Course Outcomes

This trade show selling course will:

  • Outline what a booth staff can and can’t expect from a trade show. 
  • Prepare participants to effectively plan for their next exhibition.
  • Provide participants with tactics for attracting qualified booth traffic.
  • Suggest tactics for dealing with the unexpected.
  • Outline proven tactics for following up on leads.

Course Overview

If you’ve ever participated in a trade show and found yourself having flashbacks to a high-school popularity game, you’re not alone. In a sea of booths, it doesn’t take long to figure out where the “cool kids” are. Their space may not be the biggest or the fanciest, but it’s the place to be. What’s more, the people staffing the booth and their organization get exactly what they want out of the show. How do they do it? For most of them, it’s no accident. They recognize that shows are a substantial investment, and they must methodically do their part in order to realize a reasonable return. This course in trade show sales, networking, and etiquette is designed for any group that wants to improve its booth savvy and ability to get the most out of the trade shows they attend.

Program Objectives

At this program’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Describe what trade shows can and can’t do for business.
  • Staff a show with the right people.
  • Set realistic goals for shows.
  • Generate booth traffic.
  • Appropriately greet and engage visitors.
  • Adhere to professional appearance and etiquette standards during trade shows.
  • Manage conversations with visitors.
  • Qualify prospects.
  • Gather visitor data.
  • Handle difficult visitors and unwanted surprises.
  • Follow up appropriately after each event.

The following outline highlights some of the course’s key learning points. As part of your training program, we will modify content as needed to meet your business objectives. Upon request, we will provide you with a copy of the participant materials prior to the session(s).

Workshop Outline

The Naked Truth: Understanding Why Trade Shows Flop

“We didn’t get any new accounts!” “I have all of these business cards and no idea what to do with them.” “Nobody spent any time in our booth.” Well, guess what? It’s a trade show, not a magic festival. When shows don’t deliver, most of the time the fault lies with the exhibitor. This introductory conversation candidly explains why trade shows don’t always meet expectations. It also discusses the mindset participants must adopt to ensure that they do not find themselves with the post-show blues.

Bare Essentials: Planning for Shows

As discussed in the previous module, too often organizations take part in a trade show with no plan in place. Sure, they send brochures, order some fake plants, and have a team to demonstrate their products, but what they don’t have is a game plan for making the most of the event. This segment of the course focuses on the ins and outs of planning an exhibit: setting goals for the show, staffing the booth with the right mix of people, preparing for visitors, and attracting traffic before and during the event.

Maximum Exposure: Making the Most of Time in the Booth

Moderate to active booth activity allows people to browse at a comfortable distance before beginning a dialogue. This workshop segment discusses the importance of finding a balance between ignoring visitors and devouring them. During this part of the course, we’ll discuss techniques for starting conversations, quickly differentiating buyers from browsers, and asking for permission to make future contact in a way that usually gets a “yes” response.

You’ve Got to Shake It: Working with Energy

People want to be where something exciting is happening and happening in a way that doesn’t feel too gimmicky or like a pitch for a used car. This part of the program addresses booth energy and creative ways exhibitors can attract traffic. 

Malfunction Management: Dealing with the Unexpected

From time to time, the best planning and booth-manning strategies are foiled by surprises. From dealing with sticky situations with visitors to handling difficult neighbors, this case-based section of the course addresses solutions to a variety of challenges that can sabotage an event.

Show Them Your Stuff: Maximizing Your Investment

The show is over, but the work has just begun. In this final segment of the program, participants will focus on follow-up activities and how to and when to reconnect with people who’ve shown interest in the products and services featured at the show.

By the conclusion of this hands-on workshop, participants should be able to plan for their next show, feel comfortable with self-introductions and generating booth traffic, prepare for the unexpected, and follow up with prospects after the pipe and drape have been carted away.