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Make Day 2 Of Your Trade Show Even Better Than Day 1

Day 2 of the tradeshowYou never have a second chance to make a great first impression — except on the second day of a trade show!  That’s when you get a whole new batch of attendees to impress.

Because the first day of a trade show usually has the most foot traffic, Day 2 and 3 can be a let down by comparison.  But Day 1 is never perfect, and with the following plan, you can made quick adjustments to generate greater results on Day 2, even while the traffic is slower.

Here are several key areas you can monitor and adjust on Day 2:

Trade Show Booth Staffers:

  • Are your staffers working well?  Are they spending the right amount of time with each attendee?
  • What opening lines worked well?  Which bombed?
  • Check each booth staffers’ lead counts, and if they are taking complete leads with notes about what attendees asked for, and especially if they are qualifying leads or not.
  • Were all aisles around your island trade show display covered, or did staffers congregate in a few spots?
  • Were your staffers comfortable delivering demos and using any interactive technology in the booth?  Are they smooth or shaky?
  • If you hired Crowd Gatherers, how well did the hand off go from them to your own staffers?
  • Your new booth staffers showing up for the first time on Day 2 will need the same complete booth staff training you gave before Day 1.
  • If there is less traffic on Day 2, remember that you can only talk to one person at a time.  On a busy day there are a lot of people walking by that you can’t get to anyhow while you talk to an attendee.
  • If there is a lot less traffic on Day 2 (or 3 …), go ahead and take longer with the leads that you do get.  Ask them deeper questions, or take longer demoing the product they like.

Promotions:

  • Check your promotional giveaway quantities — are your trade show booth staffers giving them out at the right time to the right people, or just handing them out willy-nilly?
  • Do you have enough giveaways to honor your promises for the rest of the show?
  • Did your at-show promotion spin out of control, where your staffers got so caught up in the promo that they forgot to advance the buying cycle with attendees?

Trade Show Exhibit Design:

  • Were there any parts of the exhibit that were missing or did not get set up completely before the show opened on the first day?  Make sure you get them taken care of before Day 2 starts.
  • How well did the exhibit layout work within the flow of traffic for this show?  If there were glaring problems, can you make adjustments?
  • Were you featuring any product in the booth that really did not generate any interest?  If so, can you remove it from the booth?  Better yet, can you replace it with a more popular product?
  • Did attendees “get” your messaging?  If not, can you adjust?

Where To Get Feedback

If this is a lot to look for, remember that you’ve got help.  You can get great feedback from your team in a few ways:

  • Take your booth staff team out to dinner after the first day.  Ask them how they thought the day went, and how to improve.
  • Ask your booth staffing veterans.  They have the experience to know what worked before, and when things are getting off track.
  • Ask your rookies.  They see things with fresh eyes.  They may have booth staffing knowledge from another company, too.
  • Check your lead cards, and count leads per booth staffer, and percent leads completed per booth staffer.  Find who needs coaching, and who can do that coaching for you.

Implement Your Day 2 Plan

Host a pre-show meeting in the booth with your staffers one hour before the show starts on the second day.  Go over what’s been going well (such as any stellar leads taken on Day 1), what you would like to improve, and how you want to fix it.  Ask all the staffers for feedback, but especially the ones who have already given you good feedback that you want your entire team to hear.  Then get everyone on board with your fixes.

Some of these items may not be fixable for Day 2, or even any day while you are at the show.  If so, then use this checklist to review after your show is over, to prepare for your next show.

So while Day 1 is usually the busiest day of the show, with a perceptive eye, good teamwork, and flexibility, you can make Day 2 even better.

Value of Trade Shows White PaperWhether it’s Day 1, Day 2, or later, trade shows provide great value to both exhibitors and attendees.  Read why – and how you can improve your results with this knowledge – in the 24-page white paper, The Value Of Trade ShowsClick here to request your free copy. 

About the Author

Mike Thimmesch was Skyline Exhibits' Director of Customer Engagement, for over 25 years. He is now retired and spends his time freelancing, traveling, and enjoying time with his family.

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