Dos and Don’ts for AIMExpo 2023

Tradeshows are something I try to maximize. Here are some dos and don'ts for AIMExpo.

I have been accused on more than several occasions of knowing my way around a trade show. I suppose it helps that I absolutely love my industry. For me, it’s not a job, but a passion. As such, being at a trade show, seeing all my favorite people, setting up booths and waiting on freight is a joy and one that I try to maximize.

While I’ve done many shows in other industries, AIMExpo is geared directly toward our powersports family. Below are some of my dos and don’ts while attending the show.

DOs and DON’Ts of Exhibiting

DON’T sit/stand in the back of your booth expecting dealers to come to you.

DO engage attendees to ask about their shops and their customers to determine what info about your products is most useful to them (not just what you’re trying to sell them!).

DON’T sit in a chair while talking to dealers.

DO stand out front and engage dealers with a friendly, “Hello, thanks for coming,” or “Where are you from?”

DON’T firehose. I promise, they (most) won’t remember all the fancy footwork that went into the coolest new widget you’re trying to sell.          

DO bring multiple shoes and know that you are going to stand a lot. When I design a booth space for customers, I don’t even allow chairs. Bikes are always accepted. If I truly need a break from standing, I sit on the bike. No one questions a gal (or guy) sitting on the bike we are likely discussing anyway.

DON’T answer emails and calls in your booth if you can help it.

DO “take five” to walk the floor or step back to the meeting areas. I know we all have business to tend to, even when the show is on. But even if traffic is light, you could miss — or even worse, “put off” — someone coming down the aisle.

DON’T ignore your neighbors, even if what they sell has nothing to do with your customer base.

DO engage the exhibitors around you. Many times working alone, I’ve covered for others and vice versa for potty breaks. Even better, if one has light traffic, they can take photos of the other and exchange at the end of the show. We can’t all afford to bring our whole social media team/paparazzi, so make friends!

DON’T expect that just because a dealer grabs your card, it means they remember why or what cool new thing you had.

DO have a fun raffle or giveaway and collect cards so that after the show, you can follow up with what products you had and any specials. It’s not spam: It’s business.

At the end of the day, have fun! Life is too short to not love what you’re doing. The burden doesn’t fall solely on us exhibitors. The dealers have a responsibility to come ready for knowledge too. More on that, next column ….

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