For convention-goers at Natural Foods Expo West in Anaheim–be they retailers, consumers or bloggers– the spectacle of glorious spaces and inspired new products offers a seemingly endless parade of pleasure.
All this happiness comes at a high cost to exhibitors.
For the most entrenched and profitable companies, these affairs are the cost of doing business. But startups and small outfits may be bootstrapping the expenses. All of them however are there for one purpose: Finding the right customer.
Everyone is different. Some come for the swag—signs limiting filled bags to “one only” are posted. YouTube shows visitors displaying the haul like kids after trick-or-treating on Halloween. Not to be confused with the goods in $160,000 swag bags heaped on Oscar nominees, these products though can also be pricy and costly for the marketer. Ask yourself: who orders my product after experiencing it here? That individual is most likely not running around with a stack of free bags and booty.
Don’t waste your money. Offer quality samples instead of full-size giveaways.
Be smart. Educate the booth-sitter about your product. The smallest stalls sometimes have the smartest people. Founders, perhaps?
Be demure. Treat people with a gentle touch. They are overstimulated and may stay awhile if they can browse a bit. Say hello and give them time and space.
Advertise the discount. Purchasing product at 25% off and more is highly motivating to the retailer or even the consumer.
Treat every person like a mini-focus group. Ask for feedback, criticism as well as praise. Negative response will be more valuable.
Reach across the aisle. Find out what else is going on. Hire a substitute to man the booth while you explore the competition.
Step outside and survey the vast legions of healthy eaters at play in the Southern California sun. No way is this market going anywhere but up.