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:

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?


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  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.

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