For wasting thousands of dollars
As I write this, I’m attending Greenbook’s IIeX event in Atlanta… one of the largest conferences in our industry with over 800 participants. Along with the educational sessions, there are several dozen exhibiting companies lining the hallways and in adjacent exhibit rooms.
And here’s where it gets interesting – or infuriating – depending on your perspective. One of the exhibitors had a tabletop display that spanned the length of their 6-foot table. Behind the table, they placed their two chairs… WHERE THEY SAT FOR THE ENTIRE EVENT!
Over the course of the three days, I passed by their table numerous times (the last several times, out of morbid curiosity!). I never saw them engage passersby… and it was a busy event. They – yes, there were two of them – just sat there, talking to each other, ‘working’ on their cell phones and hiding from everyone else. They never once took advantage of the great selling opportunity that was [literally] right in front of them.
Two employees… air travel… hotel rooms… food… ground transportation… not to mention the not-insignificant exhibiting fees. Their employer probably spent $8-10,000 on this event and will get absolutely nothing in return for it.
Worse yet, when these two employees get back to the office, they’ll tell their boss that it “wasn’t a very good event.” What a shame.
Perhaps these two employees weren’t “sales people” or maybe they hadn’t been trained on how to work an event properly. Maybe… but it doesn’t matter… they clearly did not want to be there and they didn’t even try! They simply wasted the time and money of their employer.
And I was serious… if they were my employees and I saw this – I’d fire them on the spot, no questions asked.
Two closing comments…
- Exhibiting isn’t easy! And exhibiting well (which few firms do) is even harder… it takes real planning, discipline and commitment. But done right, the results can be remarkable – building awareness, generating sales leads, nurturing existing leads and connecting with clients.
- And for all of you “bosses” reading this… make sure to send your best & brightest employees to staff your booth or table when you’re exhibiting… employees who want to be there… employees who want to engage with customers and prospects… and, most importantly, employees who will represent you and your company well in the marketplace. You won’t regret it.
For tips, tricks and techniques on how to get the most from your exhibiting opportunities, download our eBook, “The Exhibitor’s Workbook” when you Click Here.