I love events. I love doing them as a vendor. I love helping to organize events. I especially love attending events. However, I don’t love every vendor at the events I attend. I thought I’d share some suggestions that came out of the last event I attended.
Greet people who enter your booth. Seriously, every person who enters your space deserves a “hello” and, at minimum, assurance that you’re there if they have any questions. We visited several booths where the vendor reps were so busy talking with one another (or reading, staring into space, or messing with their tech gadgets), that they didn’t even say hello. If you’re busy with another customer, that’s fine. If you’ve simply decided that the person who just walked up isn’t a good potential customer (or you’ve checked out mentally because you’re tired or bored), you lose. As a matter of fact, several vendors at the last event my husband and I attended missed out on a very good prospect when they ignored my husband. He waits for the vendor to initiate contact. If they don’t, he considers them uninterested in doing business. You’re the professional; it’s your job to make that contact.
Don’t be overly aggressive. The opposite of ignoring guests to your booth is ignoring the clues they’re giving that they want to leave. These include saying “no, thank you” and backing away while you’re talking to them. If they’re not interested, they’re not interested. Allow them to move on so you can move on to a better prospect.
Keep your wording positive. Talk up your products (“our product is made of stainless steel”) instead of talking down your competitors (“[competitor] is poor quality”). Generally you should choose positive language over negative–“I agree” instead of “I don’t disagree.” It seems small, but positive language draws people; negative language repels them.
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it covers the most irritating things I encountered at my last event. And, even worse, they’re the things that cost those vendors potential customers.