So you’ve taken the time and resources to make your trade show display is top notch. You’re sure the customer experience is going to be second to none and that your target trade show attendees are drawn to your booth and enjoy what they find once they get there.
But as exhibitors, it’s hard to objectively evaluate whether or not your best-laid plans have panned out for you as well as you hoped. There’s no better way to find out than to ask! It’s very important to collect feedback from the trade show attendees and conduct a post trade show analysis to figure out what went well and can be improved upon for next time.
Here are some tips to help you gather insights from your trade show booth visitors that will help you excel at your next trade show.
Get Real-Time Feedback
This one seems pretty obvious, but simply asking trade show attendees in the moment gives you the freshest and most relevant feedback. Avoid the mental ‘drift’ that happens days after the event by gathering this immediate feedback. Live social media updates are one way to see what your audience is thinking in real-time, so make sure you have a team member (or two) monitoring your social accounts and the conference’s hashtag(s) so they’re ready to jump into conversations that mention your brand or your booth. Once you’re engaged in a conversation on social media with an attendee, feel free to ask them directly what they thought of the customer experience at your booth.
You can also include feedback buttons throughout your trade show display, which are exactly what they sound like – digital buttons that visitors can press to answer quick questions you’ve created for them. This is a fun way to get brief responses from attendees who don’t have time to engage beyond that… and who doesn’t love pressing buttons? You can also make comment cards to offer to visitors at your booth, so those who like writing their responses or offering more feedback have an easy way to do so.
You can also prepare some of your staff to ‘float’ around the booth and surrounding areas. Simply engage visitors in conversation, and verbally ask them what they like and dislike about your booth. Ask if there’s any confusion with what you’re selling or if the booth has intrigued them enough to want to learn more about your company or products. Make sure any team members chatting with trade show attendees have a way to capture what was said immediately after the conversation ends so that valuable information can be relayed to everyone else.
Feedback After the Fact
Use online surveys to gather more detailed, valuable insights about your trade show customer experience once the show has ended. You might send an email to all your booth visitors, with a link to a survey you’d like them to fill out, or you could even send a paper survey by mail.
Delayed feedback is better than no feedback at all. With delayed feedback, you’ll probably get fewer responses. But, the responses you do get will likely be more thoughtful, in-depth, and useful since people will have more time to think about their answers.
Distilling and Deciding
Once you figure out which methods you’ll use for collecting feedback, make a plan to gather it, sort through it, analyze the data, and then act upon it. The responses you receive are useless unless you do something with them, so make sure your team is in agreement about how to handle the insights you get and understand the process to follow up with attendees as needed. Also, come up with a creative way to thank those that provide feedback. Trade show attendees don’t have to take the time to respond to your questions, so it’s quite a gift to your business when they decide to do so.
Having a strategy around visitor feedback is a step that the best trade show exhibitors take so they can continue learning and improving. Consider what will work most effectively for your booth and your business, and give it a try at your next show. You might be surprised by just how many valuable pieces of insight you get that will arm you to maximize your trade show attendance the next time around. If you are interested in taking your event marketing to the next level, contact us today!