Dos and don'ts on the Trade Show Floor
How to increase trade show performance by
training your trade show staff​
The Trade Show Academy Team
The Trade Show Academy Team

Last Updated: July 1, 2023

Often you will experience visitors strolling around the trade show floor glancing at your trade show booth. You are unsure why they don’t approach your beautiful booth that your company has spent a lot of money on from the trade show marketing budget. Everything should be perfect and new leads should be pouring in. But they are not.

But! Your visitors have seen you long before you see them, and they register every move you make. You might be looking at your smartphone, you might be standing with your hands in your pockets, you might have a closed body language, or you might be sitting down.

Whatever the case might be, you are signaling that you are not available and that your focus is not 100% on providing the best visitor experience. Instead, you should do everything you can to welcome your guests. Face towards your guests and avoid standing behind a desk.

Tips for training

You cannot rely solely on your beautiful trade show booth to attract event attendees.

You need to start focusing your attention on training your trade show staff. This might be the single most important area you need to address when preparing for your next trade show.Your trade show staff plays a key role in connecting with your potential customers and often only small adjustments are required to achieve great improvements.

You do not want to see your trade show staff being responsible for missing that great lead that could have secured your company a huge deal and made your trade show preparations and investments worth it all.

You must therefore assemble the “right” team consisting of people who like to talk to and connect with customers and potential customers. Also, the team must have the right amount of knowledge about your business and your products and services.

Having the team in place, ask yourself the following questions.​

  • Are you training your trade show staff?
  • Are you practicing with your staff?
  • Are you motivating your staff?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses regarding their face-to-face marketing skills?
The importance of asking yourself these questions cannot be emphasized enough. You can probably add to the list. 

Trade Show Preparation is Key

Trade show preparation is key if you want you and your company to succeed. Selecting a great team and training your trade show staff will help your company tremendously achieve its exhibition goals. 

And more specifically, remember to make good impressions, beware of your body language, include your team and remember to celebrate good results. If you accomplish this, you are well on your way to becoming an exhibition pro.

Impressions Matter

Be aware of behaviour that might turn a potential visitor away, like being occupied with looking at your phone. That also means no smoking, eating or looking at your phone 🙂

Mind Your Body Language

Make sure you signal openness towards your guests. If you have closed body language visitors will hesitate to approach and lost opportunities might occur.

Include Your Team

Let the staff participate in setting goals for their performance at the exhibition. Have the staff formulate an overall objective for the event, an objective for their department and a personal goal.

Celebrate Your Success

Celebrate good results and efforts before, during and after the exhibition. Celebrating is not only for recognition, but also to encourage cooperation in the team.

5 ways to train, practice, and motivate your staff

Which personnel you choose when you select your trade show staff is imperative and the key to unlocking the full potential.
Make sure your team is carefully selected before you attend.

Tip #1

Avoid standing behind a desk or turning your head away

Tip #2 

Formulate objectives together before trade shows

Tip #3 

Make sure you are aware of the best ways to collect lead information

Tip #4 

Have a follow-up plan, prepare your trade show techniques

Tip #5 

Celebrate good trade show successes when you achieve them


Make it easy to keep your promises ...

With explicit goals and a well-defined target group, motivated staff, and systematic (and digital) collection of leads, the follow-up will be piece of cake. The only thing it requires is that you have complete control over these 5 areas: 

1. Hot leads

Which leads do you need to take home to achieve your goals – what characterizes a good, hot lead for you?  

2. Ask the right thing

What information do you need to collect about your guests/leads, in order to be able to follow up purposefully – what do you need to remember to get answers to and permission for?

3. Packed and ready

What will you follow up with and how will you send out the material? Have brochures, prices, pdfs, etc. ready before you leave.

4. Collect (digital) business cards

How do you collect leads to streamlining the following-up process – do you have the right (digital) tools available?

5. From lead to a sale

Who does what, when? How do you easily and quickly get your leads into your CRM so that they are part of the existing sales process?  

Easy and targeted follow-up starts before the fair. Mindset, ownership, internship, and time in the calendar must be aligned and fine-tuned so that your promises do not become unmanageable to keep when you return from the fair. 

And just to return to my friend from the Euro Shop – my path to becoming a customer with him, could have been much smoother if he had been completely focused on the above 5 areas – and had he kept what he promised … 

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