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How Listening Can Play A Huge Role in Your Trade Show Marketing Success

August 21, 2019

Have you ever met someone, and then completely forgot their name a couple of seconds later? This is because we are so quick to share about ourselves with little intent to listen to others. Often times, we are so focused on what we’d like to say next, that the information coming from the person we are conversating with goes in one ear and out the other. What marketers need to know is that listening is extremely important, especially at trade shows. Sure, you and your trade show staffers are excited to share all of the amazing information you can about your company - doing this is extremely important and useful if you’re able to nail down on your brand messaging when speaking to prospects, but the fact is that your trade show team also needs to be able to listen.

To have a great exhibit, you need an effective design, smart marketing, and promotion leading up to the show, an immersive guest experience and many other pieces to the puzzle. A great outcome from your trade show experience also requires intensive listening - something that many exhibitors don’t take into consideration.


Knowing your audience can make or break your marketing campaign and its effectiveness.

When marketing to a trade show audience, your goals should include influencing people’s perceptions and behaviors. But if your audience isn’t moved by your message and you miss the mark, then it doesn’t matter how great your message sounds to you. Listening to your audience ensures that you know what’s going to move them and what they might not care as much about in relation to your product or service.

What do they want?

To craft a message that people can connect with, you must be curious and pay attention to your audience’s desires. What are their goals and their wants? How is your company going to help them get there? Listening to these desires allows you to better craft your message to tell them and even show them in your booth.

What pushes them to buy?

What motivates your audience? What’s going to be the most likely to get them to purchase your product? Does your audience type expect to experience your product or service before they purchase it? Create a memorable experience in your exhibit that will leave them impressed and unable to forget about your brand. Is your audience motivated by deals or sales? Are they likely to make purchases on a whim? Paying attention to your audience will help you reach them better and get you the sales you’re looking for!

Listening to how your audience feels can help you craft your graphics and messages so that people will notice, care about, and remember what you have to say. A brand that is more noticeable is also one that is more memorable, and people will be more likely to think of you when they’re making their buying decision!


A relationship can’t be built if one side does not listen

Relationships are a must for keeping your clients coming back and keeping them pleased. If you have a client who is providing you with feedback, listen! Those who have an interest in your brand are essentially your highest quality prospects. If they are already a client, you want to keep them coming back, so listening will be key in making them feel like you value their business.

Listening to clients and potential clients speak gives you great insight into exactly what they’re looking for. Pay attention to patterns in discussions and act on those discussions. Taking facial cues and body language into consideration when discussing diverse areas of your business can help you gauge how people really feel. Figure out what you’re excelling at and where there’s room for improvement by asking questions. Don’t forget to not only ask and take this information in, but to actually act on the feedback you receive.

What are some effective ways to train your booth staff to be
better listeners? Here are some great tips:

1. Don’t listen to the wrong people – There will be people who enter your exhibit that are truly high-quality leads - listen to those people. The people who match your target audience will give you the most useful information that will essentially make a difference.


2. Learn your audience’s lingo – Prospects might use specific terms or phrases when speaking about your product or their needs. Take note and use these terms in your future messaging.


3. Ask questions for clarity – If someone brings up a concern or some very positive feedback, delve deeper into questions in relation to these topics. Rather than just finding out that someone loves your company, find out why.


4. Listen for key emotions – If someone shows or talks about feeling confident, safe, pretty, relaxed, etc. when using your product or service, these are great emotion words to use in messaging that will relate to them and others.


5. Watch for cues – Watching body language and seeing what makes a person’s eyes light up can give you a lot of great insight.


6. Don’t interrupt – A trade show attendee may feel a certain way about your company, and it could be the complete opposite of how you feel. Still, listen to their side and be neutral when listening as you may begin to understand flaws you hadn’t realized existed.


7. TAKE NOTES! – You might think you can keep all of this input in your memory, but chances are, you won’t. It’s also possible that you could remember what you thought someone said vs. what they actually said. Take pauses after discussions to jot down a few key notes.


8. Reflect – After the show, you’ll likely have written down plenty of notes which you’ll want to compile, but also ask yourself what really stuck out to you. What was a repeated topic you heard? Was there something you realized that prospects really cared about?


Listening is the best way to continue improving your marketing efforts. Don’t rush your campaigns or messaging. With marketing being so fast-paced and strategies and decisions sometimes needing to be made quickly, it’s easy to go with what sounds good. However, sometimes what sounds good to you, isn’t going to be your most effective option. Take what you learn at your trade shows and build in the time to act on that input in your future marketing. Reach out to us today if you need to implement new messaging in your trade show booth!

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