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The dos and dont’s of trade show success

If you’re soon to take your business to a trade show for the first time, you’re going to want to know exactly what to do to get the results you’re looking for.

Even if you’ve been to trade shows in the past, you might still be at a loss as to what you’re supposed to do to get the leads and conversions you’re looking for. Below, we’ll go into the dos and don’ts of trade show success! 

Do know exactly what you want to achieve before you attend

Before you go to a trade show, it’s imperative that you know exactly what you want to achieve. If you haven’t articulated what your goals are, how can you make sure that your visit to the show is a success? You need to make sure the goal you set it measurable and achievable. It shouldn’t be vague. For example, you might have a goal of ‘get 100 leads’. However, there are a number of goals that could be suitable depending on the show you’re attending. 

Don’t forget about your body language 

When you’re speaking to attendees, make sure you don’t forget your body language. Having folded arms will make you look closed off instantly. Instead, make sure your body language is positive and open. You should look friendly and approachable. 

Do get a good spot at the exhibition 

Before you head to the exhibition, make sure you book a good spot. This will cost more money, but it’ll be worth it as your booth will be more prominent. You’ll then want to browse online to make sure your booth looks as attractive as possible with the right banners. 

Don’t bad mouth competition 

When you’re at the show, avoid bad mouthing the competition. Rather than put people off them and make them want to work with you, you’ll make yourself look jealous and bitter. It doesn’t make you appear professional, and you certainly won’t sound like a company that many people want to work with. 

Do smile and wear and name tag

A name tag can be a great way to look more approachable, along with a smile. You should also try to address people by their names when speaking to them, so ask them what it is before beginning the conversation. This helps you to build a genuine connection with them. 

Don’t use terminology that people may not understand 

It can be a good idea to stick to layman’s terms and avoid using words and phrases that people may not understand, both when explaining things in person and on your flyers and brochures. 

Do have a competition or some kind of giveaway 

A competition or giveaway can help to bring so many more people to your booth. Think of something attractive that will get people handing over their email address in a flash. It could be an iPad, a new phone, a trip somewhere, or something that directly correlates with what you offer as a business. 

Don’t do anything that could be seen as unprofessional 

You want to avoid anything that could look unprofessional at the trade show. Eating, drinking, and swearing are things you should avoid doing at your booth. Chewing gum can also look unprofessional. Maintain a professional standard at all times and remember that everybody at the booth represents your business. This is why training them is crucial. 

Do have a plan to follow up on leads 

You’ll likely collect leads if you do the show right, but you need to have the plan to follow them up. A lead won’t mean anything to you if you don’t have a solid plan to follow up. Will you email them? What will you say? When will you do it? It’s a good idea to do it soon after the show, while your interaction with them is still fairly fresh in their minds. This will usually help you to get better results.

Don’t drink heavily the night before 

Many people use trade shows as an excuse to go on a trip, get really drunk, and then do the show with a hangover the next day. This is highly unprofessional, and you won’t be in the best frame of mind to get leads if you do this. Sure, go out for a few drinks and network, but don’t drink heavily or stay out late. You want to be on top form for the show.