A commentary by Temel Gaskets USA’s Ruth Horton.
I especially enjoyed an article I found in Engine Builder’s August 2016 edition. Written by a self- proclaimed “trade show junkie”, Dave Monyhan, the piece has great insight and suggestions related to the art of trade shows. Being a fan of trade shows myself, I soaked up some great ideas and tips (and AAPEX and SEMA are almost upon us).
Dave says that he loves trade shows for the experience attendees have of seeing, touching, learning about and sometimes even being hands-on in a demonstration of products in the automotive market. I love getting to touch and see the items on display myself. I can remember the items better than I could have otherwise and have the details in mind when discussing them with clients.
Dave has tips for the exhibitors, and I’ve added a few of my own here. He recognizes the hours we spend setting up items for display, literature and marketing displays and the efforts we make to be fresh and looking good. He mentions sobriety, which I think we all appreciate from our fellow show-goers! Dave has rules in his booth about food, radios and any other distractions. Experience has shown that it’s a real turn off to see people eating in their booths and talking on cellphones. We are, as exhibitors, always looking around for folks we can talk to about our products and smiling as much as is possible without cracking our faces.
Dave believes in keeping the booth fresh and the employees on their game, informed and dressed professionally. We should all expect the same from our fellows. He places importance on the comfortability of the booth for the visitors and easily recognizable identification of the company. He uses what he calls the “the three ‘Bs’”, breath, broccoli and boogers”. We get that, right? I must add my three “Ms”. These are mirror, mascara and mouth gloss. It’s all good.
Some other suggestions Dave offers are keeping the latest literature out for people to see, bringing the best of your staff and even setting times for demonstrations of your products. He points out that variety is good regarding product on display, so the booth doesn’t have the same look from year to year, in light, especially, of the expense of exhibiting.
Dave has suggestions for attendees as well. He suggests a game plan that is not just walking up and down aisles thoughtlessly and thereby not taking full advantage of your time there. He tells about a game plan which has two parts. One part is about the exhibitors themselves which includes checking out the exhibitors list on the show’s website beforehand and making a list of companies which you are most interested in as well as one of companies you’d like to visit if there is time after that. The second part is to make a list of seminars in which you’re interested. These do seem like ideas which will allow show-goers to make the best use of their limited time.
Other suggestions Dave gives are wearing comfortable shoes, making use of the bags available for collecting goodies, eating a good breakfast and being prepared to do a lot of walking, and being sure to discuss with exhibitors any issues you have with the products or service they’ve provided you as well as saying “thank you” when appropriate.
It’s almost time for the Vegas shows, so a big thanks to Dave Monyhan for great tips for tradeshows! Looking forward to more of his articles.
Check out Temel Gaskets’ upcoming events here.