Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you’ve no doubt heard about DAXKO’s recent visit to the YMCA’s General Assembly where we had the opportunity to meet thousands of attendees. Like any conference, one of the more interesting things to do is cruise the vendor exhibit area – if nothing else than for the cool freebies.
For someone like me who doesn’t attend a lot of tradeshows, it was interesting to observe the different ways people engage (or don’t). If you’re manning a vendor booth, you learn pretty quickly that everyone has a unique tradeshow personality. Here’s what I experienced…
- Family – The best is when DAXKO is greeted with hugs and squeals by those we work with every day, but only get to see at a conference once a year. Think family reunion! All recent kid and pet pictures are whipped out immediately. Followed quickly by plans for drinks later to catch up on old times.
- Talkers – You have the occasional person walk up and start talking even if they have no idea who you are or what you do. They want to hear your story, talk about football, or anything else on their mind. Very unlike the person who came to talk to you for one reason, gets their information and is on their way, it’s never a problem to strike up a conversation with a “talker”.
- Avoiders – How do you identify someone as an avoider? They walk at break-neck speed by your booth. Try their best to not make eye contact. Flip their lanyard over so you can’t see their name. Or pretend like they’re having an important conversation with their fellow avoider… even though it’s obvious theyre not.
My question to you is… What is the best way to approach these different groups and engage in conversation? Some of my tactics this week were…
- Stand in the middle of the aisle, so they’re forced to either walk around you or talk to you.
- Flash my pearly whites and say, “Hi. How are ya’ll doing?” Sounds pretty simple, but when you emphasize “y’all” with a precious Southern belle accent, you get their attention.
- Offer them anything free. Free always works… always.
- Ask what organization they’re with as you invade their personal space and flip their lanyard over.
I’d be interested to hear your ideas for approaching these folks. Hit me in the comments.