Maximizing Your Time Exhibiting At Special Needs Expos: Getting Noticed, Getting Leads, And More
Special Needs Expos creates excellent opportunities for exhibitors to gain new clients and program participants from previously unreached audiences. Here are some great tips to maximize your time as an exhibitor at one of our expos.
Create Eye-Catching Signs And Materials
Be sure to capitalize on anything inherently visual about your product or service. Display fun photos and logos prominently so that people will look your way. Make sure people can read signs from a distance. Once you catch their eye, your relationship with them can begin.
If you sit at your table, waiting for attendees to show interest, you will miss those attendees who never knew they needed you. On the other hand, if you start every conversation by talking about yourself or by saying, “How may I help you?” you let human connections pass you by. Instead, try calling people over as they come near,. If no one is near you, consider leaving your table and joining the crowd.
Ask The Right Questions
Ask questions that allow you to enter each person’s world. Ask the attendees if they are there on behalf of a child or an adult, for example. Use follow-up questions, such as how old the child is, or whether the adult lives at home.
If the person responds that they themselves have a disability, ask them questions relevant to your table, such as their experiences at school. You can never go wrong with heartfelt compliments either, as long as your compliments do not border on flirtatious.
Many exhibitors find themselves giving the same elevator speech over and over. If the elevator speech is too long, or the attendees do not connect with what you say, they will likely walk away.
Instead, respond to what the attendees have shared about their world by showing them how you solve problems. Even when attendees are not very forthcoming, you can still share little tidbits or bullet points that show why real people come to you every day. Try to include emotion when possible so that your listener might see themselves in your story.
Bullet points could be short, such as “many of my clients come to me because of either A, B, or C. I don’t suppose you can relate to any of these.”
Or, “Many of my clients experience the same problem you mentioned. They tell me that X, Y, and Z techniques really help them. Would any of those make sense in your situation?”
Find Fun Ways To Collect Information
Every new visitor is a relationship waiting to be developed. Begin the process with a raffle drawing to obtain information from as many attendees as possible. These drawings attract attention, especially when they are advertised in large letters on your signage.
For more qualified leads, ask people to use a sign-in sheet or give you their information after you have spoken to them. This is especially helpful if you provide niche services that may only apply to a very small fraction of our cross-disability attendees. Make sure people in your niche do not miss you or the value you have to offer.
Provide Children’s Activities and Hands-On Experiences
Think for a moment: what do parents want most when they travel with their children? They want their children to be entertained so that they can speak to the exhibitors in peace. If you advertise a children’s activity on your signage, parents will flock to your table in droves.
Browsing tables and reading information can grow tedious after a while. If you provide an engaging hands-on experience for older children or adults, you will also set yourself apart from the majority of exhibitors who provide only information.
Follow Up Multiple Times
Following up on all of the information you collect drastically increases your chances of getting new business or new program participants. Create email lists, invite attendees to seminars and programs, or offer free information, such as an E-book or video series.
Always consider the information that will provide the most value to the people on each list. Much of this information may not bring you business directly, but it will put your name in front of your prospective customers more frequently.