Trade Shows. Don’t Be That Guy.
I go to a lot of trade shows and conferences every year. I start the year out at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES), spend time at Affiliate Summit, head to South by Southwest (SxSw), over to New Media Expo (NMX), and through in BlogHer and the Travel Bloggers Conference (TBEX) in there too.
I was just asked by a client to help them choose a great banner display for their booth. I saw a few of the designs and said – go with the cleanest, most uncluttered look. Make your booth visually appealing to all my senses. Oh, and put a carpet down and let my tired feet thank you later.
Have water or snacks available – walking the showroom floor is exhausting. If you have the space and it works with your business, do a giveaway. I personally like to see backup battery chargers, and chargers that are really awesome… yes, it is my favorite trade show giveaway because they are SO useful!
And what do I mean by don’t be that guy? Easy, not everyone who walks buy you is interested in your product or service. Be gracious when someone says No Thank You. I don’t know how many times someone has continued with their spiel when I have clearly stated (politely) that what you have is not going to work for me. Respect that. I am respecting your time by saying so right up front.
If I don’t want to take your swag, for whatever reason, don’t force it on me. Sadly, this happens all the time. I’m not a swag whore. I have very, and I mean VERY limited room. I only want to take something that I will actually use or if I want to really work with your company in the future, even then I might not take the swag.
This is the BIG ONE. Just because I gave you my card or I entered your giveaway that does not mean I want to be on your email list. Maybe I do and maybe I don’t. Ask me. I used to be afraid of the Unsubscribe button… not anymore. I’ve worked hard on maintaining the 100s of emails I get a day – don’t add to it. Connect with people in the way they want to be connected to, not in the way you want to connect to them. Think about it.
So yeah, at trade shows, don’t be that guy.