ASTD attendees will travel from all over the world, and will be representing their organization's training program. The difference between a successful exhibit experience and an unsuccessful one can depend on your team's preparation and action with each attendee representing all types of job levels.
3 Quick Tips to Engage Attendees:
Good first impressions. Attendees want to speak with exhibitors who look approachable, friendly, and interested in their needs, regardless of job title or company. Simply start with a smile, and plan for open-ended questions to help start the conversation. Make the conversation about what the attendee does or needs, and less about the features your company offers.
Be able to tell attendees what your company does in 1 sentence. You only have a few seconds to grab their attention as they are walking through the show floor.
Know how to follow up. Ask the attendee what you can do to make their life easier when following up with them. Do they prefer email, phone, or even social networks? Having a plan that works with their communication preferences is increasingly important.
2 Bad Habits to Avoid:
Interaction, inaction. Try not to sit in your booth space on your phone or computer. If you were an attendee, would you want to interrupt a conversation or someone looking busy on their computer? As an exhibitor, you will be able to gage which of your exhibiting neighbors will leave the conference successfully, and which won't. Great graphics and booth design help, but the most important thing above all is the way you manage attendee interaction. Your success is up to you!
Staff overload. It is recommended for each 10'x10' space to have 1-2 staff present. Try to avoid having too many employees in your booth at one time, as it can be intimidating for an attendee to approach a gang of booth staff.
It's unmistakable why events are critical to the marketing efforts of so many businesses. Have fun with the experience, and with some pre-planning, you will yield the results needed for a great 2010!
For more information about exhibiting at ASTD 2010, visit the conference EXPO site .
For more information on engagement, consider attending the session Designing Mentoring Programs That Positively Affect Productivity and Engagement at the ASTD 2010 International Conference & Exposition.