Getting the Most Out of Your Next Trade Show

4 Tips on How to Work a Trade Show Booth

Whether you are a business owner at a small local tradeshow or part of a sales staff headed for Las Vegas to work a booth at a national event, knowing how to work that booth will be a defining factor your success.

The standard trade show booth is 10’ x 10’ and comes with several luxurious amenities including 1 or 2 folding chairs and a 6’ or 8’ table. How you work this booth will be heavily influenced by how you arrange and use the furniture provided as well as the material you bring along.

Tip 1: Chairs Do not use them. Don’t keep them in the booth, behind your display or under the table. After 4 hours of standing in the booth, even the most diligent business owners, who have spent thousands of their own dollars on renting the space, will pull up a chair and rest. What’s the downside of taking a load off? If you are not alone in the booth you will immediately start a conversation with the person working with you. If you are alone, the cell phone will come out and you will start checking e-mail and messages. At first you may do this only when there’s little traffic walking by, but it will become a vicious cycle; people won’t stop because you look busy. They won’t engage you or try and get your attention; they’ll merely glance your way and keep walking. Because they keep walking, you will feel you have the time to answers those e-mails or finish that conversation, and so on.

Tip 2: Table Placement Most booths are set up the same way, with the table across the front of the booth and the salespeople positioned behind it. Literature or product samples are spread out on the table along with the promotional item of the day. Unless the product or promotional item is particularly interactive, the salespeople become little more than literature dispensers. You can watch the tradeshow attendees walk by, pick up the literature and just move on. To mitigate this, place the table towards the back of the booth or get 2 smaller tables to put along the sides. The goal is to create a room for which your potential customers to enter and be engaged by the sales people. Rather than just walk by and pick up literature, the average attendee will spend a bit more time, entering on one side and moving around the booth to the other, and giving the salesperson more time speak to them.

Tip 3: Where to Stand We have already discussed how table placement affects how you and your salespeople interact with customers. Removing that barrier and inviting people into your tradeshow booth will make a big difference, but placing your salespeople in the right place can have an equal impact. The salesperson’s tendency is to place themselves next to the literature display or table, on some misguided quest to still become that living literature dispenser. The best arrangement, when you have 2 or more people working the booth, is to position one person towards the front corner that the foot traffic passes last before leaving the front of your booth, and one just to the inside of the hallway towards the middle. In this way, the salesperson stationed inside the booth can most easily invite already interested customers into the booth and the second one can step into the hallway and try and entice those just walking by to spend a few minutes learning about your product or service.

Tip 4: Capturing Information Just deciding on how you will capture and track customer information before you arrive at the tradeshow will put you well on your way to a productive show. The preferred method is to use a barcode scanner provided by the show organizer. Prospects enter the booth wearing a badge with their information and a barcode. You simply shoot the code with the scanner and that information is recorded. The best of these has places to record your customers’ area interest and follow up preference. Barring this option, assign one person to collect all the information and make notes if you can. You’ll produce better results.

If you put the work into planning how you work your tradeshow booth you will get better results in the end!