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      Is Your Trade Show Audience Engaged?

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      trade show audienceIf you’ve ever been to trade show you know what they’re like. It’s usually a gargantuan room, possibly a conference center, or hotel ballroom.  As you enter the large space you’re overwhelmed by visual stimuli and pushy sales people trying to get you interested in their product.

      Typically trade shows can consist of dozens if not hundreds of different vendors all offering something of similar topic or category. It’s very easy to blend in with the neutral color walls, and the temporary carpet they always lay down just to rip up and throw away the next day. So how do you stand out, and more importantly tell if your audience is engaged?

      Most importantly and the first thing to look for are non-verbal cues. Folded or closed arms typically mean “I don’t want to talk to anybody.” If someone makes eye contact and smiles this typically shows a willingness to open up and start a conversation about your product or services being offered. At the very least you’ll share a quick hello and a smile.

      Even if a conversation isn’t struck immediately, and you only get a quick hello, that’s quite ok. Many times when someone first arrives at a trade show they make a b-line for something specific that they’ve researched prior to arriving. After that’s taken care of they typically circle back and check out the other booths. This is where that previous quick smile and hello can lead to further conversation.

      Once you’ve grabbed the attention of your audience now the verbal cues come into play.  Is the person reciprocating in conversation by asking questions or are the zoned out give one word answers?  Chances are if they’re not asking further questions and continuing to fact find about your business then they’re probably not interested and won’t convert into a sale.

      Verbal communication goes both ways. If you’re not keeping them interested or asking the right type of questions then you can expect to lose the interest of your audience. Be sure to ask open ended questions such as, “What is one instance where you think you could use our product?” Asking a close ended questions like, “Do you think you could use our product?” could result in a thoughtless one word response like yes or no.

      Using these easy verbal and non-verbal cues can make all the difference in sales and making sure you’re focusing your time on the right people who are most likely to convert.
       
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