Spring is here. Trade shows, home shows, community events….show season is upon us.  Here in Boston, April 16th is the Boston Marathon, this historic and prestigious event is kicked off by three days of a Sports and Fitness expo.  I have had the pleasure of working this expo for a friends company RaceDots.  The fun and excitement of the day reminds me of wanting to share some tips for anyone who is planning to work an expo. Expo’s cost money, you want to make sure you are getting your money’s worth from your booth space.  No matter if you are selling on site, or educating people to make an impression for future sales- go into each day with a plan of attack.

  1. Benefit of being at an Expo- people have come there because they have a need or are “like minded”. People who go to the marathon expo, are running or family and friends of a runner or are a running and fitness fan. A wonderful bonus of this group, they are SO happy to be there-closing ratio is 90%.
  2. Clean and clear set up- make sure you have a space appropriate sized banner, enough stock to sell or information to pass out for the amount of foot traffic that will be coming through.  Don’t know? ASK!  Staff heavier on the busiest days and times. Keep a good flow through your booth space so you and visitors can move around and see your goods/services.
  3. Stand up- Out Front- Smile- People like friendly people.  Be friendly.  Stand at the edge of your space and smile.  Be pleasantly engaging- sharing tidbits of your features and benefits. Have your social media reflect that same spirit, let fans know you will be at the expo, what you are doing that’s special there and for them to stop by.
  4. Quick pitch- Thousands of people are walking by looking at all the booths at an expo.  You can tell when people slow down to look a little more closely at your space.  That is your time to act.  Have a VERY SHORT and light statement to say to people that will lure them in.  Be sure it is truthful and relevant.  Tailor the statements by quickly sizing up where they might fall in the buy window. What I mean by that is: when I talk to runners about racedots I talk feature benefit for the race.  My selling points will vary by the type of runner as well.  For non runners, the group that looks like the support team, I have different statements ” this would be a great remembrance gift etc…”
  5. Have fun- Walk around the expo in a branded shirt, talk to the other vendors.  You become a little village over those few days.  The other vendors will get asked questions, looking for other things- you want to be the one that gets recommended.

Working expo’s are long days, wear comfortable shoes and be sure to walk around every few hours, drink plenty of water and keep mints handy.  You will make more impressions in those few days that perhaps you could in a regular week. Maximize every conversation.