start a conversation

Are you attending a trade show on behalf of your company soon? Better yet, will you be setting up a booth at a trade show and showing off your networking skills while representing your company?

If so, you might be tempted to start a conversation with everyone who visits your booth by saying, “How are you?” This has turned into one of the most popular conversation starters among those in the business world.

But there’s just one problem: “How are you?” is typically not a great conversation starter. In fact, it’ll often derail a conversation from the start, especially when you’re trying to make small talk with trade show attendees. They’re likely going to be asked this same question by so many other people at a trade show.

So, what would be a better way to start a conversation with trade show attendees to win them over? Here are several solid options.

“What’s the Best Thing You’ve Seen at the Trade Show?”

Trade show attendees will usually visit dozens of booths throughout the course of a trade show. Certain things are going to stand out more than others.

With this in mind, you might want to start a conversation with someone by asking about which trade show booths have excited them the most thus far. Selfishly, it’ll give you a better idea of which trade show booths you should check out whenever you take breaks.

At the same time, this will also give you a good indication of what types of products and/or services interest different people the most. You can then cater your conversation to them based on what you’re able to find out about them by posing this question.

They may, for example, give you a very straightforward answer about all the technology found in a product showcased at another booth. It’ll suggest you should stick to presenting the specs of your company’s products instead of getting too caught up in making conversation.

They may also talk about how friendly someone from another booth was. It’ll indicate you might want to spend a little more time socializing with them as opposed to hopping right into a presentation that might not hold their attention for too long.

“Are You Familiar With Our Company?”

Another great way to start a conversation with trade show attendees is by asking them how familiar they are with your company. It’ll give you some idea of where you should kick things off.

If someone already knows all about your company and what it brings to the table, you won’t need to get bogged down in speaking about your company’s history. You might rehash details a person already knows and lose their interest if you do this.

But if someone doesn’t know the first thing about your company when they step up to your booth, an introduction may be warranted. It’ll give you a chance to tell them what your company is all about before touching on the products/services you have to offer.

“Do You Want to See How Our Products/Services Work?”

Most trade show attendees are going to be business owners who will want to discover as much as they can about products/services that might benefit them. It’s why you might want to start a conversation with an attendee by offering to introduce them to a product/service your company sells or is getting ready to sell.

Generally speaking, people tend to enjoy hearing about how things work. Entire TV shows have been created around this premise.

There aren’t too many people who will shoot down your offer to show them how a product/service works. As a result, you might want to lead with this offer when you go to start a conversation with someone.

“What Are Your Company’s Biggest Challenges?”

Every single business in the world, no matter how big or small, faces challenges on a daily basis. There are always obstacles that businesses will have to try to overcome each day.

You should ask trade show attendees to break down some of the challenges that their businesses face right now. It’ll let you know if your company will be able to assist them right off the bat.

It’ll also give you the chance to explain exactly how your company’s products/services might be able to help their businesses. You can customize your presentation to them more and provide them with examples of how investing in your company’s products/services might help them.

“Can I Interest You in a Free Sample?”

If you spend even just a few minutes people-watching at a trade show, you’re going to quickly notice one thing. They’ll almost all have bags filled with free stuff they’ve received from the trade show booths they’ve visited.

It isn’t any secret that people love getting free stuff. So many companies take full advantage of this at trade shows and have lots of freebies ready to hand out.

If your company is going to invest in promotional products or even free samples of your products, you shouldn’t be shy about using them to start a conversation. Saying, “Can I interest you in a free sample?”, will almost always get trade show attendees to stop and talk to you.

From there, it’ll be up to you to continue the conversation and make it productive. But it’s a fantastic way to get conversations with people off the ground at a trade show.

Start a Conversation With Everyone at Your Next Trade Show

Attending a trade show is a fantastic way to market your business. Trade show marketing can really help a company out, which is why so many companies attend trade shows throughout the country every year.

Your company should look into attending as many trade shows as you can. You should also work on learning how to start a conversation and hook people in so that you make the most of your trade show booths.

Would you like to discover more about using trade show marketing to your advantage? Browse through our other blog articles or contact Source Group, LLC directly.