Some exhibition organisers have caught on to the disinterested person walking around the exhibition hall. They have a plan. They give out a ticket that you would need to get stamped at every booth in the exhibition hall – once you’ve collected all these stamps, you can then get a prize on exit. You need to collect all the stamps to qualify. The organiser is happy – he’s done his part by the exhibitors who paid tons for the booth space. The exhibitor is happy – lots of people have visited his booth. But in my mind, I am not so sure who is fooling whom here. You convinced someone that they can get a prize just by walking around collecting some stamps. Are they actually interested in the products you have on offer or are they merely collecting stamps? You convinced the exhibitors that they have gotten value for the space they have bought because you’ve shown them that high volume of traffic. But what sort of traffic was it – again, are they just collecting stamps? And lastly, the exhibitor is happy with all that volume. Most likely, they are aware of the free offer at hand — but wouldn’t they be asking themselves whether each person visiting their booth is there merely to collect a stamp or really show interest in their product? If I were an exhibition organiser, I think I would much prefer not to have the freebie just so that I know whether the exhibition is working on its own merit. As an exhibitor, I would prefer the same. There is the risk – that only two people show up but it would be two interested parties. With questions, possibly leading to a sale. And I believe that to be better than 89 people coming over, hovering etc and then leaving. And this can be said not just of exhibitions but of so many other activities we engage in. Of course, sometimes, you need people to be interested and open to what you have to show them. Getting them in the door is the first step. It is hard especially when everyone is selling something around you. But that’s where you work on a marketing plan, you work on your product, you set yourself apart. I know there are no easy answers here. Sometimes you do need to try them all and see what works best for you. But I think that being honest with yourself about the activities you are engaging in and what you hope to achieve from them will help you choose which ones to move with. This means that you’ve got to ask yourself whether what you’re doing is actually moving you closer to achieving your purpose or not. Sometimes, it looks like it will help you but it doesn’t really.
Are you achieving your actual purpose?