Small business trade shows can be a great opportunity for small business to increase exposure. I frequent many trade shows throughout the year to learn more about a business of interest and to make connections.
But I was very disappointed with one I attended this year, held in Queens, NY, it was a big one at Shea Stadium. I arrived about 2:30 pm it was scheduled to end at 4:00pm, I figured I would have enough time to make my way around the room. There were plenty people there and over 100 table displays.
Attending that event made me realize why small businesses are not doing well in this economy. For one when a business participates in a trade show, they are there for exposure, it they do get a sale, they are lucky, but it's not to be expected.
I can tell you that almost every table I approached, they seemed to not be interested in promoting their products or services, they we either engaging in conversation with another person behind the table or they were conversing with someone at the table next to them.
As I approached the table, I had to get their attention. Not only that, I know that customer services is a key essential to business growth, customer referral and a repeat customer. These table attendee's had no customer services. Their attitude was as though they were there to do you a favor.
My question to them would be, why spend the money to rent table space at a trade show if you are not a people's person.
And oh yea, I arrived at the show around 2:30ish, once I walked in I started a conversation with someone at the first table I approached to find that there was no one at the table just a bunch of magazines and postcards. What type of stuff is that? So I asked the gentleman, what happen to the person at the table, he stated he was waited for someone to come back.
No only that, as I was making my rounds visited tables, as I got halfway to the end, I noticed tables were packing up. Now the time is 2:50ish. It was like a chain reaction, once someone saw a table packing up, they started doing the same. Now, the trade show is scheduled to end at 4:00pm. I ran into one of the coordinators and I asked here why people were leaving, she could understand why either, not that the room was empty or anything still filled with prospective clients.
It just goes to show you that with the attitudes small business have, we have a long way to go in recovery in this struggling economy. Small business owners need to understand that you never know who's who and at a business trade show every person that approaches your table is a potential client.
I can say that this was the worst business trade show I have ever attended.