For exhibit and event professionals  

You’ve Had a Great First Day at the Show. What’s next?

December 5, 2017 By Editor

As any experienced trade show professional can tell you, a great first day can happen more often than not. Every show, you walk in with the plan—a laundry list of things that you want to accomplish at this big event—and wouldn’t you know it, the fates align and you end up accomplishing your goals for the entire show on day one. What’s next? Is there even a possible way to top it? Can you? Should you even try?

Absolutely. Another great day awaits.

You’ve just had a great first day at a trade show. The fates have aligned and you accomplish your goals right out of the starting gate. So what now? Well, the number one thing is to collect your thoughts and build on that great foundation for the rest of the event. Here are a few key things to keep in mind.

“Okay. What Happened…?!”

The first step involves evaluating what got you to this point. Regardless of what your goals for “Day 1” happened to be—whether you were trying to generate X number of leads or Y number of sales—you hit them. Now figure out why.

Maybe it was that rousing team building warmup that got everyone energized. Don’t let that energy slip on day two, three or four. Have a warmup each day boosting successes and setting sights on the day to come.

How about the fact that the team didn’t just simply stand around, they made connections, gained leads and stayed alert for new visitors. If this sounds like your success on Day One, terrific. You've got something tangible that you can add to your list of tactics.

Was the sales team actually listening instead of trotting out their patented sales pitches? Listening to what prospects have to say is to understand why they're there, what they're looking for, and how the company’s products or services fit into their big picture.

When that you have a good idea what worked on the great first day, the challenge is to keep the energy up and focused for the next few days.

Don't Be Afraid to Move Those Goal Posts

Chances are high that your strategy for the entire event saw your goals spread out evenly across the multiple days. When you meet your goals early on, what’s to stop you from improving on the goals you’ve already achieved?

Recall that not everyone you want to see will be there on the first day. Keep on the lookout for new faces in the aisle. Also, make the most of revisits from attendees from previous days, use this time to reconnect with them, reinforce the work you’ve already put into motion. Keep your antennae up for opportunities to reach more attendees. Be in evidence after show hours at association parties, media events, and other activities.

As you move forward, make sure that every member of your sales team knows success on Day One means they should double down on the goals for the show. Re-define success in terms of the time you have left and never let early success stop you. After all, paraphrasing Yogi Berra, “the show’s not over until it’s over.”


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