5 Tips to Get People to STOP at YOUR Exhibit Table

5 Tips to Get People to STOP at YOUR Exhibit Table

I recently went to my first LIVE event last week, it was awesome. As I walked around the room, I was excited to see what was being offered at all the exhibit tables. Needless to say, I was underwhelmed. It was not that they did not have information; it was that it did not pull me in and want to learn more. They also did not have a way to connect with me; grab my contact information so that they could continue the conversation after the event. This is not unusual; this happens most of the time. So what are you supposed to do? Here are my top 5 tips:

  1. Get My Attention: is your table standing out from the rest of the crowd? Here are a few ways to do that:
    1. Make your table taller than the rest. You can purchase inexpensive table risers that will take the table higher and make it stand out.
    2. Bring a different tablecloth. Do not look like the rest of the room, put something on top of their cloth that is in alignment with your branding and a color different than everyone else.
    3. Use boxes, covered with cloth to act as height to your table. Have levels of information; it makes it more interesting to the eye.
    4. Use signage to tell the audience who you are and what you do. Do not make us guess or walk up and ask. If it’s not something we are interested in; we will feel stuck in a conversation that will not be a sale; so, don’t waste your time or mine.
  2. Give Something Away: everyone loves to win something; so, have something really juicy in a raffle. This should not be “Complementary Call” with you. I want to win something; perhaps a basket with wine, glasses, and a journal; or a gift card to a local restaurant or Starbucks. You don’t have to spend a lot; but make it so engaging, I can’t wait to give you my business card or contact information. Tell the participants when the raffle will take place so they could check back to see if they won. You do not want to take the raffle prize home and then have to mail it out. It is so much better the hand it to them, take a picture and share it on social media. You can give something away every day of the event; this is a great way to get them coming back again and again. You can also have a free download that everyone gets for just participating. This keeps the conversation going after the event.
  3. Know What to Say: If the exhibitors are given time to introduce themselves; please be prepared. Tell them who you are; what you do and why they need to come to your table. Don’t ramble or forget to share your Free Download; Your Raffle; or any other goodies you have to offer. You want to entice them to come to your table.
  4. Video: If you really want to add something interesting; make a video that shows what your company is all about and have it playing on a loop on your table. Now it’s hard if your table is not in a secure area; but you can put the computer up and have it run when you are at the table. This is great for companies that have before/after photos; it really shows what you are all about. Of if you can show clients success; testimonials; your products. Everyone is so used to seeing video after being home for the past year; it will draw their attention. This presentation needs to look professional, so if you can’t get it looking great, don’t do it. You need to put your best foot forward, you don’t have a lot of time to get their attention.
  5. Stand in Front of Your Table: Stop hiding behind your table. You are using it as a block between you and your potential client. Step out from behind and stand to the side or in front. It is more welcoming and open. Introduce yourself and ask if they have any questions; or ask them to sign up and win a prize; do not start with a sale. Do not overwhelm them, just be there to answer questions. No one like to be sold to!

So  remember: Stand Out, Give Away, Know What to Say, Get Your Video Rocking and Stand out in Front of the Table. I know you will see a big difference and your leads will increase thus growing your community of raving fans!

Want to learn more about events & the business of speaking on stages? Check out my other blogs, or contact me at Toni@Academy4Speakers.com.

Toni Caruso
Academy4Speakers, Caruso Signature Events

Time to Stand Out, when you are Stuck In the Box

Time to Stand Out, when you are Stuck In the Box

How’s that box you been living in? You know that Zoom Box! Is it showing the world how amazing you are?

I hope the answer is Yes, but I have been on so many networking zoom calls and I am still amazed at what I see and hear. That small box on the screen in YOUR stage and most people are not treating it that way. We have been locked down for a year now, if you haven’t yet learned how to show-up professionally on a virtual meeting, no wonder you are not moving forward with your business.

Think of it this way. You show up for a coffee meeting (live) to connect with a possible new client. You show up in your “comfy clothes,” sit in a corner with a window behind you and your hair is up covered by a baseball cap. Do you think you will get the business? Not a great first impression.

The same is true in the virtual world. So I am going to go over this one more time:

  • Take a shower and get dressed up (at least from the waist up)
  • Do your make-up as if you were meeting someone live and in person
  • Turn the camera on and look at yourself in the screen before you jump on the link. Are you…
    • Sitting in a cave? Have the light in front, not in back of you
    • In the center of the screen? Your eyes should be level with your camera lens. I do not want to look up you nose or down at the top of your head.
    • Wearing clothing that enhances your look (stay away from busy patterns)
  • Keep yourself muted. I cannot believe how many personal conversations have been shared to an entire group of people because someone forgot to mute themselves. The host is busy an sometimes cannot get to it fast enough. Think of it as walking into a classroom where everyone is taking a test (hear the quite), but YOU are having a heated conversation on your phone. It is very disruptive.

Last but certainly not least, stop selling your products. When you are asked to introduce yourself, introduce yourself. They are not asking you to take 60 seconds and sell your products. Say your name, your company and how you support your ideal client. You don’t support them by selling the skincare; instead “you make women feel young and vibrant so they can start their day feeling optimistic and confident.” Share the benefit or outcome.

We are not leaving the virtual world for a long time. Even when we go back to LIVE events, they will have a hybrid option. This box is YOUR stage, make the most of it and you will see the difference in your business and in your life.

You Should Always Go Last, WHAT?

You Should Always Go Last, WHAT?

I have been on so many virtual networking events in the past 8 months and it has been zoom overload at times.The one consistant thing I notice is that people don’t realize when they are talking; that, they are on stage! It might be a little square on the screen but it is a very big one for you.

When you “step on stage” make sure you are engaging and relevent. Stop with the canned 60 minute introduction that someone gave you a template to use. For example“I help women find happiness, love and abundance through my (insert product or service) so that they can live a more fulfilling life.” Really? Then you find out that they are a CPA. Yes, getting bookkeeping and tax help will make you happy and abundant, but is that really the way to say it.

Stop wasting that 60 seconds on “selling” your service. Start using that time to focus on how you can serve the rest of the group. You can’t do that if you are the first to speak. You need to be the last. God gave us two ears and one mouth so that we would listen twice as much as we speak. So listen to each person share their business and their challenges; then when it is your time, say your name; your business and if you have a service or referral for anyone prior to help them with their challenge. Share, share, share. Stop trying to “sell” the group; no one is really going to buy your products in 60 secounds. But if you can make a connection with them to further your relationship; you never know what will happen.

Remember that stage you are standing/sitting at is an important one. Be sure you are using it wisely and that what you say is

 CLEAR: Have a great microphone and don’t rush, make your words count.

HONEST: People can tell when someone is selling them a line; even virtually. So be honest and truthful about your business.

AUTHENTIC: Be YOU. Stop trying to mimic others; if you make a mistake, it makes you real and relatable. We want to know YOU – that’s who we want to do business with.


Now more than ever we need each other. We need more relationships! And the people we are looking to connect with are those in alignment with their message and their mission. This is a new year and a great time to re-make and re-brand yourself, your message and your mission. Don’t be afraid to change.

Change is good! Change is Scary. I can tell you from personal experience, this year is filled with a lot of changes in my business and my personal life. Each one is making me stronger and more determined to reach my ultimate goals. I hope you will join me and set some big goals for yourself and make those needed changes to ultimately succeed! Like Sandra Yancey, Founder & CEO of eWomenNetwork, always says “Reach for the moon, even if you miss you will be among the stars!”

Get out there and make every stage, YOUR stage!

How to Get On More Stages and Asked Back Again & Again

How to Get On More Stages and Asked Back Again & Again

I get asked all the time, what is the secret sauce to get on stages. The answer is very simple ~ help fill the room. What you say? I’m not the event planner or host. No you are not; but you need to understand that filling events is an art. Most planners are not great artists. They rely on their community to fill the room (virtually or live). But what if their community is not large; or not interested in attending. They have to use all their tools in their tool kits to be those butts in seats. It is hard work, especially now that there are so many virtual events competing for the audiences time.

As an event producer, I love it when my speakers help fill my events. I don’t know why so many speakers don’t help; is it that they don’t want “Their People” to be a part of anyone elses’ group. That is just selfish. Most event planners will give their speakers affiliate links so they can track where each attendee originated. If you are smart and want to be asked back again and again, promote the hell out of the event. Some hosts actually give you money back for each person you bring in ~ what is stopping you for helping?

As the production staff if they have social media posts with swipe copy (short copy that they can cut and paste) for you to share. It takes minutes to schedule these posts add your affiliate link and walk away. Put the link in your newsletter. Announce that you are speaking at the event and would love to have my community in the room. It is really simple and easy to accomplish.

You want an audience Right? So why make it the event hosts job to get a great audience for you to present to. Recent studies have found that in the last 6 months, since LIVE events have been sidelined; virtual events are not getting the audiences they would have had if the event was LIVE.

If I see that a speaker is continually bringing 20+ people into my events; I am going to ask them to speak time after time, especially if their audience is engaged, connecting and converting. I will have them stop by and talk time and again.

You wanted to know how to help getting on stages; now you do. What are you going to do with that information? Let me know how your speaking business grows when you put this all into action.

What, may I ask are you waiting for? Get On Stage!

What, may I ask are you waiting for? Get On Stage!

With this virtual world we are in, there are numerous opportunities to speak on “stages.” Are you taking full advantage of this time to hone your skills and practice your pitch on the virtual stage? We WILL be back LIVE and, in the room, again; it is just a matter of time. Are you ready?

Event producers and hosts are always looking for engaging and authentic speakers to be a part of their events. But you must have everything in place to even be considered for those all-important slots. If not, let me give you a quick education on what you should have in place before you start sending out emails.

You need tools in your toolbox…

  • Your speaker one-sheet ~ do you have one? Is it updated? Does it look professional?
  • Is your headshot current? If you do not look like your picture anymore, you need to update. We want to know what you are going to look like when you step on our stage.
  • Do you have your 3 talks ready to go with all the take-aways listed? Keep it short and sweet and make them clear so that we know exactly what your expertise is. Talks can be tweaked for an audience, but you can’t be everything to everybody.
  • Have you figured out your audience avatars yet? Do you know who you should be talking to? Don’t try and speak to everyone and waste your time getting on stages that are not “right” for you. Determine your audience avatar then go after the groups that fit your ideal audience. Why speak to people who are not interested in what you are sharing. For example, if your specialty is real estate investment, your audience better have money available to invest or you are wasting yours’ and their time.
  • Got Video? I want to know if you can walk and talk at the same time. Are you dynamic, energetic or do you just stand there and speak? Video is your best marketing tool. You do not have to have a lot of video, but enough for us to determine if you are the right fit for our audience.
  • Do you know what to questions to ask the production team before you step on that stage? You better know what you will need and what they require.

This is just a quick overview, if you would like more details check out my FREE GIFT: 10 Things you need to know before you step on-stage!