5 Tips for Working a Trade Show Booth

July 4, 2014

Timothy Carter

Timothy Carter is the Director of Business Development for the Seattle-based content marketing & social media agency AudienceBloom. When Timothy isn't telling the world about the great work his company does, he's planning his next trip to Hawaii while drinking some Kona coffee.

Trade shows are opportunities, as we all know, and it's critical to know how to make the most of them for success.

Spend time researching the event ahead of time to find out what your competitors are doing is essential and how you’re going to drive traffic to your tradeshow booth is a requirement.

Head into the event with clearly stated goals and a well-designed booth and presentation. Once you're there, use these tips to leverage the event for your business' success.

1. Stay Upbeat 

It's easy to get discouraged when person after person walks by your trade show boothseemingly without a glance in your direction. Even if you go with the best booth out there, this will happen sometimes. The key is staying motivated and remaining approachable. Look for opportunities to engage with passers-by, even if they don't initiate a conversation. It's no secret why you're there, so don't be shy about trying to make yourself seen and heard! A group of two to three workers can help keep one another motivated during those lulls in traffic. 

2. Stay Refreshed 

Come to the event armed with refreshing snacks and beverages so workers stay fresh and well hydrated. Nothing takes the fire out of an awesome presentation like fatigue, hunger, or thirst. Let workers take turns going on a break, either for a brisk walk around the venue to get some oxygen, or a relaxing sit down at the snack bar. Fresh workers bring more liveliness into their presentations and encounters, and people will respond better. 

3. Know Your Stuff 

There is no substitute for knowing your presentation, understanding how your product or service works and being able to answer deep questions on the subject. Practice ahead of time answering impromptu questions or altering the presentation for a specific person or group. Research what people want to know about your industry, so you'll be prepared to answer common questions. Brainstorm all the questions or comments people could think to make, and have a glowing response to each ready at the trade show. 

4. Have a Prepared Presentation 

Even if you understand your subject thoroughly, you need a predetermined presentation so you can present the topic in a clear, concise, cohesive way to strangers over and over again. A prepared presentation means you don't leave out critical selling points or forget to mention its good reviews. Some successful ways to deliver a prepared presentation include memorizing the pitch, creating a video, developing a Power Point presentation, or setting your booth up like a storyboard to tell your visitors a story. 

5. Grab Their Attention Fast 

You will only have a few seconds to capture attendees' attention in the midst of all the other lights, sounds, and happenings at the show. So set up your booth and tailor your presentation to grab attention fast. Just remember, you have a limited time to convince them your offerings are worth their time, so make every second count.

Take along some sample products, and beef up your booth with giveaways, social media contests, and other crowd pleasers. Every extra bit of oomph you put into it returns dividends in terms of building relationships, solidifying your brand recognition, and garnering leads to further your business.

You’ve probably got a few gems for working a trade show. What are ones that were valuable to you or your coworkers?

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