How to interview at trade shows & other venues
  2. Discovery Interviews (Step 2)
  3. How to interview at trade shows & other venues

2. How to conduct interviews at trade shows

With these tips, you can conduct many interviews in a short time.

As with a Discovery interview conducted at customers’ locations, you want to have your interview in a conference room with a projector. If you have a large booth that includes a private conference room, you’re all set. But if not, you can usually schedule a conference room at the conference center or hotel. Here are some tips to boost your success:

Schedule early: Many trade show attendees fill up their “dance cards” early. So reach out to them well ahead of the trade show. Create an interview schedule… perhaps with two 1.5 hours blocks in the morning and two 1.5 hour blocks in the afternoon. Then fill it up!

Food: This a great time to splurge! Bring in some food that will be well-appreciated by your guests… and be sure to let them know what’s in store: “I think you’re going to enjoy this: These trade shows can be tiring, but we’ve got some very comfortable chairs and amazing hot hor d'oeuvres waiting for you!

Incentives: Depending on your industry and the trade show, you might offer gifts for attending, door prizes, etc. Also consider promising that those who participate will receive the results of your “industry research” later. At a minimum, you could let them know the ten outcomes that were most commonly heard… and give them the opportunity to vote on which of these they’d like to see improved. (This is the essence of a Preference interview… which you could then conduct via web-conference after the show.)

When you interview at your customers' facilities, everyone in the conference room is working for the same company. But this might not be the case when you interview at a trade show. For tips on interviewing several companies at the same time, see the next BlueHelp article, Interviewing multiple companies at once.


Keywords: trade show, industry fair, trade conference, industry event, trade expo, trade exposition, trade convention, trade association, trade show attendees, trade show food, trade show incentives