When your company spends the money, time, and effort to display a booth at a trade show, it is vital to make the best of it. So now you're prepared to attend your trade show.

1) ENGAGE IN SOCIAL MEDIA.

Learn what the Twitter hashtag is for the event and post what you are promoting or what you are giving away. Like the organization's Facebook page. If they allow it, post teasers or questions to engage the audience.

Other social media outlets can include:

  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube
  • Flickr

2) PULL A CROWD TO YOUR TRADE SHOW BOOTH

Use an interactive display, such as a quiz or game on a computer, a contest draw, or a scheduled demonstration. It doesn't need to be fancy to draw people's interest.

3) USE A PRIZE DRAW OR CONTEST

Having some kind of prize drawing or contest is a great way to collect contact information from booth visitors. You can give away promotional items to encourage people to participate.

4) HAVE A STOCK OF PROMOTION ITEMS THAT YOU CAN USE AS

giveaways at your booth
Small items that people can take away and use (while being reminded about your business) are best. Be sure you place these items in a location where people will have to walk into or through your trade show display to get them.

5) ACTIVELY ENGAGE TRADE BOOTH VISITORS

Give people who approach your trade show display a friendly greeting and welcome their questions. Be sure that your body language is friendly. Don't stand there with your arms crossed over your chest, for instance. Chat with booth visitors, and find out what aspect of your business they're most interested in. Be prepared to offer specific solutions to their questions. The trick is to draw them in without intimidating or overwhelming them.

6) MAKE SURE YOU HAVE PLENTY OF PROMOTIONAL LITERATURE ON HAND

You'll want to have a good supply of colour fliers and brochures as well as order forms, price sheets and business cards that you can hand out to booth visitors. Make it easy for them to find the information on your business later.

7) HAVE YOUR TRADE SHOW BOOTH MANNED AT ALL TIMES

Someone has to be there to greet browsers, engage them in conversation, and take their questions. If you can't be there every minute the trade show is open, you'll need to have at least one other person to help out.

8) SEND KNOWLEDGEABLE STAFF

Many companies will send their "rookies" to tradeshows. Sending new staff people is not always the wisest decision, however, as they may not have all the answers about your products or services. If you do send a new staff member, be sure to include an experienced employee as well. That way, newer staff will be able to watch and learn.

9) GET OUT FROM BEHIND YOUR BOOTH AND GET OFF YOUR PHONE/COMPUTER

Often, exhibitors sit behind their tables while attendees stand looking down at them –- get up and engage! Show your personality, Also, get off your phone or computer. Nothing is worse than watching one of our exhibitors miss valuable exhibitor time because he or she is one the phone. There are typically periods of down time during any conference to follow up on voicemail or e-mails.

10) FOLLOW UP PROMPTLY

Follow up with contacts and leads you made during the trade show as soon as possible. The faster you send them out, the more your business will stand out from the rest.