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13 Tips for a Successful IMTS 2016

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13 Tips for a Successful IMTS 2016

by Emilie Barta, Trade Show Marketing + Presentation Consultant

Are you ready to have a successful IMTS 2016?

You have applied for your booth space, registered for IMTS 2016, designed + built your exhibit, contracted all of your services, made your travel arrangements, created your marketing plan, scheduled appointments with customers + prospects, chosen which of your employees are going to staff your booth, and selected the perfect outsourced booth staff to join your trade show team. So now all you have to do is show up at McCormick Place…right?


The #1 reason exhibitors have an unsuccessful trade show is that they merely stand there and expect attendees to come to them.

IMTS...and trade shows in general... have a lot going on in a very condensed space. Therefore, you need to attract attendees to your booth, and take advantage of the time you have with them once they are there.

Follow these 13 tips for a successful IMTS 2016:

  1. SMILE and have a POSITIVE ATTITUDE. These are the best accessories you can put on in the morning!
  2. Make sure to do PRE-SHOW MARKETING to drive attendees to your booth. The walk-bys are the icing on the cake.
  3. Give attendees a REASON to walk into your booth, otherwise they will just walk on by.
  4. Make sure your PURPOSE for being at the trade show is crystal clear so that no attendee gets confused by your message.
  5. WELCOME attendees into your booth and be a perfect “party host” once they are inside. It is all about the first impression!
  6. Maintain your ENERGY LEVEL throughout the day, no matter how tired or hungry you are.
  7. STAFF YOUR BOOTH with employees who recognize the value of trade shows, show up on time, do not wander away from the booth, know the answers to the questions attendees will ask, maintain a put-together appearance, and are not prone to losing business cards or information that is needed back at the office.
  8. Make sure that your booth staff has a UNIFORM APPEARANCE so that it is obvious to the attendees who works for your company and who can answer their questions.
  9. Don’t think that you can do it all, because you can’t. Make sure to OUTSOURCE functions to companies who represent your brand image.
  10. LISTEN to attendees and give them exactly what they are looking for in the moment. Upselling can happen once the show is over and a relationship has been established.
  11. Have a designated method for getting HOT LEADS to the appropriate sales person both on the show floor and back at the office. Never let an opportunity slip away due to disorganization.
  12. Remember that you are REPRESENTING YOUR COMPANY from the minute you arrive at the airport to fly to Chicago until the minute you leave the airport in your hometown after IMTS 2016 closes. Many relationships have been started on airplanes or shuttles, at the food court, in line at the coffee stand, walking down the hallway, or at dinner. And many more relationships have been destroyed during these same times.
  13. And most importantly, HAVE FUN!

Some of these tips for a successful IMTS 2016 may sound obvious. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you how many times I approach a booth only to find one employee present, sitting with their back to the aisle, with a scowl on their face, hunched over their computer. These are always the exhibitors that complain that they had an unsuccessful show, and that give trade shows a bad name. Please don't be this exhibitor.

Wishing you a successful IMTS 2016!

Along with being the Host of IMTSTV, Emilie Barta is a trade show presentation strategist, marketer, designer, and presenter. She has attracted qualified decision makers out of the aisle and into the booth for exhibitors at more than 300 trade shows around the world for 15+ years. For more information on how Emilie and her team of trade show pros can bring you with recognition + results on the trade show floor, please visit http://www.emiliebarta.com/exhibitors.

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