trade show etiquette

5 Rules of Trade Show Etiquette to Keep in Mind

October 30, 2023

Are you preparing for your first trade show? If so, you are likely familiar with trade show etiquette. While most etiquette rules apply for all types of shows, some vary depending on your company’s industry. Oser Communications Group, a trade show advertising provider, offers five helpful pointers below. 

#1. First Impressions Matter

Most professionals know that their first impression can make or break any interaction. When attending a trade show, remember to do the following:

  • Present a welcoming persona: Greet your visitors warmly! Craft an inviting atmosphere with a genuine greeting.
  • Maintain a professional image: Different industries have varying dress codes. Dress according to your industry’s expectations. 
  • Use gestures and body language carefully: Body language and gestures can be powerful communicators when used appropriately. 
  • Keep the booth organized: Declutter your booth space to limit distractions. 

#2. Remove All Distractions

You should create a few rules for your staff to follow before setting up your booth:

  • No food or drink in the booth: When booth staff eat and drink in open view, they detract from your professional, unified image. Find a designated area out of the visitors’ view for your staff members to enjoy refreshments. 
  • No chairs or excess tables: When representatives sit down, they appear disengaged. Plus, too many tables and chairs can create tripping hazards. 
  • No unnecessary devices: A final golden rule of trade show etiquette is to store all personal devices elsewhere. No staff members should get distracted by checking their phones or laptops for social media updates. 

#3. Stick to a Predetermined Schedule

Adhering to the schedule ensures your team stays on the same page throughout the event. Stagger breaks and shift changes to facilitate seamless transitions. Each staff member should arrive 15 minutes before their shift begins to prevent a hurried atmosphere. At least one person should man the table when another takes a break. 

#4. Use Empathy to Communicate

Catering to the trade show’s audience means demonstrating understanding to your target customer base. When you choose a trade show, you should learn as much about the visitors as possible. Use empathy to develop your scripts, begin each interaction, and ultimately collect contact information. 

Remember: the customer comes first throughout each step. Make them feel as though they have the option to leave if they don’t show or lose interest in your booth.

#5. Demonstrate Excellent Manners

Finally, handle both positive and negative interactions with grace. You may already handle all interactions in a polite and professional manner, but train your staff to go above and beyond your typical standards for trade shows. 

When you handle positive and negative interactions well, you’ll present a self-controlled, admirable image to other presenters and visitors. You might attract more visitors and potential network connections as a result. 

Choose Oser Communications Group for More Resources on Trade Show Etiquette

Proper trade show etiquette typically means improving and polishing your current industry standards for customer interactions. Our team at Oser Communications Group can help you prepare for a trade show with advertising services and other helpful resources. Contact us to craft a productive experience at your next trade show.

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