Show Preparation with Mike Gruenberg

Note: This text is a paraphrase. To see the entire interview you will need to watch the video.

Welcome to Exhibitor Lounge sponsored by Exhibit I am your host and trade show Mixologist, Michael Gray. Here each week you receive simple practical and proven tips to improve your tradeshow marketing strategy and get better results while maximizing your budget.

Mike Gray (Host) – We have back this week, our guest, Mr. Mike Gruenberg from Gruenberg He teaches people proper ways to market at trade shows. He has an order for events that we hinted about last week and are going to dig into this week. Today we will focus on “getting ready for the show”.

Mike Gray – Mike, you hinted at it last week, are trade shows worth it?

Mike Gruenberg (Guest) – There is an organization called CEIR (Center for Exhibition Industry Research) that study this every year and consistently they come back saying “Trade Shows are worth it.” Around 80% of people who attend trade shows are either decisions makers or influencers. If you think about the fact that every 90 seconds a customer (a prospect) is walking by; that is pretty intense. However it takes a different kind of sales strategy at a trade show as opposed to a prospect calling in or coming to your office. Sales staff, who attend the trade show, need to be taught how the pace is different at a trade show compared to a regular sales call.

Mike Gray – How do you get your sales people ready to work a booth……. for fun and profit?

Mike Gruenberg – Everybody has a roll whether there are 2 or 22 people at the booth. There is a rhyme and reason to a trade show. If there are 5 people at the trade show, everybody should have a specific role. There should also be a “Traffic Cop”. This is a person who is directing traffic into the booth. Sometimes people walking by are not appropriate for your product or service.

Mike Gray – So that person is a screener who directs the traffic to the right person within the booth.

Mike Gruenberg – Right – and they greet the person warmly. One of the greetings that I have used a million times is “Can I share with you what we are doing here at our company?” If they seem interested, guide them to the appropriate representative in the booth and introduce the representative to the prospect. This way you have taken away the superficiality of just showing up and it is not all haphazard. This also breaks down the barriers and opens up communication between you and the client. You want the client to come in. This is your home for the duration of the trade show.

Mike Gray – I know that you have pre-set goals for sales people before the show starts. Are there criteria that they have to meet?

Mike Gruenberg –Yes, there is a goal – why are we here, what are we doing here? Let’s say we are introducing a new product. I expect our sales people to have definite appointments. I feel that if sales people don’t have appointments for the trade show there is no need for them to attend the show.

Mike Gray – That leads me to the last question for this week. How does Marketing get traffic to the booth?

Mike Gruenberg – It is marketing’s role to create the excitement and the buzz. As mentioned in my last session – Marketing creates the need – Sales fills it. Whether it is in the form of pre-show mailers or invitations to a party it is marketing’s role is to support the sales effort.

Mike Gray – And this preparation happens weeks before the show?

Mike Gruenberg – Months before the show. The trade show organization will send you the attendee list. Since you know who is attending, send them all your information before the show. For example – “We would love to see you at our booth. If you visit our booth, you will be entered into a drawing for an ipad” or whatever you are giving away. Giveaways are really important, even if it is a sticky notepad or pen. People will show up. This way marketing has fulfilled their role to bring people to the booth.

Mike Gray – So it is not just a give-away to give it away but all part of a marketing strategy?

Mike Gruenberg – Yes and never just give it away. You always want to get a card, a name or a contact when passing out a give-away.

Mike Gray – That is all the time we have for this week. Mike Gruenberg will be back next week to discuss more on the topic “At the Trade Show.”

As always please respond with your questions or comments and let others know about We will see you next week. Until then I’m your host, Michael Gray, telling you to relax in the Exhibitor Lounge.