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Trade Show Etiquette

We recently featured an article pertaining to how small businesses can make the most of a trade show which included advice on how to prepare for and maximize results when attending one. Now we are going to discuss best practices in trade show etiquette which can further increase the positive impact a trade show can have on your business.

The Basics of Trade Show Etiquette

The following advice may seem obvious; however, you would be surprised at how many trade show attendees forget to carry out these simple tasks.

Wear a Name Tag

Your team members know your name (we hope), but there is a good chance that a vast majority of other trade show attendees do not. Names can easily be forgotten, and the consistent reminder provided by a name tag quickly solves this problem.

Quick Tip: It is important to make sure your nametag is visible; the right side of the chest usually works well.

When a potential customer does remember your name, there is a much greater likelihood they will become an actual customer. Wearing a name tag is a small task that can help your business build a better rapport with the people you interact with at the show. Also, be sure that your fellow coworkers are wearing name tags as well.

Man applying name tag sticker to collared shirt

Be Proactive

You probably will not end up conducting business with someone you have never spoken with. With this in mind, taking an assertive approach to speaking with potential clients at a trade show helps maximize your chances of having a successful, profitable experience. It is important to note that assertiveness is not the same as aggressiveness. Politely striking up a conversation with another trade show attendee can potentially lead to new business. But if that person is clearly uninterested in what you have to sell, do not continue to push them to the point of aggravation. Simply shake their hand and move on to the next.

Quick Tip: When at your booth, sitting down and staring at your smart phone is not going to bring in any new business. Be sure to stand in front of your booth to greet other trade show attendees.

Take Notes

During the daily grind of a trade show, you may end up interacting with dozens of different people. By the time you walk out of the doors, it is likely you are not going to remember the specific details of all the various conversations you had. Keeping a notebook handy to jot down important information pertaining to those you spoke with can go a long way. This does not mean you should be writing during your conversations, taking down everything being said verbatim. Give each person your undivided attention. If it seems like there is a good possibility you could do business with that person, then write down any relevant information shortly after you have parted ways. And if you are able to recall information by looking at a few simple notes, you could even write on the backs of their correlating business cards.

Two businessmen shaking hands

Leaving a Good Impression

No matter if brief or long, the first interactions you have with someone will most likely leave lasting impressions on both ends. By following the simple guidelines we have just discussed, you stand a better chance of leaving the people you converse with a positive impression of yourself and your business, increasing the chances of trade show success.

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