An online community dedicated to answering your exhibiting questions

TradeShowHelp.Org header image 2

Trade Show Etiquette

June 1st, 2009 by Trade Show Help --> · 7 Comments

Is it permissible for an exhibitor to stand out in the aisle to speak to or direct people to his booth?

I am in need of a list of “Don’ts” for exhibiting. There are plenty of lists for what to do, but I cannot find any that state what not to do. I am speaking in terms of the act of exhibiting, not actual salesmanship.


Thanks for coming to Trade Show Help Penny,

You are right there are several trade show do’s and there should be some don’ts as well.  In my opinion as a trade show attendee I dislike  when the booth staff is huddled together and you feel they are unapproachable.

It is uncomfortable to be milling around a booth trying to get someone’s attention.  I have also seen booth staff that do not say hello or welcome visitors.

I found myself one time entering into an exhibit where I knew there was a product that I felt was useful to me and my business, but the exhibitor was hosting a lunch for what appeared to be a high profile prospect.  I don’t feel it is appropriate to have food served in your booth, and if you feel it is necessary perhaps use a conference room where others don’t feel like they are intruding.

Don’t bring tons of literature, show them a sample of what you have so that you can gain a business card and get a real lead.  If you hand out literature left and right, you are wasting money on printed material as well as not gaining a true lead.

Don’t forget to follow up immediately after the show, don’t allow your competitors get to the potential clients first.  Put together a plan before the trade show begins for your after the show follow up.

Don’t overload your booth visitors, find out what solutions they are seeking and focus solely on that so they don’t feel overwhelmed.

I believe it to be a good practice to stand outside your trade show display and get peoples attention.  Invite them in for product demonstrations so they can see the solutions you have to offer.  Question them on what their needs are so that you can refine your sales pitch.

Tags: Trade Show Marketing

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Bill // Jun 1, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    I agree with your comment, “I believe it to be a good practice to stand outside your trade show display and get peoples attention.”

    That is why it is so important to design the exhibit with that invitation feel and space for gathering.

    Great comments.

  • 2 Superior Displays // Jun 11, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    Wonderful tips. Knowing how to behave properly in a trade show will certainly help exhibitors promote their booth better.

  • 3 Promotional Products // Jun 25, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    I agree sometimes too much material can overwhelm potential clients and be a money waster. I think being a presence in front of your display is acceptable, just remember to not be too overbearing and scaring people away.

  • 4 Kye Swenson // Jul 17, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    Great tips. For future references, there are also professional trade show reps that you can hire, but I don’t think they are necessary if you have enough staff to support the trade show booth. However, it’s a must that you have the best knowledge about the range of prospective clients that will be there, so you can tailor your message according to their specific needs.

  • 5 Dale // Aug 5, 2009 at 8:38 am

    Consider hiring a trade show presenter who can a company draw attention to the booth with out standing outside the booth display. A professional will be able to bring people in and dissimulate information quickly and easy without causing traffic problems.

  • 6 Promotional Products Guy // Aug 21, 2009 at 6:19 am

    I don’t think it’s a problem for exhibitors to leave the booth, but it depends how far you push the boundaries. For example if you are in the isles and start imposing on other exhibitors space this is a big no-no.

    Re the tip about following up – this is something that cannot be underestimated! Many visit a show and don’t even collect cards or details and just give out bochures hoping they will get calls. In reality, most people need a least a nudge to become interested, and a prompt followup call is a great way to get and keep your company on their radar.

  • 7 TurnKeyProduct // Sep 17, 2009 at 5:30 am

    Following up on your leads is very important and crucial to having a successful show/convention. Getting the Lead Retrieval machines that most shows offer make getting the leads easier, more effective, and saves a lot of time.

Leave a Comment