I recently visited a small business exhibition expecting to find lots of vibrant start-ups eager to promote their products and itching to laden me with pamphlets, flyers and other assorted expo junk. I politely refused most of the junk, but was incredibly surprised by the start-ups. Most of them had spent a hefty sum to exhibit, and had some great ideas, but they had no idea how to communicate their idea or what to do at the exhibition!
The issues broadly fell into the two following categories:
1. Clarity; Be very clear about what your business is, what you’re selling and who your customers are. If you can’t sum that up in one, or at most two lines, you won’t be able to communicate it to the person you’re speaking to. Prospective clients need to understand why they’re speaking to you and you won’t have long.
2. Direction; What is your objective at the exhibition? Define your goals well before you arrive. Setup your stall, your dress code and your literature to facilitate reaching that goal. If you’re there to sell, be very clear on who you need to speak to, and how you’re going to identify a potential customer. Casual visitors & people-who-will-never-be-your-clients will be happy to talk to you idly and waste your precious time if you’re not careful.