Face-To-Face Trade Show Sales

by | Jun 2, 2013

I have always enjoyed connecting with people, even as a young boy. I
was the youngest in my family, and by far the most talkative. People
skills came naturally to me. I remember when I was young and would
travel into town with my dad, I would initiate conversation with various
people in the shop. While checking out at the grocery store, I would
entertain the gal ringing us up, naturally building a relationship with
that woman. Based on my people skills, sales became an obvious career
path for me. As an adult, I’ve been in the sales industry for over 35
years now and in trade show sales for 17 years. A lot of my business
skills have developed out of my experiences in trade show marketing.
I’ve observed various trade show phases come and go, and journeyed
through the ups and downs of the economy. Although I have faced
difficult seasons in this industry, my personal career has continued to

My focus for Diers Exhibit Group has always been: building a relationship with my clients and insisting support and service take priority.
Attending various Trade shows and experiencing face-to-face sales has
taught me even more about relationships and has refined my business
skills. In the trade show world, I have found that face-to-face marketing is not learned or taught, but it is developed through constant attention to relationship.

The way we approach relationships are drastically
changing. The 21st century has ushered in a technological shift. This
shift is changing our approach to sales and to relationships. Of my 30+
years in sales, I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything like it. We
no longer encourage only face-to-face relationship outside of the trade
show, but we communicated through text messages, emails, social
networks, Skype, etc. Even a new age of technology has been introduced
into the trade show. Specifically, iPad kiosks have become popular and a
new product called the inTouch by Optima Graphics. These products are
changing the way we approach trade show marketing. Despite new additions
to the industry, the trade show environment continues to thrive in
face-to-face interaction.

CEIR (Center for Exhibition Industry Research) recently did a study on The Role and Value of Face-to-Face Interaction.
CEIR discovered that, “Interacting online has no impact on attendance
to trade exhibitions.” They also found that interacting online has
actually increased trade show attendance. The Role and Value of Face-to-Face Interaction is
not the first study of its kind, but its findings seem to be most
prevalent in this technological era. CEIR has been around for roughly 30
years, publishing studies that analyze “the efficiency of exhibitions
as a marketing medium.” Nancy Drapeau, CEIR Research Director, made a few comments on the study and they are relevant for us:

1. “Face to face interactions at Trade Shows are valuable to
professionals of all generations, even the young professionals”
(Specifically the young professionals).

2. “The lingering fear that the relevance of this medium will crash
and burn with the technological era was not proven in this study;
however, things are changing and it’s important for organizers and
marketers to keep up” (We can personally keep up by using technology to
help us thrive in our relationships).

3. “Exhibits at exhibitions are ranked number one for delivering important face-to-face interactions for job performance.”

The most valuable skill we can develop in sales is the basic desire
to build relationship and genuinely seek to understand and serve
people. I feel like I can take a deep breath and let out a sigh of
relief, because despite the progression of technology and Apple
products, the trade show continues to thrive as a face-to-face sales
environment. Trade Show exhibits are inviting to all age groups and open
to technological changes. Looking back, I can miss the old days, but
that would require me to continue looking back. Why would I look back
when there is so much progression in moving forward?

We move forward in this industry, because that is the way of the
trade show. The more our show experience progresses, changes, and
evolves; the more it inevitably stays the same. As you and I develop in
our ability to build relationship, we tap into the real meaning behind
sales; people. Face-to-face interaction with people is the foundational
base of trade show sales. People are the key to our success and we
should be improving our methods of communication and service on a daily

I would like to know your thoughts on Face-To-Face Trade Show Sales. Simply click on our Contact Form
and fill out the comment section for me. I value all your feedback and
look forward to interacting with you on a personal level. Thanks for
visiting Denver based Diers Exhibit Group.

Written by Jeff Diers

Owner and Founder of Denver based Diers Exhibit Group

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