Enlist Your C-Suite To Punch Through A Trade Show Stalemate

It’s important in business to always put your best face forward and use the best building tools you have at your disposal.

Sometimes those building tools happen to be people…and they can help breath life into a show that’s gone stale.

When you focus on quality -not just getting the job done- you are maximizing the impact your show has.

Quality needs to infiltrate every area of your show and one way to ensure that happens is by enlisting your C-level executives to personalize the experience for sponsors and exhibitors.

Time To Bring In The A-Team

We have been trained to think that people with clout should only do things that fit within the confines of certain expectations.

It’s time to expand that purview. It’s not only good for your clients and bottom line, but it is also beneficial for your team of executives.

Mingling with reality and being submerged in the concerns of others has a way of putting things into perspective and showing us what our priorities should be.

Bringing executives onboard to help isn’t an original idea, but it is one that often comes with a list of objections such as…

Executives are too busy and important to make phone calls or have face-to-face meetings with clients, especially mid to lower-tier ones.

Executives don’t offer reassurance or listen to complaints…that’s for customer service reps.

Let’s dispel those objections right now…

Not Enough Time

This doesn’t need to be a huge time commitment. Often what’s needed can be accomplished in twenty minutes. On occasion, more time will be required but let’s ask ourselves what is more important than communicating with your clients that they are worth the effort and time? I can’t think of anything. They are your bread and butter…without them you have no show so take the time to invest in them.

Not My Purview

This isn’t meant to replace the great work that your salespeople or customer service provides. Instead, what it does do is add influence and authority to the mix. It makes your clients feel good and shows them that you are pleased to have them as an integral part of your show. Your clients aren’t one in a million, they are people that matter. Small exhibitors should be treated with the same level of care as big money sponsors.

The Best Use of Twenty Minutes

We have covered why you should enlist your execs so now it’s time to go over how they can help out…here are some practical and easy ways they can offer assistance…

  • Have an executive on hand to welcome exhibitors. They don’t need to have a speech planned; a quick acknowledgment of their arrival and an offer of encouragement is sufficient.


  • Provide direct access to your executives, whether it’s before the show, during, or after. This does not mean access 24/7, instead set up specific times for exhibitors to have their questions answered without having to go through a customer service rep first.


  • Have an executive say a few words to the attendees during the keynote session. It’s a good time to check-in with them to see if they have any questions or concerns that need to be addressed by you and your team. When an executive says they will look into a concern, it adds a little punch to the delivery and your team’s follow up.


  • After the show, encourage executives to follow up with exhibitors and specific attendees to get feedback. This reiterates to your clients and guests that their voices are being heard because they matter. You can choose at random, or highlight any special relationships that need a little personal touch to continue or be helped along to reinvest in your show.


  • Get your executives behind the wheel for a road trip. This one will take longer than twenty minutes but it’s well worth the time invested. Nothing communicates that you care more than a face-to-face meeting on their turf.

The Bottom Line

Is there some other motivation behind this effort beyond the fact that you DO care about the wellbeing of your guests and clients? Yes, of course, and it’s nothing to hide from or be ashamed of.

It’s worth noting that a note of encouragement from the C-Suite to your show staff, also goes a long way in helping your staff feel like they are being noticed for the good work they are doing. In doing so it also demonstrates to your staff that the work they do is valuable and noticed, even by the C-suite.

In order to be successful, you need to be profitable and that means the happiness of your attendees, exhibitors, sponsors, and staff are crucial and must be sustained. Encourage your C-Suite to get out of the boardroom, and onto your showroom floor, to help you achieve more sales, more attendees, and an overall better bottom for line your show. And that’s something any executive can get behind.