Tip #3 - The 10 Meter Rule

Let’s take a familiar scenario. You are at a trade show or event.

It has been going well with a lot of guests visiting your booth. All morning. Right now there isn’t much activity, so you take a little break – before the next big rush. 

Your phone has been buzzing non-stop in your pocket.

Naturally, you take it out to check the many calls and emails, you have received. After all, you also have a job to take care of – outside of the four trade show walls.

While you are checking your emails, a new potential customer approaches your booth. You don’t see her, because you have your head buried in your phone. Busy answering emails.

But she sees you. You and your phone. 

What are you doing, when your customers spot you from a 10 meter distance?

… because your customers see you long before you see them

Do you make a good first impression?

If you stand with your phone or with locked arms, your customer may feel
  • Not welcome
  • Not seen
  • Not important
  • Not interesting

… And this it’s not the best way to start a conversation. Especially not one, that could be a great new connection or possibly lead to a sale. You always have to treat everyone as a possible customer or a gateway to other new connections.

How to activate the 10 meter rule

When the phone has to be checked – and it does – find a spot away from the booth.

When you are standing at your booth, you need to be present, welcoming and engaging. 

You won’t be, if you are on your phone [Same goes for hands in pockets or arms crossed]. 

Therefore, we recommend going away to one of the following spots:

The Lounge. The Cafe. The empty presentation area. Outside

It’s all about the signal you give your guests. And first-hand impressions matter. So make it count!

Our Best Advice? Make a clear work schedule with your colleagues

Make a mutual agreement with your colleagues about who takes a read-email-break [away from the booth] and when. This way you all manage to follow up on your emails, and can still make your guests feel welcomed at your booth.  This will hopefully lead to more happy, buying customers. Win-win!


Set a time frame for when people are away, and e.g limit the time for 10-15 min. pr. check-up


Make note of who is away, and be sure to always have someone attend the booth.


Make sure the team leader is informed of where staff members are in case of re-calls for important clients visiting the booth

Do's and Don'ts on the Trade Show Floor

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We’ll also dive into communication, mindset, body language, presence, and flow for optimizing trade show performance.

Meet the Expert Jakob Dyrbye

With 28+ years of experience within the trade show and event industry and hosting hundreds of seminars, workshops, lectures, and kick-off meetings, having thousands of guests talking about everything that moves within the industry of trade shows, exhibitions, events, and experiences, Jakob is the “go-to-guy”, the living face-to-face marketing toolbox. 

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