To Booth or Not to Booth
One of my I.T.-related clients sent an email today...
"Should I consider setting up a booth at a trade show? I’ve got my demo kit ready and will have a couple other products to demo as well. I don’t have a brochure but could produce a flyer. The cost for the expo is $299."
Here’s what I told him…
A booth is an excellent way for any business to gain exposure. But whether or not your booth actually helps you grow your business depends entirely upon one thing: how well you leverage it to build trust and excitement with potential clients. Trust and excitement are two powerful emotional energies that fuel business growth.
The first purpose of a booth is to start conversations that build trust now. The other purpose of a booth is to collect contact information that can build trust later.
Plant a poster at eye level that will attract your ideal client. The sole purpose of the poster is to start conversations with your ideal client, so make it intriguing to that sort of person. For example, at the Total Woman Show last February, fellow career coach Sue Newell had a poster of a woman peeking out of a box. People who were interested in moving out of their corporate job into self-employment really identified with the picture and were eager to share their impressions with us at the booth.
I don't worry too much about handing out my cards and information at a show...as long as I get other people’s cards. That gives us the opportunity to find all kinds of ways to build trust with people over time. You can collect this information by designing a draw that will attract your ideal client.
Do you know who your ideal client is? This is the customer you love to work with so much, you'd practically work for free just to hang out with them. If you’re not sure the profile of this person, we would start by figuring that out first.
So anyway, I said to my own real-life client, what kind of draw would your ideal client be attracted to and want to enter? For example, an I.T. technician shouldn’t have a draw for a stay at the Holiday Inn. That sort of draw could attract anyone, so it’s not much help in flushing your ideal client out of the woodwork.
I encouraged my client to do a booth. But we’ll need to make sure he leverages its potential to establish the connections, trust, and excitement that will grow his business.