Branding Beat - Cut Through the Noise

Mind Your Manners: 23 Posts on Trade Show Etiquette

Trade shows are among the most important events that a business owner or manager can attend. They allow guests to put a personal face with your company and brand nationwide. If you’re the owner of a business, then it is imperative that you have a staff that knows the product as well as you do. A bad staff can make you a laughing stock from here to the Rockies.

Let’s take a look at some sites that offer some good advice in such a fast-paced nomadic business environment:

  • Trade Show Advisor | Trade Show Staffing Strategies: This website gives a good overall view of staffing dos and don’ts – everything from attire expectations to behavior and greetings.
  • AICCNC | Show Booth – Etiquette, Body Language & Mistakes: Sometimes it’s the little things that count, or don’t count… This post mentions things you should be on the look out for at your trade show displays.
  • George Giokas on BusinessWeek | Trade-Show Etiquette: Excuse Me, I’m Going to Talk to That REAL Client: Which of your visitors are serious and which ones are time-wasters? This article discusses many important details about trade shows and manners.
  • Biz Tradeshows | Maintain Trade Show Etiquette at all Times!: Whether your experience is a ho-hum situation or a blockbuster, you should always have a good attitude. Maintaining trade show etiquette is a must no matter how hectic the situation gets!
  • | Trade Show Etiquette – Free Mints and First Impressions: Trade show set-up can be a pain, but it’s a pain that must be endured time and time again. The tips in this post should help you get a ticket to the happy sales train.
  • | Are You Chewing Gum? The Basics of Trade Show Booth Etiquette: Booth etiquette refers to the conduct, presentation, and performance of your booth. Are you doing everything you can to make the experience fun and professional?
  • BNET | Tips & Trends – Expo Etiquette for International Exhibitors: Taking your trade show overseas? This white paper talks about some things you might want to think about….like customs clearance, booth design, and more!
  • Skyline Events | Booth Staffers Attitude and Etiquette: Do you know which shirt side your badge should go on? Do you know the percentage of booth visitors who will smile back at you if you smile first? Read this post to find out the answers…and many more.
  • Helium | Trade Show Booth Etiquette: This site is a step-by-step guide to a successful trade show outcome. <With video>
  • Ten Online | Trade Show Marketing: This post has A to Z trade show marketing advice from one of the best sites around. It includes trade show musts…production, emergencies, vacations…You name it!
  • eHow | How to Network with Trade Show Vendors: Networking is one of the most important things you can do at a trade show, so stay aware because the next good deal could be around the booth.
  • ProExhibits | Trade Show Articles: This informative article archive will give you a run down from some of your fellow trade show pioneers – anyone could find something useful here.
  • The Mogul Mom | Trade Shows 101: Moms go to trade shows, too! Here are some pointers for the mom on the trade show floor, whether you’re a mommy entrepreneur looking for pitch advice or dos and don’ts. This article has everything!
  • Brenda Keener on Suite 101 | Trade Show Booth Staff Basics: You can’t go wrong if you follow the rules – sell, sell, and sell!
  • Google Books | Excerpt from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Trade Shows: Finally – here it is! Everything you always wanted to know about trade shows but were afraid to ask…
  • | Marketing 101: Why Videotaping Your Trade Show Exhibit Matters: Integrating technology with your trade show? Don’t be left out in the dark, and don’t be left without a buyer. Sometimes the media you pick can make all the sales in the world.
  • Amanda Twentyfive on eHow | How to Plan for a Small Trade Show or Vendor Event: Making your own trade show? This can be a lot harder without the proper help! Read this post for some tips for the DIY trade show.
  • | Gun Show Etiquette: This article discusses dos and don’ts at gun trade shows. Even your industry has nothing to do with guns or hunting, there’s some valuable information and advice here!
  • Classic Exhibits | 13 Common Trade Show Mistakes: Check these out and make sure you don’t fall into these traps – they can cause you a financial headache or a traveling nightmare.
  • Biz Tradeshows | Tips for Trade Show Endorsement: This post offers tips for trade show endorsement and advertising Putting a show together requires the proper promotion, and if nobody knows its going down….you’ll be going down!

Remember, you can’t always use your local staff when traveling and running out-of-town trade shows, and your surroundings on a business level could at times require cunning and improvisation. Do you have any more advice on trade show etiquette and staffing that you’d like to add in the comments section?


Bubba is the Quality Logo Products mascot. He may have started out as "just a stress ball," but he's come a long way since the company's launch in 2003. Bubba has been immortalized in numerous vector artwork designs for internal and external promotions, and you can see him change outfits on the Quality Logo Products homepage whenever a holiday rolls around. Oh, and he thinks pants are for the birds. You can connect with Bubba on


  1. QLP Jill

    Proper tradeshow etiquette is too frequently ignored. Booth owners who are sloppy, rude, or disinterested only make the “prim and proper” participants stand out that much more! I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to approach a person who is eating at the booth or talking on a cell phone…

    All of these posts have some good advice – thank you! 🙂

  2. JJ "Suite G"

    It goes without saying that attention to etiquette is a MUST when it comes to any high-profile business event–trade shows, conventions, conferences, etc.

    If booth attendants were to take the initiative to smile at passers-by and to conduct themselves in an engaging and likable manner, it would undoubtedly increase the number of visits to booths.

  3. Scooby DOO!

    ATTENTION: Booth babes cannot make up for poor product knowledge, sloppy booths, or bad promo items! Use your budget on knowledgeable people, attractive booth designs, and a great promotional item. Too often do I walk a trade show floor and see just poor decision-making. Rather than remembering XYZ, Inc. all I can think of is, Over-Compensating, Inc. (for poor planning and execution). Good products are skin deep people!!

    On that note, a quick additional RANT…

    We should do a post on trade show attendee etiquette some time too. You have to love “Mr. I have no intention to buy your product, but I’ll grab as many free samples as I can”, or “Miss I’ll check out all of your items and not put them back in their right place,” or my favorite, “Mr. I’ll talk loudly on my cell as I peruse and drop your products on the ground and then walk away”!!!! What nerve and lack of respect do people have these days. Now I KNOW that’s not ALL people, but it’s “those people” who really aggravate me!

    Ok, that’s all for today. I hope you are all having a great Thanksgiving Day Weekend!

  4. Logo Man

    The one thing I hate MOST about trade-shows is buttonholing – the act of snagging buyers in the aisle… Especially if as a trade show attendee – as you make your way down the trade show floor – EVERY booth asks you how you are doing.

    If I don’t make eye contact, return a smile, or show any signs of slowing down – chances are your breaking one of the other rules of etiquette included in this post or I’m just not interested in your product or service (is that such a HORRIBLE thing?).

    I recently attended a local home show. My wife and I were in need of some new counter tops so I figured this show might be a great way to get some ideas, meet some vendors, and hopefully kick this project into high gear.

    Much to my dismay, due to inclement weather, anticipated show attendance was WAY down, and booth after booth bombarded me with flyers, banter, and other contact that not only made me feel hostile but prevented me from accomplishing my task at hand as I didn’t last more than 10 minutes in there…

    The moral of the story – be respectful, appear open, ready, and WILLING to chat – but don’t pounce on each attendee.

  5. Nathan graphics

    Today marketers must achieve their goals with reduced budgets. Whether they purchase or rent, trade show exhibits are designed to help them stretch their budget. Because trade show booths are lighter weight and designed for easy set-up, They can save on storage, transportation, drayage and labor costs.

  6. RISER

    Wow ! Thanks for this wonderful post. I Was not aware of some very important things that i must take care of. But now i know all.
    thanks again

  7. Selby's

    Trade show etiquette is one of the most important factors that contribute to your trade show success because research has shown that 85% of your trade show success is because of staff performance.

    If booth staffs aren’t reminded of proper trade show etiquettes such as eating in the booth, ignoring prospects, talking among themselves, etc. this would diminish the company’s trade show results.

Leave a Comment

Copyright 2003 - 2019 Quality Logo Products, Inc., Registration No. TX7-524-201. All Rights Reserved.