Monday, 13. February 2017 | by: Alesja Alewelt | During the Fair
The success of exhibition participation is not only dependent on sufficient preparation and follow-up. Most importantly, a positive appearance is critical, specifically while in conversation at the exhibition. Manning a stand comes with a huge responsibility – making the exhibition successful – which is only possible if dialogue with customers is conducted professionally.
There are some ground rules about behavior and appearance at an exhibition. Stand employees must face the audience and mustn’t turn their back on the stand, lest the audience feels rejected. Laptops and mobiles are admittedly good means of communication, but they shouldn’t distract from the exhibition’s appearance or hinder a conversation. The checking of emails or the retrieval of up-to-date information must, therefore, be done discreetly.
For your full appearance at the exhibition to be successful, verbal and non-verbal communication is crucial. Every stand employee should be aware that they are representing their business. Appearance, clothing, behavior, and professional expertise create uniformity and showcase the exhibiting business. This means that each stand employee must be confident in appearance, sociable, and in a good all-round form. It should be clear that specialist knowledge is available at your stand.
Preparing for good appearance at the exhibition begins as early as the business preparations. Aims for the exhibition should be determined, and key messages made. It’s also important to contemplate the value proposition beforehand. The product or service on offer should be described in detail. The key messages should comprise a maximum of 4 sentences, and the exhibit should be described pictorially. Preparing every member who will be manning the stand through team training can definitely be useful. In so doing, you should also train for safety at the exhibition should during the available time. There is generally not an infinite amount of time available for discussions at an exhibition. The key messages should be conveyed quickly, while also leaving time to address individual customers’ questions. Listening is of particular importance here, because it is only through identifying and answering important individual questions that customers will be satisfied.
Even a greeting can be included in exhibition training, because this offers the first chance to leave a good first impression. Workers at the stand should establish eye contact with interested parties and address them directly. It can be the potential future customer’s liking of the stand or their interest in a particular product that attracts them. It can also be useful to think up a story about the product that can be told to visitors. The particulars of this story stick with the visitors and can persuade them in the future.
After the greeting, conversation should be kept going. The stand employee should find out as quickly as possible who they’re dealing with. Are they simply dealing with a visitor or with a decision maker in a business? What competencies does the customer have? The intensity of the sales pitch depends on the answer to this question. The worker on the stand should create a picture of the company as quickly as possible – one that stays with the customer and is responsive to their individual needs. Among other things, when they ask, answers to their questions tell the stand advisor what industry the customer’s business is in or which markets they operate in. The conversation should be maintained with as many questions as possible.
At the end of the exhibition conversation, an arrangement should always be made for contact, sending of information, or a meeting. Of course, afterwards, the exhibiting business should keep these arrangements and, if possible, directly act upon them.
provided by FAIRworldwide GmbH
About Alesja Alewelt
Alesja Alewelt, M.A., has been an event manager for over 15 years. In 2008, she founded the Bremen based event management agency, FAIRworldwide, successfully specializing in stands that are shared between multiple exhibitors. Her previous, extensive experience includes working as an event organizer in Munich, Germany, and Melbourne, Australia. Alesja Alewelt is currently involved in creating new concepts to optimize business processes for the sector, with a focus on the use of new technologies.
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