Throngs of Visitors Can Sometimes Be BAD for Your Trade Show Booth: One Business Owner’s Hard-Earned Lesson

This article is Part 3 of a series.  Click here for Part 1.

Anybody who invests in a booth – whether at a trade show or an event you’re sponsoring – dreams about having throngs of attendees flocking to their booth.

But as Barb Wade learned, throngs of visitors don’t necessarily translate into cash.

Barb Wade is not new to the sponsorship game – she’s been doing it for some time now.  I caught up with her at this year’s Be The Change event (promoted by Suzanne Evans) to ask her about what she has learned by being a repeat sponsor at this event.

She told me that at last year’s Be The Change event, her booth got more visitors than any other sponsor, by a very large margin.  However, she ultimately made very little money from that sponsorship.  So what went wrong?

Barb’s First (less-successful) Booth

That first year, Barb had a treasure chest full of cash at her booth, and three keys that unlocked it – plus, of course, hundreds that didn’t.  She gave a key to every single attendee, along with a flyer encouraging them to stop by the booth and see if theirs was one of the lucky three keys.

Half the conference (over 300 people!) came to Barb’s booth.  But unfortunately, the majority of them came just to see if they could get the cash.  They didn’t want to talk to Barb about her business, and even though Barb gathered email addresses of everybody who tested their key, most of them unsubscribed the first week after the conference. Not exactly the result Barb was hoping for!

One Simple Change That Improved Results

This year at Be The Change, Barb and her team took an entirely different approach.  They decided to focus on having conversations that get people to “yes.”  (Which is, after all, Barb’s big promise as a coach!)

So they did away with the treasure chest, and replaced it with a fun interactive game (see image, at right).  Not only was the game more aligned with Barb’s core message as a coach, it also gave her and her two team members time to talk to the people who stopped by the booth to play the game.

Her results this year?  By the time I interviewed her – halfway through the 4-day conference – she had already signed up twice as many prospects for followup conversations as she did last year during the entire event.

But with a much longer process to get the signup, I wondered if she might actually be losing leads in her quest for quality.  As you can hear in the audio clip below, she says she doesn’t think so.

Click here for the next interview in the series, “The One-Two Punch Every Event Sponsor Dreams Of,” with Debbie Delgado.

Sleaze-Free Selling by Julia KlineIf you hear “no” a lot more often than “yes” from prospective customers, you haven’t figured out the Big Problem you solve for your customers.

To figure out your Big Problem just like Carol's done - and start converting a lot more leads! - buy a copy of “The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Sleaze-Free Selling” on Amazon today.

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