How to Behave at a Trade Show to Maximise Leads and Footfall [Infographic]

How To Behave At A Trade Show - Bad Stand
“How was the trade show? A REAL success! Jeff got up to level 135 on Angry Birds and I managed to bag a local girl on Tinder. Was it busy? I have no idea. I haven’t looked up for three days!”

UPDATED: 18TH JULY 2018

You’ve booked your spot, designed an awesome looking stand, with free burgers, coffee and Wi-Fi that attendees will love (and also matches your branding) and now the trade show is about to open…

So, now that you have everything in place, how are you meant to behave at a trade show for three days while visitors flock (I’m being optimistic here) to your stand? How are you supposed to act? Is there a special trade show etiquette?

  • Should you approach them, or let them approach you?
  • Should you go for the hard sell, or concentrate on serving them, giving them useful information?
  • Casual dress to show that you’re warm and friendly, or more formal dress, to show that you’re serious and mean business?

Designing an awesome looking stand will be for nothing if you and your team don’t behave properly to take advantage of it.

So, what are the “dos” and “don’ts” of trade show stand behaviour?

Helpfully, the lovely folk at the North West Creative Imaging Blog have created a fabulous infographic that tells you what you should (and definitely SHOULD NOT) be doing at your trade show stand.

Trade Show Stand Etiquette - How To Act And Get More Leads At Your Next Trade Show
Trade Show Stand Etiquette – Source: Northwest Creative Imaging Blog

With 85% rate of success at a trade show depending upon staff performance, it’s great to see that one of the main takeaways from the graphic is that the best trade show stand behaviour is often what my mum would call, “good manners” –

  • Dress nicely,
  • Smarten and clean yourself up,
  • Smile!
  • Enthusiasm counts,
  • Be friendly and personable, but most of all
  • Help visitors as much as you can. Give them information. Be generous.

Basically, be a good human being, and you’re most of the way there.

As for bad behaviour, Don’t do those things you were told off for in school:

  • Chewing gum,
  • Bad (or negative) posture,
  • Constantly checking your phone for email or
  • Mindlessly chatting with your stand colleagues.
  • Smoking behind the bike sheds

With 89% of trade show interactions instigated by exhibitors, it makes sense to get your team on the edges of the stand, warmly chatting to passers-by, trying to entice them onto your stand in whatever way you can.

Another major highlight of the graphic is the value of consistency. Your staff should behave like a team (no, not “THE A-Team”, because that would be silly. Cool, but very silly). They should be consistent in the information they give out to attendees, how they answer questions, how they deal with leads and where they point people to for more information.

In short, have a game plan for how to deal with the various questions and approaches and you won’t go far wrong.

As the infographic says, the cost of converting trade show leads is 38% cheaper than sales calls alone, so it’s worth doing it correctly!

(12 Trade Show Giveaways and Freebies that Your Stand Visitors Will Love!)


Success at a trade show depends, not only on your trade shows staffs behaviour, but on you being able to both draw in a crowd and qualify those leads. There are some standard ways of doing this and some not-so-standard…

…a trade show magician is a great way of attracting trade show visitors to your stand. Not only that, unlike a weird artefact or some kind of tech novelty, a trade show magician can actually SPEAK – they can present your key messages and ideas through the amazing magic we perform – it’s the ultimate “soft sell” – stand visitors are entertained AND informed…AT THE SAME TIME!

*** UH OH! I THINK THERE MIGHT BE A SALES MESSAGE COMING….***

I’m a trade show magician who can get your message out there, maximising your trade show attendance.

Thanks for bringing to life what we do right in front of people’s eyes! You really struck the perfect balance on the stand and made the show a big success for us.” – Hydro 66


Why not fill in the form below, so we can have a chat about your next trade show?