How to Grow your Business By Being a Boothie

How to Grow your Business By Being a Boothie

Amruti Borad, DO shares what you can consider when setting up a booth for your business at a conference.

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to be both an attendee and what I call a “boothie”, or an exhibitor at the San Diego Academy of Family Physicians Symposium. Along with the fantastic series of speakers, I had the opportunity to converse with other healthcare providers regarding something I hold near and dear to my heart: Coaching.

This was my first experience as a boothie and wanted to share my approach to being an exhibitor and, especially if you haven’t done it before. It is a humbling experience that requires preparation but worth it!

FYI: I have no affiliations with any of the companies for which I provide recommendations for below.

  1. Search for conferences that are for your people (aka those you want to serve): I happened to be part of this organization so this opportunity was more readily available and once I overcame my insecurities about trying something new, I signed up!
  2. Keep your budget in mind. Every business should have a budget. It’s up to you to decide if the marketing investment is right for you.
  3. Preparation:
    1. What message are you trying to convey? We often call this the 30 second elevator pitch (which by the way someone actually asked me for my 30 second business description :)). This does not have to be salesy. Especially in healthcare, you have started a business to provide value to serve your patients, other healthcare professionals, or organizations, so let that value shine through. You may also want to consider responses to likely FAQs.
    2. Visuals: Visual are vital.  Maybe that should be a hashtag. Determine how you want to portray your message and brand. Keep the space you are given in mind (table size, chairs, table cloth, can you put up banner, etc). If you have time, order samples of any visuals create to make sure they are good quality. I decided on 3 different canvases to reach my target audience (A quote, educational infographic, and snapshot of data from a medical journal and placed two on the table with canvas stands and one on a large ground canvas stand since I didn’t have a banner. I also created a table cloth with my logo. I saw many others use banners which are highly effective and client testimonials. I used the following for the canvases:
      1. Creation of Images: Canva
      2. Printing of Images on a Canvas:
        1. Vistaprint
        2. Easy Canvas Prints (cheaper and great quality)
        3. Canvas stands: Amazon
        4. Tablecloth: 4imprint
    3. Business Cards versus Brochures or Both, Event Cards: I opted to create only brochures and an event card (postcard to highlight an upcoming summit) because I felt I could convey more through a brochure and that most people are more likely to lose or toss a business card. However, next time, I will likely also have business cards available for people who prefer that. I decided against digital business cards in case there were issues with internet connectivity but that is always an option (and it is healthier for your budget and the environment :)).
        1. Brochures and Event Cards:
          1. Creation of Images: Canva
          2. Printing of Brochures/Card: Vista Print

               4. Freebies: What are some of the ways that people can be reminded of you? Branded pens, post-its, notepads, short educational guides targeted towards your audience, stress balls, bags, water bottles; Consider a prize wheel or a raffle (raffle can be a free coaching session, for example). And food- you can opt for healthy options, but I think most love candy . I ended up offering branded pens (very popular, despite our era of technology) and post-it pads with rulers attached. I used the following company and was very pleased with their service: 4imprint.

                5. Follow Up: How do you plan to obtain contact information and follow up, especially with those who seemed particularly interested  in your    services? You can consider:

    1. Digital business cards and ask the best way to reach out to them.
    2. Request their business card, especially if you spend a lot of time talking to them and ask the best way to reach out to them.
    3. Many conferences have a way to scan each others badges that allows sharing of contact info, but not everyone fills out the information in the conference apps ahead of time.
    4. Connect on social media, particularly linkedin (conferences typically have lists of the attendees) and send a message reminding them of your conversation with your connection request, if possible.
    5. No matter how you reach out, consider discussing how you or someone you know may benefit from any of their services. Collaboration is key.

I am excited to say that within less than 24 hours of the completion of the event, I have already had several people sign up for my virtual summit and excited to see where this will lead.

Perhaps I will include this data and others in the my next follow up article: How to Grow your Business by Hosting a Virtual Summit!


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Sherita D. Gaskins-Tillett, MD

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A Weekend For Me is a time-out for professional women to rest, reconnect with themselves, define their priorities and vision a life that they love.

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