Rate Exhibitors at Trade Shows

Rate Exhibitors at Trade Shows Using These 13 Questions

Vince DiCecco is a dynamic and sought-after seminar speaker and author, with particular interest in business management/development and marketing subjects. With over 20 years experience in sales, marketing and training, he is presently an independent consultant to businesses looking to sharpen their competitive edge. Vince addresses a wide range of topics focused on nurturing customer loyalty while improving profitability. He may be reached via email at vince@ypbt.com.

Let’s assume you are planning to attend a regional trade exposition, have registered, and arrived at the show city. Now is the time to separate the wheat from the chaff on the expo floor. You may want to rate their booth performance, during and after the show, in some of the following aspects to sort out the best of the best suppliers.

Score the effectiveness of all of the exhibitors you have deemed to be potential suppliers during the time you invested in their booth using these criteria:

  1. Were you offered an opportunity to participate in a demonstration such as trying the product yourself, playing a part in the demo, or interacting verbally with the demonstrator? (award them 4 points)
  2. When you were engaged by someone at the booth, did he give you his full attention rather than dividing his attention with other visitors or booth personnel? (4 points)
  3. Were you asked precisely what you were looking for, what questions you had or what you were interested in, and why that was important? (1-3 points, your call)
  4. Did she ask you relevant questions to determine your specific needs first rather than starting the conversation with what her company had to offer? (2 points)
  5. Did you feel “listened to” rather than rushed or patronized? (3 points)
  6. If you asked for a particular person who was not present or readily available, did the booth staff member refer to a printed schedule and/or know exactly when that person would return? (1 point)
  7. When you approached, did booth personnel remain seated or continue in a discussion with each other? (minus 2 points)
  8. Were you handed unsolicited or unwanted literature? (minus 3 points)
  9. Were booth personnel engaged in inappropriate behavior—like a heated discussion, horseplay or eating? (minus 4 points)

Finally, rate their post-show performance. Here’s a last chance for some exhibitors to score “bonus” points:

  1. Were the promises made to you at the show—for instance, having a sales rep contact you, being sent a sample, catalog or literature, being added to a mailing list—kept in a timely manner? (5 points)
  2. Did you have to initiate the follow-up call with the exhibitor? (minus 3 points)
  3. Were the number of times the exhibitor contacted you after the show considered excessive, frivolous, or bordering on harassment? (minus 5 points)
  4. Were you completely disappointed with the absence of any follow-up? (minus 7 points)

I’ll guarantee the vendors that invest in exhibiting at a trade exposition and score highest on your assessment of their pre-show and at-the-show performance are going to be your best suppliers in the long run.

Vince DiCecco, Your Personal Business Trainer