For the most part, industrial tradeshows are necessary evils. People who don’t travel (especially spouses) seem to think they’re comprised of an endless array of fantastic locales, amazing meals and endless partying.
The reality is more about sore feet and legs, unhealthy convention center food, excessively long customer dinners, and that dreaded phrase: “booth duty.” Tradeshows can be an effective way to make contacts, learn about new trends and help your company’s sales. Now, engineers who are forced to staff a booth are oftentimes dismayed at this part of their job. I think a lot of that is due to feelings that they’re not salespeople and aren’t equipped to sell. So what’s an engineer to do?
I suggest that you look at your time on the floor as an opportunity to educate, to teach. Don’t worry about selling. If you let your knowledge and passion about your products’ design come through, the sales will follow. But I find it amazing that so many companies haven’t a clue about how to effectively run their booths. Or maybe it’s that the marketing managers aren’t really training the booth staff on how to handle themselves. So, a few pointers from a casual observer follow.
Check out Editorial Director Paul Heney’s tips for engineers in the video below, along with some of the strangest mistakes he’s seen people make at their booths …