How To Work a Booth

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  1. Give your team distinctive shirts or hoodies – You want the members of your team to be immediately recognizable where ever they are at the convention. Bright colors are a great way to stand out

  2. Make a Schedule – Schedule your booth team whenever possible. If you have a team large enough, schedule shifts in four hour stretches, and have clear expectations when they are on booth duty. Don't allow anyone to sit, eat, or drink while at the booth.

  3. Be proactive - anyone working a booth, should be making eye contact, smiling, and greeting the conference attendees. You don't need to pitch everyone that walks by, as most of the time when someone walks the exhibit floor, they are looking to meet the companies there, so greeting people that walk by is a great way to start the conversation

  4. Have unique swag – all booths at conventions will have some form of swag that they are giving away. Offer a toy, or something helpful at your booth. USB splitters, yo-yos, or bottle openers, anything unique that people will find useful at a convention. It will sometimes drive more people to your booth to have some more conversations.

  5. Be bold with your booth design – There will be a lot of people all clamoring for the attention of attendees. Don’t count on the awesomeness of your product to guarantee people will come to your booth. Bright colors are the easiest and most cost effective way to achieve that. TV screens showing looping demos of your product are another great tactic, but assume no one will be able to hear the audio, conventions are very loud. A unique game or challenge with special giveaway for participating is another great way to get a lot of traffic.

  6. Have a business card and pen ready – Give your cards out to everyone, and try to get as many back as you can. Use the pen to take notes on any thing that will help you follow up with after the convention.

  7. Make a point to use a prospect's name – Nothing is more impressive to a convention attendee than remembering their name when you see them later on. When you first meet them, say their name three times in the conversation. That will help you remember.

  8. Close – Ask for the business at the booth! You're there to get business, and you and your team should be trying to get the business. Even if they need time to evaluate, ask to follow up the next week and note it on the card and follow up.


These tips will help you make the most out of having a booth at a convention, and the immediate follow up.  They are great ways to connect with your clients, and get new ones.  Make the most out of every opportunity.


Here’s to your success.

Is an Elevator Pitch a Good Idea?

This article was originally posted on Nov 10, 2013, and has been updated


When I first started located, I was always asked to give a quick pitch on what Located did.  And I bloody floundered all over the place with it.  Depending on the way I framed it, people's eyes would either glaze over, or they would immediately start asking lots of questions.  And I found that having a nice concise way to describe what I did meant more business.  In short, I need an elevator pitch, and I needed multiple versions of it.

The idea of the elevator pitch comes from being able to pitch an idea in the amount of time it takes to ride an elevator.  Now, we can use an elevator pitch anywhere, as long as the pitch itself is still short.  It should take less than a minute, and your goal is really to engage the listener.  You want the listener to ask you questions, and to be interested in what you have to say.


Here’s a quick look at some ground rules for crafting a solid elevator pitch:

  • Keep it short

  • No jargon or buzzwords

  • Use humor

  • Get confirm they are interested, then share details

They say brevity is the soul of wit.  It's also the body of an elevator pitch.  Get your idea across in a unique way using as few words as possible.  Limit the length to four or five sentences.  You want to have an opener, your pitch, and your closer.


Remember, no jargon or buzzwords.  I can't emphasize this enough.  If you open your mouth and words like synergy, dynamic, and game-changer come out of it, you can be sure the person listening is thinking about how to get away from you.  Stick with the vocabulary you'd use in front of your parents or grandparents.  You want to create a meaningful impression, not sound like you stepped off a company's website (I feel a slight twinge of irony typing those words for a blog, on my company's website).


Humor, oh em gee, yes, make the person laugh!  Frame what you do in a unique way.  Regardless of what you do.  You work in advertising sales?  Congrats, you "sell excitement and engagement."  You're a management consultant?  Look at you, you "help people build their business muscles."  The point here is to get creative about describing what you do.  BUT STAY AUTHENTIC! Nothing will be more of a turn off that something that sounds manufactured.


If you grabbed their attention with the funny opener, hit them with more details.  This is where a statistic, fact, or a success story.  If we follow the ad tech example from above you can say something like, “I connect brands with engaged audiences.  My clients usually see a 60% lift in the brand engagement after I work with them.”  Once again, don't lie, and don't exagerate.  


Your goal is to hint at the details to keep the listener asking questions.  You want to speak plainly and clearly, but you want them to be engaged and asking more questions.  If they ask you “what do you mean by…?” or “does that mean that…?” you are on the right track.   


You immediately want to ask if they have more time, and if not, when you can follow up with them to share more information.  If you are in a position to chat more ask if they can grab a coffee with you, or if you can walk with them for a little bit.  If you are out at an event, or if they are on their way to a meeting, ask for a business card and a time to call them.  You should always try to call them instead of sending an email, and as soon as possible.  You don’t want the impact of your conversation to fade away before you have a chance to follow up with them.


Ultimately that is the purpose of an elevator pitch, creating genuine interest, and to get more time to really sit down and speak with your listener.  You want to turn these chance encounters into meetings.  Whether you are trying to move your product, looking for investors, or simply trying to expand your network.  Creating a powerful first impression will put you on a short list of people who stand out in a crowd, and you’re more likely to be remembered long after the event is over.


In closing, remember that luck is simply when opportunity meets preparedness.