-- Sponsor a contest or competition. A manufacturer might stage a spectacle where visitors put your product to the test. One furnace manufacturer rigged a furnace with problems and invited certified technicians to solve the problem in the least amount of time, thus showing off their proficiency under pressure.
-- Entice VIPs to stop by. Trade shows are tough, even for attendees. Secure a list of registered attendees and select VIPs to receive a “trade show survival pack.” Fill a mini-cooler with goodies. Bottled water, candy bars, aspirin, antacids, and your press kit on a thumb drive are all reasonable items to include.
-- Bring in the experts: Is there a well-known expert or celebrity that is passionate about your subject? Check out various speakers bureaus (the Internet is a great place to start) to identify recognized experts to speak or appear at your event.
Replace simply “showing up” with these ideas and your trade show results will most certainly begin trending upward.
Susan Miller is owner of Ewing Miller Communications, an Anderson marketing firm. Her column appears the first Thursday of each month. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.