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Trade Show Tips For Newbies!

Uncle Ben's Event Display Stand


Entering the world of trade shows can be exciting and daunting at the same time.

If you are not careful the thrill of being at a large gathering of people with the prospect of new sales and clients can overtake your good business sense. Our best advice is keep your head on straight and don’t get caught up in the hype.

Learn the Trade Show Scene

Before you invest in your first trade show, speak to people who have some experience of working at them. The trade show scene is its own world. Learn some of the ins and outs before you invest.

Trade Shows are Trick-or-Treating for Adults

Trade shows are trick-or-treating for adults. They are an opportunity to get out from behind the desk and mingle with people in the industry. Trade shows are also a chance to pick up some cool trinkets from other companies which many people bring home as toys for their kids. Just sayin’.

If you can afford cool trinkets to give away to potential customers, then go for it. Otherwise, when you are first getting started, go for candy, or better yet, mints. Yes, mints! They are liked by candy lovers and health-nuts alike. They also serve a purpose when someone has coffee breath or just has bad breath in general.

Mints are also great ice-breakers at a trade show. It’s easy to say to someone, “would you like a mint?” and not sound like your are trying to sell something.

Bring Extra Business Cards

The digital age has begun to usher out the importance of paper business cards at trade shows, almost. They are still handy little items to keep on hand when that spontaneous meeting happens. If the potential client that you are talking to in your booth doesn’t have a business card, take out one of yours and jot their info down.

Become a Trade Show Pick-up Artist

A truly skilled salesperson knows how to read people. They also know that seconds count on the trade show floor and have a collection of opening lines and ice-breakers for each type of person. Prepare a list of ice-breakers and open-ended questions to have at the ready. For example:

  • What’s your biggest challenge?
  • How does the economy affect your business?
  • Where did you travel from?

Don’t Talk To Strangers at Trade Shows

While you welcome the opportunity to talk to a trade show attendee who is an active listener, asks some questions before you start your pitch. This reason is two-fold: you want to tailor your pitch to the person’s situation, and you want to know if they are your competition. Yes, your competitors will be coming around the trade show floor to scope you out. Remember what your mom said, don’t talk to strangers.

Do Talk To Strangers at Trade Shows

Forget what is mentioned above, do talk to strangers! People who attend trade shows often complain that nobody talks to them unless they are known to be a potential client. Trade shows can be tiring with long hours of standing and talking. However, that person who is just lingering or standing nearby might be listening and interested in what you have to offer, or they may know someone who is.

Relationships bring clients to focus on building meaningful relationships where possible.

There is a lot of time and money that goes into exhibiting at a trade show. Make sure you do your homework, be prepared, and make it count.


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RB Design & Display Ltd

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Lincoln Road
High Wycombe
HP12 3RD