5 Ways to Really Work a Trade Show Booth | Salestrong


5 Ways to Really Work a Trade Show Booth

Selling at Trade Shows

During a sales training course, I was recently asked by a client how to really work a trade show booth. She then asked me to prepare her sales team for the trade show that was coming up. For this and many other sales team, working a trade show booth has become a matter of routine, so I wanted to shake things up a little! Here’s 5 ways to do just that.

1. Be Pro-Active with the Set-Up

Everything starts with having an entirely new attitude towards planning, set-up and presentation of your booth or table. This means that your planning must start long before you arrive at the center. Instead, you must properly plan your materials and presentation so that it has maximum impact to the right customers.

2. Plan, Plan, Plan!

Your booth needs to have more interactive materials to engage a potential customer. Instead of playing the same video over and over again that try to explain everything, create videos that provide a visual demonstration of what your business does and let the people at the booth explain how it works. Create short, informative materials that can be discussed so that you can answer their questions.

Now that you have your materials properly prepared, set up your booth with the idea of attracting people who are actually interested in what you have to offer. Remember that you are not trying to convince everyone, but instead interact with those whose businesses can really benefit from what you do.

3) Stand Out

If you were walking by a booth and saw the people there sitting down and texting or surfing the web on their mobile devices, would you stop? No, you probably wouldn’t. After all, they don’t look interested enough to be there, so why should you ask more about what they do?

To really work a trade show booth, your presentation needs to be more open and approachable. Instead of having everyone behind the booth or table, put most of your people out front so that they can greet people instead. Remember that you are not trying to appeal or grab everyone, just those who may be interested in your products or services. The people behind the table can assist in the presentation once an interested person comes by.

4) Use Personal Interaction

The key to all of your booth preparation is personal interaction with those who may be interested in your services. You want to greet, talk to and provide information for those who may benefit from what you have to offer. This means those in front need to make eye contact and greet those who are showing some interest.

However, your interaction should not be one of “Let me show you what we do”. Instead, it needs to be asking questions so that you can properly engage them with your sales skills.

5) Use These Three Magic Questions

There are three basic questions that your greeters should ask those who approach your booth. This way, you can properly engage and generate solid leads with businesses that can expand your customer base.

1) What is Your Business?

It seems simple enough, but you’d be surprised at how this question rarely gets asked soon enough. Once you greet someone, it should be the first question out of your mouth. This way, you can identify their potential needs and you can engage them further with good follow-up questions that show your interest in what they do.

2) Why Are You Here?

Although this is really more of a small talk or icebreaker question, it is one that can help a person open up about the needs of their business. This way, you can know if what you are offering can help them and then ask follow-up questions to get them to reveal even more.

3) What Topic or Speaker have you found most useful at this Event?

Although seemingly innocuous, this is actually a very insightful question since everyone comes to these types of event for a reason. The answer they give can tell you if what you have will appeal to them. For example, if you sell sales training course software and they are here to improve their sales efforts, then you can really sell them. However, if what they need is nothing you have, then you can wind down the conversation towards providing them with your contact information just in case they need something in the future.

You want to maximize your time with those who are interested, but you don’t want to just blow off those who are not. Always be nice and polite, but focus on those who have a genuine interest in what you have to offer.


Employing these particular tactics for your next booth or table set-up can reap many benefits, acquire more leads and exercise your sales skills with customers who otherwise would walk right by you.

Article By Alistair McQuade

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