Are you just starting out in the beading industry? Is your first trade show exhibit coming up soon? Or perhaps you have been in the industry for years but would like to add more traffic to your booth. If you fit into either of these scenarios please read on. Almost everyone that I have ever come to know has been to some sort of tradeshow as either an exhibitor or attendee. Personally what I have noticed is that some booths perform brilliantly. You can almost smell the cash flow as they rake in sale after sale. Then there are other booths that are so empty that you can hear the figurative frogs croaking. The booths feel like square footage taken out of a ghost town and you find yourself desperately searching for signs of life. Which exhibit would you rather be running?

Let’s try to get down to the bottom of this phenomenon. No matter what you are selling, you want to make sure the quality of product is superior. However, in some cases you could be selling the same product as your competitor. What is going to make you stand out among your peers as THE go-to person for your product when you are exhibiting? The answer is Customer Service. Here are some tips to secure your spot as the place to go so that your shows can be more successful. Just think of it as an acronym that we will call H2O.

Tip #1: Be HAPPY. If you are not happy to be where you are, it is definitely going to show in your facial expressions and in your body language. People are there to shop and they want a pleasant experience. If you’re a Debbie Downer, nobody is going to get a shopping experience and that is not a good thing. When you give customers an experience when shopping at your booth, you make them want to come back. You also make it easier for them to remember you. They will want to remember you because you’re fun. Now add high quality product to the mix and you’ve got yourself a repeat customer. If you are not a naturally fun or happy person then hire someone that is so that they can make you money by selling your product during the show. Offer them free materials, product or a small stipend to ensure that each transaction is a happy one.

Tip #2: Be HONEST. This should be self-explanatory but it is not. I can’t tell you how many reviews of shows I have read with customers that are disgusted because some exhibitor exaggerated about the quality of a product or flat out lied to them about what they were actually buying. I can guarantee you that when you are untruthful to a customer they are going to tell everybody and their mother about how you took their money. You know what happens then? While everybody is gossiping about your shop and how you cheated their friend or family member, they will blast you on the internet. So the money you would have made on good referrals, you would have lost.

Tip #3: Be OPEN. Please don’t make the mistake of thinking you can surmise a worthwhile customer as soon as they reach your booth. They are all worthwhile. Some exhibitors in other industries have told me that while exhibiting at trade shows they look at what people are wearing to see if the person has money or not. I have a girlfriend whose husband is a head honcho for Coca Cola, Inc. Yet, if you were to look at her clothing when she steps out sometimes (stain on her shirt, hole in her jeans, tousled hair), you would never believe that you were talking to a woman whose mansion and property line is so large that she has three generations of deer that frolic through her paradisiacal gardens and eat out of her hand. You also wouldn’t believe that she gets all of her large furniture items in high-end London furniture stores and then has them shipped to the United States. My friend is a wealthy woman but she chooses not to dress that way. The lesson here is: Don’t judge a book by its cover. You could have a person that spends twenty minutes in your booth. At the end of the day, maybe they walk away with $60 in beads. But who is to say that the $60 they spend that day won’t turn into a $6000 purchase the next month? Be everybody’s friend. Your booth is your 2-3 day make shift home and everybody that walks into it is a guest. Don’t forget that. Be hospitable and you will see more dollars at your trade shows.