Monday, August 24, 2015

The Top 2 Mistakes Millennial Exhibitors Make

Ask 100 Millennials if they think trade shows are worth their time and money, and 98 will say "Yes," according to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research.

But, like their Boomer forebears, Millennials continue to botch their participation.

Millennial exhibitors' Number 1 mistake?

Presuming the sale.

Like many Boomers, Millennial exhibitors pose questions only as a pretext to presenting.

Rushing to close, they impress attendees as pushy; and attendees flee the booth as quickly as they can.

Young exhibitors who close presumptively leave the show each night complaining about the "terrible traffic."

Millennial exhibitors' Number 2 mistake?


Like many Boomers, Millennial exhibitors idly chat—a lot. But, while banter beats aggression, it doesn't do much for sales. Attendees learn plenty from exhibitors who love banter—but only about football scores, the weather, and the price of food in the convention center.

Young exhibitors who act like social butterflies leave the show each night complaining attendees "only came for the tchotchkes."

What's the answer?

Quit presuming the sale, nix the small talk, and ask good questions.

In other words, try a little progressive qualifying.

And be sure to ask attendees questions they might actually answer:

  • How did you reach this point in your career?
  • Whose idea was it to shop—the boss's or yours?
  • What happens if you don’t find a solution?
  • Do you have a favorite vendor?
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