CannaConnections Events | Want to exhibit at a conference? Don’t start the convo like this…

Want to exhibit at a conference? Don’t start the convo like this…

June 6, 2016

Contacting an event because you’re interested in exhibiting? If you start with any of the following, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage from the get-go.

“We’re only interested in a booth if we can speak.” 

Opening your conversation with this is drawing a line in the sand before we’ve even met. For us, it’s contrary to our event ethos, as attendee experience is the number 1 priority. If your exhibiting depends on speaking, it tells us one of two things: You don’t see the value we’re providing in exhibiting to our targeted audience via the event experience, and that your proposed session would most likely be a thinly veiled (or sometimes blatant) product pitch.

There are many companies that don’t exhibit with us, because they insist on ‘having a speaking spot’ as a prerequisite, typically run by someone in a sales role. Attendees don’t want to sit through product pitches under the guise of education, and the event loses marketability when the sessions aren’t of value and interest.

‘We’ve spoken at [list of 17 other events] and would like to speak at yours.’

Think about this from the side of an event organizer. What value does this add? All you’ve said is ‘We’ve been heard everywhere’ and that’s really not an endearing quality. If someone can be heard at any ‘ol event, what draw do you have for attendees of our event? Even if your topic is of interest, you’ve automatically put yourself at the back of the line with this opener. No value-add for attendee experience? No value to us having you on the agenda.

“Can I get a discount?” 

We’re believers in asking for what you want, because nobody is going to just hand it to you, but opening up by asking for a discount is awful. In 99% of these situations, an exhibitor is looking at the cheapest option on the prospectus, and then asking for it even cheaper. It’s often paired with a comment like “I don’t know if we can justify the expense of exhibiting. Can we get a deal?”

This immediately tells us that you’re really not committed to exhibiting, and your event strategy might be flawed. Even if we provided a discount, at what point is it ‘enough’ to justify? In most cases, the cheapest thing on the prospectus is a $2000 booth. Are you suggesting that ‘make-it-or-break-it’ for this event is dependent on whether I can give you what, a $200 discount? If you need payment terms, that’s understandable – but a discount hurts all parties.

If you’re looking to ‘justify’ the expense of a booth, remember that those booth dollars go towards promoting your presence at the show, and drawing prospective customers to you. If we provide a discount, that’s fewer marketing dollars used in promoting the show, meaning a less successful show for everyone involved – contrary to your goal of ‘justifying’ the expense. It might cost you less, but it hurts the show and limits your earning potential as well.

Want to be a world-class tradeshow exhibitor? Follow our guide.. Read Part 1 & 2 Here.

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