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How to Be Successful During a Trade Show


If you’ve been working the trade show circuit for a while you know what it takes to be reach your targets and that is what’s expected of you. You know what needs to be done and if you are not careful it’s easy to start running on auto-pilot.

You can recite your sales pitch in your sleep. You are a master at small talk and know how to float through conversations without really paying attention.

You know the drill and put yourself in trade show mode and power through.

If you’re looking to exceed your trade show goals rather than just meet them, if you feel like you may be in to a rut and you’d like to get some enthusiasm back, keep reading.

Some of these ideas might be new to you, some may not. Either way, they are good ideas that can help you up your trade show game.

Let People Know You’ll Be at the Dance and Fill Your Dance Card

To improve success during the show, you need to prepare before the show. Use all the tools you have to communicate to your target audience and let them know what trade shows you are attending this year.

As soon as you book a show, post it on your website, share it on your social media channels, send an email to your list and add a note on your invoices or add stickers on outgoing packages. Let people know you will be at the dance!

Before the show and during the show, fill your dance card! Use your breakfast, lunch, and dinner times to invite clients to dine with you or get a cup of coffee or tea to keep those relationships strong. It’s a great time to have some dedicated face time with your customers. Show them you care about them as a customer and want spend some time to see what’s going on with their business and make sure you are providing the best service to them.

Be Prepared to Speak to Customers’ Challenges

You probably have lots of well rehearsed answers to all the usual questions that potential customers ask about your company, so take it one step further. Really listen to what the person is saying – See if you can listen at a deeper level and then trust yourself to respond from the heart.

Consider would having an engineer, a manager or a customer service representative in your booth be impressive to your booth visitors? Getting to talk to a person who was involved with designing the product or service they are considering can mean a lot in building a connection to your company or brand.

Be Quick to Qualify

Knowing the target audience for your product is key to booking the sales calls that have the best chance of resulting in a new order or client. You also want to find as many people as possible that are the best fit for your product or service. Spend time with people who visit your booth, but also remember that time is money.

Be courteous to those who don’t qualify as your target audience and find a polite way to wrap up an conversation that has lasted too long with someone who really isn’t going to be a customer, so that you have more time to spend with the people that might. 

Be Green and Save People’s Backs

If you’ve been an attendee at a trade show you know what it’s like to collect brochures from many booths. They become heavy when you have to carry them around all day. Then when it’s time to go home you don’t have space to pack them all. This leads to you dropping them in the trash or recycle bin as you check out of the hotel.

You don’t want your brochures to be discarded just because they were an inconvenience.

Instead, offer to email people your brochure and collect their email and phone number on the spot.

It’s a win-win for everyone. You get their contact information for a proper follow-up after the show. You also don’t have to spend money printing, shipping, and unpacking brochures. Potential customers don’t have to carry them around only to trash them before they leave the show, plus it’s kinder to our environment. 

Prepare Your Post-show Plan

Book some time on your calendar when you are back in the office for proper follow-ups. Before you roll your eyes because this is such an obvious thing do, really think about what is involved with this step.

While you are away from the office, other work will pile up. Can you make arrangements with other staff members to cover some of your work while you tend to these new leads? Can you draft a post-show email before you leave for the show and have it ready to send after your list of leads is complete?

It’s so vital to contact these leads while they are still warm and to have a great, multi level follow up strategy in place to ensure the best conversion rates. 



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RB Design & Display Ltd

10 Lincoln Park Business Centre
Lincoln Road
High Wycombe
HP12 3RD