These are good opportunities for me to observe and be reminded of what works well when working the booth–and what can be improved.
Among the exhibitors, there was a strong contingency of vendors representing various hotels, conference centers and regions. While Q2 plans events, I’m fairly far removed from that service offering.
Many of the reps came out into the aisle and hit me with all of the reasons I would want to plan my next conference or team-building outing at their facility.
However, and this is important, no one asked this basic question:
“Are you responsible for meetings and events for Q2?” Or : “How many events does your firm plan a year?”
Many insisted on promptly scanning my badge. Wouldn’t a better approach have been to see if I was qualified?
Toward the end of the day, a number of booth staff were insisting that I take home their freebies. I’m sure this is because they didn’t want to carry them home with them. Anybody want some keychains, pens, etc. that came home with me against their will? The lesson is, if you have to find unwilling (unqualified) strangers on which to unload your promotional items, don’t bring so many in the first place.
I don’t fault these people from trying to generate interest. But I take issue with the methodology that says, “everyone who comes by our booth is a customer.”
A group sales rep with Club Med did it right.
I told her I was interested in going to Club Med with my husband. By most definitions, especially hers, he and I don’t constitute a “group.” She politely gave me a brochure with her card, chatted for a few moments and moved me on. She didn’t scan my badge or take my card, so I won’t appear in her database. She realized that’s not a good use of her time.