How-to: Trade Show Tips

Switch 2011, Trade Show By Blue Mountains Library licensed CC-by-NC-2.0I’ve visited many trade shows and observed many business people manning their stands.

Some key points to success:

How does the stand look? Is it easy to tell exactly what you do – does it shine out from the stand? Or is it a mystery that a potential customer may not bother to explore? Is it beautifully designed and decorated – or have you left half-eaten burgers and lipstick-stained coffee cups in full view? Take care about eating and drinking in sight of visitors.

How do you and your colleagues look? Personal appearance and dress really matter [as do comfy shoes, a change of clothes and some washing things if the atmosphere’s a bit stuffy].

Some free gifts [sweets, pens, notebooks] are always popular and I’ve seen some really inventive freebies – mini whisks from a cooking company, packets of seeds, umbrellas and re-usable USB sticks all trigger the collector instinct in us all.

What about the welcome you offer? A few seats, name badges and business cards all personalise each little encounter.

A low key interactive feature, like inviting visitors to add post it notes or writing their thoughts on a blackboard is enjoyable, and can help you gather useful feedback and ideas for your business.

And of course – there are those all-important speaking skills. First impressions include good eye contact, a smile, relaxed breathing, posture and body language, well-honed listening skills and a controlled, pleasant voice suitable for the [possibly tiny] booth you’re working in.

Careful not to oversell; I’ve seen people backing away from a desperate and slightly manic-seeming salesman and head straight for the next stand. Try some roleplay exercises with your staff. PH

Image credit: Switch 2011, Trade Show By Blue Mountains Library licensed CC-by-NC-2.0

This article originally appeared at Speaking Well in Public

About Philippa Hammond

Speaking Well In Public offers a portfolio of public speaking courses for business, performance and social occasions designed and developed by Philippa Hammond, combining her skills and techniques as an award-winning trainer, working actor and voice artist. Philippa is a member of Equity and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.


4 thoughts on “How-to: Trade Show Tips

  1. thanks to people like you that all newbie have the opportunity to understand something they would like to know but don’t know where to find it.

    Posted by chris mestreseo | December 7, 2012, 11:35 am
  2. keep the good works, as you always do.

    Posted by Carmen Rez | December 7, 2012, 3:21 pm
  3. it’s nice to share this information. looking forward to reading more.

    Posted by carol xauxixa | December 7, 2012, 10:27 pm
  4. Great tips on how to run an exhibition stand.

    Posted by Jenna Severn | December 10, 2012, 9:38 am

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