Exhibitors-Don’t Battle the Battery! Become Charging Station Networking Gurus
Oct 28, 2013 by DeDe Mulligan

As attendees travel hundreds or thousands of miles to attend conferences, most likely they are going to have one or more of the following things affect their ability to use their mobile device for hours on end:

  1. They left their charging cord at home. (It happens more than you might think.)
     
  2. They forgot to minimize the 15+ applications they were using throughout the day or
     
  3. They attended back-to-back sessions that were video and social intensive. 

Now, they are on the exhibitor floor with 10% battery life and they see your charging station. As they make a mad dash for your unit, they start to cringe and feel a little bit like they are waiting in line for the bathroom, at the bus stop or in an elevator. In fact, does your charging station look like this?

charging station

Notice – of the 8 people around the table, only 3 are participating in a conversation. The rest are heads down just waiting for their device to charge while trying to do some work. And if you look to the far left, you will see one individual reading a book, waiting for someone to pop off the table. 

What if you could turn this "charging experience" into something more? What if you could enhance the attendee experience while letting them charge their device

My colleague, Donna Kastner who is Director of Expo/Sponsor Sales & Activation at Velvet Chainsaw Consulting has come up with the idea of a networking charge-up lounge. The premise is fairly simple: While people are waiting the obligatory 10-minutes to charge their devices, a "networking concierge", that is friendly, can engage the people charging their devices in an interesting conversation about a topic that is event-related. After the 10 minutes are over, the group will know a little more about each other and the topic. 
 
While this is an interesting idea, I would take it a little further and put it right in the exhibitor's booth. Here are some suggestions:  
 
  1. Have each member of the exhibitor's team act as a networking concierge. They must be articulate, outgoing and smile!
     
  2. When the attendee approaches your station, use a lead retrieval system to scan their badge. 
     
  3. Once the attendees are "plugged in", encourage them to exchange business cards with each other and say a little bit about themselves and why they are at the conference. 
     
  4. Have a list of topics related to the conference and ask which one the group would like to focus on. If possible, link the topic to your products or services.
     
  5. Have someone with your organization take notes about the discussion. 
     
  6. Before attendees unplug and leave, ask if it would be okay to follow-up with them regarding your products and services. When you follow-up, send the notes from the networking session. 

AV Event Solutions, now part of the SmartSource Rentals family, can provide you with a variety of charging stations equipped with a Plasma Display to rotate videos, photos, presentations and your company logo to boost your brand awareness. Give them a call today or request a quote to start the charging station rental process! 

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