Fresh from an experience exhibiting at a large attorney conference, I am newly aware of what not to do when you exhibit. You’ve spent a lot of money and time getting ready to exhibit at a conference. Don’t waste your money by decreasing your effectiveness.
Here are 12 tips for exhibiting at attorney conferences.
1. Don’t play cards at your booth. Your goal is to be ready to talk to visitors.
2. Don’t talk on your cell phone when you are at your booth. Attorneys will not approach you if you are on the phone. Be alert, look ready to start a conversation, and scan the room looking for people you may know. Be prepared to focus on your visitor, not on your phone.
3. Don’t leave your laptop or purse or anything valuable in plain sight and unattended. This is an invitation for theft.
4. Don’t have animated conversations with people at nearby booths or within your booth while attorneys are circulating in the exhibit area. This will discourage attorneys from approaching you.
5. Don’t walk over to talk to another exhibitor while an attorney is at his booth. The interruption will annoy both the attorney and exhibitor. When the attorney moves away from the booth, that is your signal to approach.
6. Don’t give away food that is not wrapped. Look at these donut holes. They are covered with sticky sugar. If a visitor puts his hands into this bowl, he encounters everyone else’s germs. This exhibitor did not give away many of these holes.
7. Try to time your breaks or trips to the bathroom when the exhibit area is empty. Hide anything that is valuable while you leave the booth unattended.
8. Don’t eat or drink in your booth. It is hard to have intelligent conversation with food in your mouth. Move to another area of the space to eat.
9. If you are involved in a 2 day exhibit and have collected business cards, don’t leave them overnight in the collection bowl. Take them with you at the end of the day. You worked hard to get those cards. You don’t want them to disappear.
10. Don’t let your name badge flip over so it is unreadable. Glance down and check it periodically.
11. Don’t misrepresent yourself or your experience. I know of an LNC who told attorneys when she exhibited that she had clients in all 50 states and that she was the biggest LNC firm on the East Coast. Neither was true.
12. Don’t fail to rapidly follow up with attorneys who have a case. The longer you wait, the less likely the attorney will remember your conversation.
Pat Iyer has been exhibiting at attorney conferences since 1993. Get tips from an expert in exhibiting by taking our on demand course: How to Profit from Trade Shows. In 3 sessions, learn how to get more from exhibiting at attorney conferences.