Exhibiting at trade shows is a dynamic way of presenting your brand to the world. Once your booth is set up and the day of the expo is underway, how you and your team behave becomes a fundamental part of showcasing your brand. Here are some crucial do’s and don’ts to maintain stellar trade show etiquette, which can bridge the gap between a casual visitor and a prospective client.
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‘Stay on your feet’ isn’t merely an expression – it is a practical advice for trade shows. When you’re on your feet, you are at eye-level with visitors, making interaction natural and easy. Sitting down may form a barrier, dissuading prospects from approaching. Therefore, reserve seating for customers. Also, ensure your staff gets adequate breaks to rest and recharge. An ideal way to maintain eye-level communication, even while sitting, is to opt for taller seating arrangements.
Distractions, such as scrolling on phones, lengthy internal discussions, or taking calls at the booth, can inadvertently convey a message of disinterest. You have a limited window to catch the attention of passersby – don’t let it close due to distractions. Exhibitor etiquette demands an attentive, alert, and open demeanor toward potential visitors.
First impressions matter. A clean, organized booth speaks volumes about your brand before any verbal interaction takes place. Stash away personal items, spare boxes, and any non-essential items while you’re exhibiting. An open space is significantly more inviting than a cluttered one. As you plan for the event, select an appropriate booth size, plan an efficient layout, allocate storage space, ensure accessibility, and consider health and safety provisions. These steps make your booth more welcoming and allow your staff to focus on interactions.
Remember, your team is the face of your brand. Hence, your personal appearance, hygiene, and mannerisms reflect on your company. A clean, well-groomed appearance suggests an organized and professional brand. Choose professional yet comfortable attire, manage your hair and makeup, ensure fresh breath, and pay attention to your body language. A well-rested, well-presented team creates a positive impression.
Good trade show etiquette extends to speech and behavior. Speak in an enthusiastic, approachable manner and exhibit professionalism in all interactions. Let your passion for your brand shine through your words and actions. The right balance of humor, cheer, and professionalism can help manage any stressful situation gracefully.
Etiquette is also about showing respect to fellow exhibitors. Make sure not to intrude on their space visually or audibly. Loud music or bright lights can disrupt their interaction with visitors. Likewise, ensure your displays and props do not encroach on their space.
Time is of the essence at trade shows. You need to attract and engage your audience quickly and effectively. Plan and practice your engagement strategy. Ensure you don’t intimidate your visitors with an overwhelming number of representatives. Divide roles based on your team’s strengths and ensure each member is confident and knowledgeable about your brand.
Remember, you represent your brand even when you step out of the booth. Each interaction with peers and potential customers is an opportunity to share your brand story. Casual conversations during breaks or at social events can create connections and even generate leads. Wear something that identifies your brand, show interest in other exhibitors, and stay open to learning from them.
In essence, trade show etiquette forms a key part of your brand’s story. An amalgamation of professional appearance, courteous behavior, proactive engagement, and strategic planning can culminate in a successful trade show experience. The goal is not just about visibility but forming meaningful business relationships. Exhibiting is an art – it can become a game-changer when done right.