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Stronger IMTS Results in 4 Simple Steps

The plans are all laid out. You have a booth design. Machines have been selected. But what should you do to prepare yourself for IMTS 2024?
Jun 27, 2024

IMTS is a marathon, not a sprint. A little training will go a long way toward show success. Follow our four-step plan for more booth traffic, longer visits, better leads, and clear post-show results. (We make no promises about your abs, especially since we’ll all be enjoying brand new food options throughout McCormick Place).  

1. Learn Your Offerings 

Even if you are not involved in the booth planning, you need to take the initiative to prepare yourself for the show floor. Do your homework! 

Get to know all your products. Understand target markets. Familiarize yourself with how one piece of equipment can offer distinct solutions for a diverse customer base. Craft a story for each product and be prepared to tell it. Everyone loves a good story, and if you want to stand out at IMTS you have to have great stories.  

Seek out your fellow employees who have expertise and prepare yourself to be the expert in the booth. You should also get to know other booth staff members, especially if they are from different offices or regions. 

2. Be Eager To Engage 

After you’ve done your homework, you have to get ready to present. That means being presentable and staying present. And don’t forget the mints. Trust us.  

Refuse to just be a pretty face in the booth. Engage. If you give visitors the option to walk right by, they will. Sure, some people will be specifically seeking out your company or your solutions. Great. But what about all those others who are wandering the show floor like kids in a tool candy store? Get their attention. 

YouTube is ripe with great content on small tips for big results in the booth. Start here and focus on speaking with confidence and aiming for immediate results (like getting meetings scheduled instead of just collecting business cards).  

You want to eliminate physical and perceived barriers between you and potential customers. Think about your accessibility. Don’t block your booth with a table near the aisle.   

Likewise, don’t hide out in the back of the booth waiting for people to approach you. Or, even worse, don’t stand in a tight circle talking only with your peers. Small shifts in body language can make potential visitors feel more welcome. Check out this TEDx Talk about how to stop forming bagels (circles) and start making croissants (and connections).   

Remember, this is not the high school homecoming dance. Someone will dance with you if you just look available… Really! Look around, make eye contact, and smile. Welcome attendees in with a hearty hello. Sometimes, this goes even further than a whiz-bang display.   

3. Achieve Your Goals 

Getting booth traffic is the first step, but what’s next? Now you have to convert traffic to leads. Apply all the knowledge you gained before the show.   

The more information you provide to booth visitors and gather from booth visitors, the more likely you are to achieve IMTS success. Activities, beverages, and food can encourage visitors to spend more time in your booth, but the power of an informed conversation with a dynamic employee should never be overlooked. Be an ambassador all day, every day at IMTS. Tell those stories you learned about your products.  

Make sure you are gathering complete contact information. Take a few moments after each interaction to make notes that help you remember a person or a conversation.   

4. Keep the Momentum Going                          

The show is over, and your feet are tired. But don’t put them up just yet.   

Follow up, follow up, follow up. Don’t let those leads get cold. Everyone leaves IMTS pumped up. It is such a momentum builder interacting with thousands of peers and seeing the best of manufacturing technology. Take advantage of this momentum on all sides and contact booth visitors quickly after the show.  

You can also use tools to help you make more contacts. IMTS Exhibitor Passport is a powerful tool that can help you turn data into leads and reach your sales goals. Using IMTS registrant data, Passport allows users to customize email lists and reach targeted markets. It is also the only way to access the IMTS visitor lists. Connect with the people you may have missed on the show floor.   

With a little planning and a lot of work, you can make IMTS 2024 your best show yet.   

For more tips and tricks, subscribe to our newsletters and check out all of our exhibitor content on IMTS.com.  

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Author
Peter R. Eelman
Chief Experience Officer
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