Guest Blog: Exhibitors are lazy

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By Matt Coyne, Connector of people, spaces and technology

Exhibitors are inherently lazy.

I’ve attended and presented at multiple exhibitor masterclasses or education sessions over the last 15 years and it always irks me when we see the same basic processes not being practiced. 

Think back to most of events you’ve organized or those you’ve exhibited at. How many exhibitors are proactive about meeting them at the show vs those that turn up and wait for business to come to them? 

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I was thinking that this “pivot” to virtual has actually been a really progressive step to exhibitors being proactive before a show; requesting meetings, generating leads, making introductions. 

Apparently not.

Speaking to a number of organisers over the last few weeks, especially now that they are armed with more insight into behaviors of visitors and exhibitors, it seems that people still think “if we build it they will come.”

That’ just not how it works. 

My advice to anyone exhibiting over the coming…lifetime… you need to get proactive. You need to do something to generate interest in you, your products or your brand. 

Here’s some really simple tips to help:

  • Get trained – learn how to use the platform for the event you’re exhibiting at
  • Your team – make sure your relevant team are educated, logged in and being proactive – set some targets just like you would a normal sales environment – number of requests, number of meetings – reward them for being proactive
  • Make introductions – but make them meaningful
  • Talk about what you’re doing at the event – share it socially. Do you have a killer new product, are you presenting something? Get sharing
  • Respond in timely manner – it’s hard with all the distractions of online – email, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, twitter, the event…as well as then “work from home” distractions… I’ve succumbed to these distractions myself but if you’re paying money for something, work for it

In summary? 

You / the marketing team have spent a lot of time and money on exhibiting whether virtually or physically, so why then drop the ball when the audience is put in front of you to connect? 

Do something. It’s better than doing nothing, but if you can be planned about your approach, you’ll likely get a greater return.

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