot of guess work. How many people will be attending? Will they be in the mood to spend or will you just get a bunch of window shoppers? Is going big the right direction or would something more personal have a more profound impact? Like I said guess work. All the prep in the world will only get you so far and the fact is that once it’s all said and done, how effective you were all boils down to how well you were able to influence the customer. Something as simple as the temperature of the building, the layout of the event, or the condition of the facilities could make or break your whole trip. Maybe instead of guessing what your customers want, you should be asking them straight out.
Feedback straight from the customer is one of the best ways to judge how effective your displays are. All the custom graphics, overhead banners, video stations in the world mean nothing if instead of attracting the customer they distract them or worse send them running in the other direction. Feedback is easy to get cause all you gotta do is ask. Forget surveys or questionnaires, just strike up a conversation with those that visit your booth and ask them what they think. Like they taught us in school it’s about the What, When, Why, and How of it all. “What do you think of our presentation?” “How do you think we could be more effective?” “Why would somebody not want to know more about what we are offering?” “When do you think you might want to talk more about our product?” Try to be as casual as possible so as not to give people the feeling of being interrogated, but at the same time don’t be afraid to ask people for ways you could have done a better job at getting your message across.
After all the glitz and glamour of the trade show is over with, what matters the most is how effective you were in getting your message across to the customer. By talking to visitors throughout the day and getting their opinions on your presentation not only are you creating a relationship with that person, but you also gain some insight how you can be better prepared for your next event.