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Helpful Tips When Attending Trade Shows/Expos

HELPFUL TIPS WHEN ATTENDING TRADE SHOWS / EXPOS

By Diana Meyer
CEO, Meyer Marketing Intelligence, Inc.
VIA Board of Directors Member

Many of us have probably attended a trade show or expo or two in the past, but how do you make the most of your time there? Well, you might be asking yourself “What should I do if I’m exhibiting?”  

Over the years, I have organized several companies’ presence at trade shows and handled training of the sales force to prepare everyone for networking and selling at a trade show. Therefore, I’d like to share with you a few tips that will serve as a refresher before B2B or any other trade show you’ll be attending. As an exhibitor, remember the following:

  1. Bring your company name badge and wear it or the exhibitors’ badge on the right side. It’s been shown that people will look at your right shoulder area when shaking hands. Make it easy for everyone to find your name.
  2. This brings me to my next point, in this day and age of people being more aware of airborne illnesses, it would be a nice touch to have some anti-bacterial gel at your booth in a place where others can get to it easily. You don’t even have to mention it. Not only will you need to use this, but your potential customers will be grateful there is some for them to use at their discretion.
  3. Repeat the other person’s name in a conversation a few times in order to remember it and show that you’re genuinely interested.
  4. If you have chairs at your booth, do not sit down. You should stand – so ladies, remember to wear comfortable shoes that you don’t mind wearing all day. This demonstrates that you’re receptive to meeting others and interested.
  5. Make sure you don’t have gum in your mouth. You don’t want to come across as a teenager.
  6. Keep your phone out of sight either on silent or turned off. You’re there to make connections and meet new people. Why have the distractions of messages or calls? If you must check for messages or texts, step away from the booth during a slow period.
  7. Collect a business card or if the show has electronic scanning of badges capabilities, make use of that service. If you’re going to write something on the back of the card, ask for their permission. In some cultures, it’s very bad manners to write on a business card. By the way, when you return to the office, follow up with each person you met and personalize that call or email. If you have a group on a social networking site, invite them to join your group.
  8. Finally, have a warm and inviting smile on your face. You can have all the latest technology at your booth or all the marketing collateral promoting the company, but if you don’t appear like you want to talk to someone new, they won’t want to stop and talk to you.

Of course, there are other sales tips, but these are just a few to serve as a reminder for you. Good luck and create your own successes as you exhibit!

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