What to do at Trade Shows, by Randi Drinkwater, MASSAGE Magazine Business TipOver the years, we have counseled clients against trade shows. Today, we are changing our way of thinking—only for the alternative and integrative healthcare practitioner.

With wellness events popping up everywhere you look and consumers stopping in to see what “wellness” can mean for them, fertile stomping grounds are in the making for you to have one-on-ones with the people in your community. 

Attending trade shows allows you to:

  • Show yourself as a leader, an advocate and a trusted resource
  • Be at the forefront of the chit-chat on wellness
  • Set the tone and message that the marketplace needs to hear, independent of the banter and rumors that exist out there regarding massage
  • Make connections with potential clients

However, a few rules of thumb apply:

  • Stick to your local area. Unless you offer a specialty that no one else offers, or are well renowned across the nation as the go-to for your modality, chances are your clients will come from a certain radius within a geographical area.
  • If you are going to attend a trade show, be on top of your game at all times. Greet everyone that comes by promptly, and don’t go for the hard sell. The wellness industry is in an educational mode. Let this be your opportunity to support that educational process.
  • Make professional appearance your first priority. People buy the person first; make no mistake about it. In the time it takes to shake someone’s hand, make initial eye contact and lob out one rapport-building statement, your prospect has already consciously–or subconsciously–decided to do business with you or move on to the next booth.  Think about it: People like to do business with people they like. And the connection has to be genuine, a reflection of your practice’s heart and soul as delivered through you and your team as they stand by your trade-show booth, ready to win over new clients.
  • Be conscious of body language. Engage with booth visitors as if they were coming to your office for the first time. Common sense applies: no gum, no cell phones, stand up straight, make good eye contact and do not look over his or her shoulder to see if someone more interesting is coming along.

The simple truth is, your trade-show success hinges on how you handle yourself.  A genuine conversation at your trade-show booth could very well lead to your next new client. 

Randi Drinkwater, What to do at Trade Shows, MASSAGE Magazine Business TipFor more than 25 years, Randi Drinkwater has successfully spearheaded high-impact marketing solutions for such global companies as IBM, Cisco Systems, and WorldCom/MCI/UUNet. Today, Drinkwater resides as CEO for Alternative Growth Streams, (http://www.easygettingmorepatients.com) a marketing-membership Web site designed exclusively to empower alternative and integrative practitioners to grow their practices and get more patients/clients. She is well known and respected throughout the industry and is the recipient of the BPAA Atlanta Peach and Southeast Addy award for marketing excellence.