14 recommendations for exhibitors of NRA 2012

There’s one day left (for me), but I’m already thinking ahead to 2012. A few ideas for exhibitors in 2012, from an attendee whose been an exhibitor in the past and exhibits at other shows…

  1. Don’t hard-sell me on your product before you’ve even qualified whether I’m a potential customer of it.
  2. Talk with me like a real person, not a deal to be closed. It’s you and me, right here, right now, face to face.
  3. Be at your booth.
  4. Don’t sit down at your booth.
  5. Add value to my day, not just a promotional product with your logo.
  6. Don’t badmouth your competition. Especially if they’re about 20 feet away and on the same aisle. Not classy.
  7. Don’t try to educate me about social media if you’re not using it yourself.
  8. If you ARE using social media, be social and be real-time.
  9. If you ARE using social media, don’t merely beg people to stop by, using the #NRAshow hashtag.
  10. Don’t ask to scan my badge before we’ve had a real dialogue.
  11. Know your business inside and out. This may be your one chance to build real credibility with me.
  12. Stand out from others. You don’t have to have a microphone and PA system, but find a way to differentiate.
  13. Why not do a raffle for a free group dinner for winning attendees? Foster connections and conversations.
  14. Be your brand.

It’s been super seeing the diversity of exhibitors at this year’s show. From food, to food prep equipment, to the categories I’ve been most drawn to: marketing and POS solutions, many are doing some clever or smart and engaging things to attract attendees.

But it will be great to see exhibitors push themselves to differentiate and offer attendees, who labor over past hundreds of booths, an even better experience next year.

Fellow attendees, do you have any other suggestions?

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