The Dos and Don’ts of Trade Shows: The Basics of Preparation

Trade shows are a great way to bring your brand to life. It is a great way to introduce your brand to future buyers. It is an even better way to step into the business community and a great way to bond with fellow businessmen.

Benefits of Trade Shows

You can establish contacts with prospective clients, fellow business persons and the truth is that the fellow business owners may be a competition but they are also a community that will stand with you in toughest of times.

Moreover, it is important to know what kind of competition you are dealing with so that you can change and mold your strategy in a way that it works and brings more buyers. Trade shows serve the purpose for all of the things above.


However, preparing for trade shows can be a hard task. Especially if you are new to the community and you don’t know a lot about it. Trade shows do sound intimidating but they are not that intimidating.

They are just a few key things that you need to be prepared for. It is so easy that we have a list of Dos and Don’ts of a trade show to help you out. Just follow these guidelines and you will be good to go. You will have an amazing trade show and hopefully, you will get a lot of new clients.

The Dos and the Don’ts of a Trade Show:

The Display Matters:

  • Let’s begin with the display of your trade show. There are generally two types of display showroom and storefront. The storefront should be preferred if your products are small and can be bought at the spot. The showroom is for bigger products like machines and cars.
  • The arrangement of the display also matters a lot. A cluttered display that is coming all over you will not attract clients. Keep it minimalistic. Don’t add too many products upfront. If a buyer wants more products, they can always contact you for more. The key is to keep it simple.
  • Your booth should be spacious enough so that it doesn’t get filled by 4 people. Create entrance and exits in a way that it doesn’t block another visitors’ pathway. The best way to do is to not keep products at the entrance and exits. This will ensure that people don’t stop and block the entry points.
  • Arrange products in a way that it doesn’t look like it is out of the place. Organize things by product type and price so that it becomes easier for the attendees to go the required section and not flip through a bunch of stops.
  • Get a good booth, a good booth will give you a trade show booth ROI. You will be able to get the money you spent on the booth back if you choose the right booth in the center of the show.

Training your Staff:

It is really important to train your staff and make sure they know how to handle the visitors. Rude staff members will cost you a lot. So, make sure a week before the big you make it clear that you need active, smiling and welcoming staff members.

The more your customer feels at the home the more likely he is to remember your booth. As a business owner that is exactly what you want. You want your booth to be a memorable experience for your customer so that he comes back.

Ask your staff members to do the following things and do it yourself

  • Always introduce yourself: it is best to wear a name tag if you are not wearing one make sure you introduce yourself. Even if you are wearing a name tag repeat your name just one more time so that the client knows you. This helps in establishing a more personal relationship.
  • Ask the visitors name: this develops an even more special relationship with the visitor. Ask them their name and address them by their name a few times. This will leave a lasting impression in their mind.
  • Always greet with a Smile: positive attitude equals positive outcomes. Smile at the visitors make them feel welcome and see the difference.
  • Ask Question to avoid confusion: if you don’t understand something ask the visitor to repeat it for you there is nothing wrong with asking a question to understand your client better.
  • Treat everyone as a prospective buyer: this is important whether a person is going to buy something from you or not. Treat them like a client.

The Contacts and How to leave an Impression:

  • Giveaway: giveaway some product of yours and attach your card or brochure to it. This way the visitor will remember your booth for a long time and will eventually come back more. Giveaways are a great way of establishing life-long relationships with clients and creating a loyal customer base.
  • Take Contacts: take contacts of the prospective buyers, fellow owners and everyone you think can benefit you in the long run.
  • Make follow up Calls: remember who was interested in your products, once you have taken the contact you can now follow up to them and see if they are still interested. Keep an excel sheet of contact to follow up after the event. This will make your life a lot easier and it will be less cluttered and you won’t miss anyone.

The Don’ts of a Trade Show:

  • Word vomit is not a good thing: listen to the client more and speak less. You don’t have to throw up words and random facts. Just listen and tweak your sales pitch according to the client. This can only happen if you listen to the visitor.
  • Don’t badmouth other Owners: it is a huge turn off when people bad mouth other owners. This will not get you, clients, it will only push them away. The best way is to keep things to yourself and your booth.
  • Too Many Brochures: let’s be real there are several booths in a trade show and if each one of them gives 2-3 brochures as a visitor it will a mess too keep and you will probably toss it out on your way home. So, make your brochure small, simple and precise one that can fit in a wallet and doesn’t overwhelm the visitor.
  • Use Layman’s Language: don’t use too many abbreviations and sharp vocabulary. Use layman’s language or common simple precise language so that everyone can understand. Someone who is trying out your product for the first time and doesn’t have much background knowledge in business should be able to understand you.
  • Be Professional: don’t eat and drink in front of your client. See your body language it should make others feel home yet still be professional. Guide the attendees without touching them. All of these things matter.
  • Get Proper Sleep the night before: don’t show up at your booth half asleep and dress properly. You don’t want to yawn in between a conversation. It doesn’t look serious.

All in All:

These were the dos and don’ts of a trade show it may seem like a lot but most of them are basic things and easy to follow. Remember to train your staff and ask them to be presentable. Train them a week ahead and you will do great on your big day.