Trade shows are a lot of work, but they can be fun and very rewarding if you prepare for it and do an excellent job of wooing new clients and dazzling prospects. To succeed however, you need to do some pre-show groundwork such as creating flashy and catchy signs and banners, getting a good display, and producing attractive promotional materials. The next thing you should pay attention to is to the nuances and subtleties of trade show etiquettes. In fact, most people don’t even know that there is such a thing as trade show etiquette.
This is probably why they make quite a few mistakes that can unconsciously undermine your efforts and chase off new clients and hot prospects. If you’ll be doing a trade show soon, take note of the following trade show etiquettes.
Familiarity with Products
Product knowledge is incredibly crucial. It’s not just enough to have attractive booth talent. They need to know the products in and out. So, do some pre-show presentations and product familiarization sessions.
Knowledge of your products and how each product functions is one heck of an advantage. Use it. If the team has to practice multiple times and do mock presentations, so be it. You’re not attending the trade show for fun. You’re going there to get new clients. Be prepared.
Proper Dressing and Booth Etiquette
By proper dressing, we don’t just mean looking good and formal, we mean avoiding overcompensating. Have the proper signage and displays. Keep your booth, clean and balanced.
A sloppy booth unconsciously tells people that you’re disorganized and sorely in need of getting your act together. You also need to get rid of any tables between you and your audience. You want a booth that says “welcome”, not “stay away”.
No Slouching or Fidgeting During Presentations
People unconsciously associate these two things with uncertainty and dishonesty. The same goes for not making eye contact with your audience, folding your arms during presentations or just going through the motions.
Like it or not, people can often tell when your heart isn’t in what you’re selling. And no one is going to buy anything from someone who doesn’t seem sure of what they’re selling. Also, avoid leaning on the booths. It’s off-putting.
Stay focused, confident and energetic. Keep your arms by your side or clasped behind your back. This is why you often need a team to make this work. Each member can work in shifts of one hour.
Attend to Prospects on Your Feet
There’s something slightly disrespectful and lackluster about presenting your company’s products to a prospect while sitting down. Yes, we know there will be time wasters and other sales people trying to sell their services to you.
But it’s unacceptable to allow it influence how you attend to genuine prospects. The truth is many prospects probably won’t show as much interest in your product –unless they came specifically because of your product or similar products- until you engage them.
So, stay on your feet and help them like you and your products. Wear flat soled and comfy shoes that will help make your standing for a long time tolerable.
Avoid Chewing Gums or Anything that Might Be Repulsive
You may not know this, but some people just don’t take people chewing gums seriously. And since you don’t know what kind of people you’ll meet, you might as well play it safe and avoid gums.
If you must take anything to keep your breath fresh, get a tic-tacs or minty sweets. Also, avoid alcohol, garlic or any food that will smell on your breath. If you must smoke, find a quiet space away from it all, do your thing and then pop a breath mint or something.