Here’s what you need to know before hitting the show floor
It’s been a while, a LONG-WHILE since show floors have been buzzing with the hum of thousands of attendees bustling through event doors. It’s invigorating to see in-person events start to re-emerge, and there’s a new excitement in the air. And although things may never return to what used to be deemed “normal,” the industry is beginning to wake from its slumber. If you haven’t flexed your on-site muscles recently, here are a few things to help you and your client prepare as the magic of in-person moments ignites once again.
Great Expectations – Know Your Audience
Let’s be real; it’s been a while since any of us have been on a show floor, and we all may need to relearn a few things. From whether they want check-ins versus an extension of their team, know what your client expects from you right out the gate. While some clients may appreciate you checking in occasionally, others will prefer a more hands-on approach. In this situation the phrase “know your audience” couldn’t be more applicable and essential. It’s also important to understand the key players present, know the ones willing to talk about future partnerships versus the ones solely focused on the task at hand. It’s a fine line between nurturing a relationship for potential growth and being an unwelcome salesman.
It’s a Great Story – So Tell It
Connect with your internal marketing team before you head out. There’s new life breathing into live events, and it’s a beautiful story, be the catalyst that crafts the narrative. Connecting with your internal marketing team in advance will help you understand what kind of imagery and assets you should capture on-site. Not only will they help highlight your client’s hard work, but they could also lead to new business opportunities, and that’s always a win-win in our book.
Shower Your Client with Recognition and Appreciation
Let’s be honest, who doesn’t like a good “kudos” moment when in the thralls of event life? It’s never a bad idea to bring tokens of appreciation that proverbially nod to a job well done for your client. Recognizing the obstacles your client and their program had to overcome, especially in this past year, to be here and thanking them for bringing you along for the ride is a gesture that won’t go unnoticed.
Prepare Your Body for Gameday
As experienced professionals, we know events take a toll on the body. Real talk – we haven’t had to be in “game-day” shape for quite some time which is why it’s so important to make sure your body is as ready as your mind when returning to the show floor. Get a kick-start before showtime by vamping up your activity level, packing your “trade show survival kit,” more on that next month, early, and anything else you may personally need to ensure when you’re on-site your distraction-free.
Supply Shortages are Real
Supply shortages are real, and that means now is not the time to risk trying to get what you need on-site. If you have a client that invested their entire presence around an epic Zen Garden, make sure you order enough to cover any potential shortages. Believe us, you don’t want your client “re-zen-ting” not having enough on-hand. Help your client be planful in the beginning and eliminate the need for on-site shopping.
Best-Laid Plans…Well, You Know the Rest
In-person events may be back, but they come with an abundant number of hoops and restrictions, some of which impact your client staffing. Make sure your client has a staff contingency plan to accommodate those restricted to accessing the show floor unexpectedly. It’s not a bad idea to have backup hands on deck – even if they end up being yours. Knowing and ensuring your client knows the staffing model and contingency plan will help eliminate as much angst as possible during an unpredictable time.
If You’re There… Be THERE
Everything we’ve mentioned so far has brought us back to the importance of our first tip: know your client’s expectations and be present mentally and physically if you’re going to be there. Know your client’s needs in advance, and when you’re on-site, be an extension of their team. Understand their concerns before show day, and you’ll be better prepared to be helpful in ways your client will appreciate.
Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun! It’s exciting to be back on site. Your positive attitude and excitement can be infectious, and that’s one thing we want clients to catch.
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