What to Do (and What Not to Do!) at a Trade Show
Are you planning to exhibit at a trade show in the near
future? If so, you’re not alone. Tons of companies find that trade shows are a
great way to engage with potential clients, give you a chance to showcase your
products and services, and are a robust source of media attention.
But exhibiting your brand at a trade show isn’t all fun and
games. As you probably already know, it’s a labor of love, sweat, and money. In
your trade show preparation, here is a couple of do’s and don’ts to keep in
mind for success.
Trade Show Do’s
Know Exactly What You
Want to Accomplish
Knowing your main goals for the show is very important. You
are looking to find new clients or concentrate on making actual sales? Once
you’ve laid out all of your objectives for the show, you’ll know how to plan
Be sure to conduct a pre-show training session with all of
your personnel before every show. A general rule of thumb is to write a list of
all of your objectives and hand it out to each staff member to ensure everyone
knows their role and that you all are on the same page.
Arrive Early and
Always be Prepared
Impress upon your employees the criticality of showing up
early during the day of the show. You should also have your booth set up before
the actual day of the event. But every day means restocking literature, promo
items, and general housekeeping. Assign a couple of your staff cleanup duties
to guarantee your booth always looks spick and span.
Your staff should familiarize with the products or services
you will be showcasing at the event and knows how to speak intelligently about
them. You also want to make sure everyone knows their place at the show,
including greeters at your booth. Trade-shows can get hectic and if there is no
one there to meet prospective clients, they can easily wander away.
Always be Professional
Keep it professional at all times while at the booth. That
means greeting clients, smiling, and knowing everything about the products or services
you’re offering that day. Have your staff dress to impress, but allow them to
still be comfortable. Trade shows are very long days and you’re going to spend
a lot of time on your feet, so stress the importance of wearing comfortable
shoes. Ensure everyone eats only during their designated break times and never
in the booth. This extends to chewing gum or munching on snacks.
It’s very important to always give your potential clients
undivided attention. This means refraining from texting or chatting on the
phone during show hours. Take every opportunity to converse with attendees.
When somebody stops by your booth, don’t ignore them. Always greet them right
away with a smile and answer any questions they might have. Know the ins and
outs of your products and talk about the ways in which your business’s services
can fulfil their needs. The goal here is not to pitch, but to engage.
When possible, take notes. The devil is in the details at
trade shows and every detail matters. Within a day or even within an hour, you
could completely forget about a specific conversation and allow a prospective
client to slip right through your fingertips.
Trade Show Don’ts
Forget to Watch Your
language makes up 93% of all communication, yet we are continually taking
it for granted. When you approach the trade show attendees, you want to be an
inviting and open as possible. Never cross your arms or look away from them.
Also, do not spend most of the time clustered with the rest of your employees.
This will send the message that you aren’t available to talk. All your
concentration must be focused on the folks visiting your booth.
Bad Mouth Your
Doing this is definitely off-putting. By spending needless
amounts of time trying to convince a potential client of your competitor’s
inferiority, you’re projecting insecurity on your part.
Eat, Drink, or Do
Anything Appearing to be Unprofessional at the Booth
That also goes for chewing gum, snacking, swearing, or
Stay Out Late at
While this may sound tempting (especially if you’re in a new
city), you need to be on you’re A-game the next morning. The last thing you
want is to be sick, exhausted, or hung over the following morning.