Whether your company is planning for a mere 10′ by 10′ booth or a large 40′ by 50′ trade show exhibit space, training the staff who will be manning the booth during the show itself is of the utmost importance. Unfortunately for most trade show exhibitors, staff training tends to be overlooked in favor of other seemingly more pressing issues like booth planning, design, construction, and other logistics. While the importance of the booth itself is important in attracting customers and prospects, your staff’s presence and demeanor can make or break that new prospective business.

Some experienced staff and executives who man trade show booths pride themselves on their ability weed through the duds to spot and engage only live prospects, but staying focused only on revenue or big-ticket customers can often damage their brand and lead to missed opportunities. Corporate event planners are sometimes asked to assist in managing trade show logistics and at times, the trade show booth itself. When great event planners are involved in the planning phase, they have the unique opportunity to enhance the company’s return on investment by sharing the following trade show staff etiquette rules and tips.

 Greetings and Open Body Language

Attendees are looking at the exhibit staff for a reason to spend time at your booth. After being initially drawn in by the booth or brand itself, your staff is the reason they will stay or go. The following body language tips will help convey a professional and approachable demeanor:

  • Stand up and greet attendees in front of the booth
  • If seats are needed, use tall stools that create contact at standing eye level
  • Smile and make eye contact with attendees from all directions
  • Speak with trade show attendees, not colleagues
  • Sit down only if you are with a client who also wants to sit
  • Do not cross arms or legs, keep hands out of pockets
  • Avoid fidgeting and leaning against booth walls and furniture
  • Be mindful of other people in the booth and near your space
  • Do not enter the space of another exhibitor
  • Be enthusiastic, confident, and polite
  • Thank attendees for spending time at your booth when they arrive and leave

Though simple, these basic body language tips offer an approachable and professional atmosphere that will encourage prospects to visit—and stay in—your booth. […]

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