Trade show scene

What To Avoid At Your Next Trade Show

There are some things everyone should avoid at tradeshows. Behavior that, while innocuous on the surface, can hurt your potential to convert leads into sales. Naturally, you don’t want to do these things. But what are they? Some are more obvious than others. Below we identify several behaviors you should avoid at trade shows. 

Don’t: Eat At The Booth

Overly strict? Perhaps. Everyone has to eat at some point, right? Do it somewhere else. Take shifts with others so that you stagger eating so that it can be avoided altogether at the booth. From the perspective of your potential leads, eating might come across as unprofessional. Moreover, it reduces your capacity to have an engaging interaction with the people who come to your booth. 

Don’t: Talk Too Much

It’s easy to want to over-explain or chat with people that step up to your booth. That’s why you’re there, after all. Here’s the thing: you came to the trade show for leads, but the leads did not come to the trade show just for you. 

Give them a quick pitch, get to the point, and let them leave naturally without much friction. They are people with full schedules, not your hostages! If your pitch materials are sound, they will do what they are supposed to. 

Don’t: Come Unprepared

Again, the pitch has to be lean and mean. If you have a product that can be showcased rather than explained, all the better. If you can’t bring your product directly to the show, keep that pitch short and sweet. 

You also need to be able to answer any question you’re given clearly and succinctly. It’s easy to go in assuming you’ll know what to say. You’re a professional. You know your product, right? Right. But trade shows are their own animal. Treat them as such by preparing for quick, effective communication.

Don’t: Forget Your Hook

Your booth needs something to draw people in. It could be something fun and eye-catching, like a Spin Wheel, or something tasty, like complimentary coffee or donuts. 

Spin wheel for trade shows

Whatever the case, your booth has to stand out from the ones around you. Think of something that will bring people in, and use it to your advantage. 

Don’t: Be Distracted

Sure. Trade shows lag. You might find long stretches of time where there is little to no traffic coming your way. Boring though this situation might be, it’s important not to succumb to the temptation of entertaining yourself with books, phones, or computers.

If you’re paying attention to something other than the potential visitors, potential leads might walk on by, under the assumption that you aren’t interested in speaking with them. You need to be engaged, make eye contact with passerbys, and give your booth a welcoming feel.

Don’t: Leave Your Booth Unattended

Kind of a no-brainer. If no one is at your booth, you’re going to miss out on valuable opportunities. Naturally, you’re a person with needs. You’ll have to eat at some point, and use the bathroom. That’s fine. Just make sure there is someone there to cover the booth. 

Don’t: Use Informal Language

Slang, sports analogies, regional words, etc. are acceptable in certain sale scenarios. In your native region, they might even serve as valuable components of your customer communication strategy. At trade shows, things are usually a little different. 

There will be people from all over the country, and possibly all over the world showing up. Using regionally specific, or otherwise, informal language might be difficult to understand or generally othering.

Keep your speech clear and respectful at all times.

What To Avoid At Your Next Trade Show: Conclusion

Feeling pressure? Relax. All of these tips fall under the broad umbrella of professionalism, and professional you surely are. Bring the games, bring your best pitch, and come prepared to stand out.

While some of our recommendations might feel overly strict, try to remember that trade shows are rare and temporary opportunities. You’ll only be there for a short amount of time. It’s important to capitalize on the opportunity while you have it. 

If you’re looking for an unmissable hook to bring in traffic to your tradeshow booth, consider using games from Duelbox. Between our Spin Wheel, Live Trivia, Race Game and more, you are sure to find a hook that’s perfect for your company. Sign up for a free trial to get started.

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