(Corporate Meetings & Incentives)

After 22 years of performing at trade shows, attracting attendees to corporate booths, Joel Bauer is so sure that his techniques will work that he offers the companies he works for a money-back guarantee if they’re not satisfied. “I’ve never had to do it,” says Bauer.

Based on his experiences with companies such as IBM, Mitsubishi, and Philips, to name a few, Bauer suggests these five tips for attracting qualified leads to your trade show booth:

1. The one who is loudest wins
Rent or invest in a good 100 watt (or more) public address system with quality speakers and a headset microphone that allows you the freedom to move your hands around.

2. Eye level is buy level
Make your products and services visible- without the audience having to jockey for position-by raising all your products to counter levels of 55 to 75 inches. Make sure the person speaking or demonstrating is also visible by placing him or her on a pedestal or tiny runway stage of 12 to 29 inches high.

3. Tell them what they want to hear
Don’t waste time telling attendees things they don’t need or want to know.

4. Pack ’em in
Bring people in as close to the presentation and to each other as possible to create the impression of “critical mass.” This way, if one person leaves, the gap isn’t visible, and doesn’t lead others to assume there’s nothing worth watching.

5. Use gifts and prizes intelligently 
Attendees will watch demonstrations if they believe they’ll be rewarded. But make sure you get something in return for the t-shirts, pens, or sunglasses-namely, information: What are their needs? Do they want this product? Can they purchase this product?