7 behaviors to avoid when staffing a trade show booth.


Trade show Tips from Danny Orleans

Mom always said, "Don’t talk to strangers."  And because that’s ingrained in all of us, this has become the most significant social barrier to overcome if you want to meet and converse with lots of prospects at the trade show. Here are some behaviors to avoid so you and your coworkers can encourage show attendees to overcome their hesitancy to talk to you.

1.      Do not eat or drink in the booth – even if there is a wine and cheese reception happening in the expo floor. Attendees are less likely to speak with you if you have a mouthful of food.

2.      Don’t chew gum, tobacco or smoke – See #1.

3.      Don’t read newspapers, brochures or become engrossed with your Blackberry or iPhone. Most attendees will not ask you a question if you’re self-engaged because they’ll feel like they’re "interrupting" you.

4.      Do not talk on your cell phone in the booth. See #3. If you must, step 10 feet away from your booth and keep the conversation short.

5.      Do not check or send email on your handheld computer while in the booth. See #3

6.      Minimize conversation with other booth staff. Many attendees will not interrupt you to ask a question because their Mom also said, "Never interrupt. It’s rude."  Be available to speak with passers-by.

7.      Do not stand with your back to the aisle. It prevents you from making eye-contact to the prospects walking past your booth.

Remember, customers at trade shows are like needles in a haystack. You know they are there, but it’s just hard to find them. By having as many conversations with as many prospects as possible, you’ll increase the likelihood that you’ll find a few shiny needles. Get the point?


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