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Survival Tips for Working a Trade Show Booth

Survival Tips for Working a Trade Show Booth

Trade shows in the beginning are an exhilaration rush, but quickly turn into drudgery for inexperienced exhibitors. Being properly prepared for the trade show floor will keep the trade show experience fun and help you stay attentive in your booth. A trade show exhibiting requires mental and physical stamina.

Consider the physical stress of standing for long periods of time in one location. This is not typical for most sales staff. Long hours of dealing with people, the trade show environment, and the change in daily actives wears at an individual. Here are some tips to help make your trade show booth experience more enjoyable and successful.

  • Shoes – Don’t wear new shoes to a trade show. Purchase a good pair of shoes that have solid arch support and are comfortable. Purchase shoes weeks in advance and break them in prior to the show. Sore feet are a major problem on a trade show floor. Improper shoes will lead to leg and back fatigue which will lead to an irritable disposition. This is not the image to project to potential customers.
  • Clothing – Select sensible and conferrable clothing that you have worn previously. New clothes can be scratchy or make you feel uncomfortable. Dress in layers if possible. Typically the trade show floor is cool in the morning and by late afternoon excessively warm.
  • Low Energy – Most employees take a lunch break, but a trade show booth requires staffing the entire day. Arrange for lunch breaks. Don’t bring food to your booth. Most trade show managers have a no eating in booth clause which is outlined in your registration contract. Leave the booth and get food. The break, along with the food will revitalize and give you the energy to finish the day off strong.
  • Bring Water – Make sure you bring water to keep yourself hydrated. Convention facilities are not like a house, they don’t have a humidifier to help keep the air clean and moist. The dry air along with continuous explaining your company’s products and services can weaken your voice.
  • Partying the Night Before – If you are visiting a city like Las Vegas it is very tempting to say out all night and party. What you do the night before will come back and haunted you the very next day. Plan your event prior to the trade show. Eliminating impromptu partying will minimize hangovers and prepare you both mentally and physically for the next day.
  • Booth Survival Kit – Aspirin, Eye Drops, Band-Aids and Tums can keep the staff functioning at 100%. Trade show lights, noise and physical stress can cause headaches. Many people complain of eye irritation from the dust in the air, carpeting fibers and allergies. Eye drops can refresh and soothe weary eyes and give the added relief to both contact and no-contact wears. It never fails somebody will require a Band-Aid or safety pin so it’s best to have them on hand. Choose your favorite anti-acid because trade show cafeterias are not fine dining cuisine.
  • Take a Break – Breaks are leaving the booth to visit other vendors. The change in scenery along with movement will increase blood flow to the body and bring the energy level up.
  • Breathe Mints – Hours of talking, drinking water, and trade show food can cause halitosis. Bring enough for the entire sales team. The minty flavor along with the sugar will boost your energy level.
  • Boredom/Slowdowns – Every trade show traffic pattern has peaks and valleys. When booth traffic slows, networking with other exhibitors should become a priority. At this time other vendors are looking to do something and are vulnerable to a sales pitch. Be respectful and listen to their pitch as intensively as they listen to yours.

About the Author:
Dale Obrochta is a professional trade show entertainer who uses promotional balloon entertainment to build trade show booth traffic. He is a leading entertainer in the balloon entertainment industry who consistently works trade shows and corporate events. Magical Balloon-dude Dale is balloon entertainment at its best!

Survival Tips for Working a Trade Show Booth


3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Doug Promotion Products // May 28, 2009 at 5:15 am

    The sensible shoes comment is about the most important thing anyone should take away from this article, the other points are of course also of benefit (especially the breath mints) but from experience I now am more careful in my footwear choice than anything else whenever I attend a trade show. I make sure the shoes are good breathing as well because my feet end up looking like I spent 5 hours in the bath if I am not careful with the choice. Thanks for the tips.

  • 2 Robyn Davis // Nov 15, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    Great tips!

    I might add one more – make friends with (or at least introduce yourself to) your neighbors.. you never know when you’ll need them.. besides, shows are all about networking and your neighbors are a great place to start 😉

  • 3 Table Top Displays // Jun 11, 2010 at 3:49 am

    There are some people who underestimate the usefulness of trade shows.
    Many have given up on them. In fact, more and more business owners are pulling out of trade shows. This is a wrong strategy. Instead of pulling out, they should think of various ways of improving their trade show displays and their booths. This way, they would have better shot at attracting potential customers.

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