We sure hope what happened in Vegas the week of CONEXPO-CON/AGG won’t stay in Vegas. After all, most of us work for months prior to the trade show to ensure the world will know all about what our clients reveal in Las Vegas. Since we love to expose what happens while we’re there, it seems appropriate to share some takeaways from the CONEXPO-CON/AGG show.

1. Make the most of face-to-face media interaction.
CONEXPO-CON/AGG is one of the rare opportunities to interact with construction and mining media in person. Make the most of the opportunity. My client had plenty of exciting announcements at the show, but the focus of the in-booth interviews wasn’t limited to that. We also asked editors about their editorial plans for the rest of the year, suggested some ideas and discussed their interest in utilizing other content mediums such as video. Out of the seven members of the media that passed through our booth, we secured five additional feature article opportunities for the remainder of the year.

2. Don’t put all your chips on interactive.
Interactive touchscreens sound great, but we witnessed numerous examples throughout the show where these novel devices were costly decorations collecting dust. There was a silver lining, though. Smaller interactive product display signs —think iPad in front of a bulldozer — were a huge success. They afford the opportunity for a lot of info and product specifications that traditionally wouldn’t be available, and the best part is that the user gets to decide what they look at! Word to the wise — take advantage of this technology for traditional product signage in front of equipment.

3. Say it, but say it differently.
If everyone is saying the same thing, it’s going to be nearly impossible to stand out, especially if you’re all using the same words. It won’t take long for those keywords — performance, durability, responsiveness — to simply become yada-yada-yada (remember that Seinfeld episode?). Sure, your product or service may offer the same benefits as your competitors, but finding a way to tout those differently was the key to winning in Vegas. One manufacturer was touting the same product benefits as all of their competitors, but guaranteed customers would experience those benefits, which was different enough to make them memorable.

4. Start with the visitor in mind.
I watched a multitude of conversations get kicked off the right way at CONEXPO-CON/AGG with the booth staff avoiding the ever-tempting, “Can I tell you about our new …” and instead starting with questions about the visitor, like, “Can you tell me a little bit about your business? What types of jobs are you working on most?” Starting with the visitor helps ensure the next step in the conversation is relevant to them, and proves to them from your first interaction you are a company that cares about listening to its customers.

5. Remember — girls (and boys) just wanna have fun.
Trade shows offer a fantastic opportunity to leave booth visitors with a memorable experience. It can be easy to overcomplicate activities in a booth, especially at a show the size of CONEXPO-CON/AGG. When things begin to get complicated, it’s nice to remember that at the heart of it we’re all just big kids. How can you make your competitive differentiators more fun? If comfort is a differentiator for you, can someone hop inside your equipment and experience it firsthand? Giving visitors a memorable experience that communicates your value points will help ensure you’re one of the booths they remember best when they head home.
— Leslie Maynes

If you’re interested in learning more about our insights to this trade show or others, feel free to reach out to us. We’re always game for talking about what we love — marketing and surviving another week in Las Vegas!

About Leslie Maynes

It’s all about the story for Two Rivers Marketing Public Relations Director Leslie Maynes. She loves helping each client uncover their own unique story and finding the perfect way to share it with their audience. Leslie has been telling stories in the agriculture and construction industries for 10 years. When she gets a free minute, she can be found reading other people’s stories. You can write to Leslie at lesliem@2rm.com