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5 Different Ways Attendees are Probably Feeling When They Step into Your Booth

Don’t Rely Exclusively on Your Trade Show Display to do the Work for You

Obviously, a well-planned and effective trade show booth is important for some success at your event. But that’s just the beginning! After all, the people attending the event will have their own agendas and you’ll need to know how to work with that. Your sales reps need to understand how to work effectively with the attendees of the show, and to do that they need to know a few secrets. Here is a list of possible emotions and moods attendees are probably going through during a show, so you can be prepared to meet them where they are and engage them appropriately.

Emotions in business

1. Impatient. If their offices are sending them to trade shows, chances are the attendees are influential – and busy! They don’t have time to waste and they’ll want you to get to the point without too much schmoozing. Be polite, of course, but also be concise. If a visitor to your booth feels like you’re just wasting their time, they won’t want to stick around and do business with you.

2. Forgetful. Like we said, these are busy people, and they’ll have a million details to keep track of. Remember, you’re not the only vendor they will talk to at the show! Do as much as you can right there at the booth to close the deal so that they don’t have to remember all of the details once they get back to the office. Do the work for them so they won’t have to remember to do it themselves.

3. Hassled. Convention attendees are surrounded in every direction by vendors who want their business. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and irritable with all that commotion, and when you’re in that frame of mind it’s hard to keep details straight. Remind your sales staff to keep things as simple and straightforward as possible to make it easy on the clients. Make the conversation about their needs and let them steer the conversation.

4. Hesitant. Visitors to your trade show display are not stupid. They can see your signs and brochures perfectly well. But with so many options surrounding them, they might need a gentle nudge toward signing a deal. Offer some nice incentives to move them in the right direction, but don’t give them the hard sell! Again, remember that they have lots of options, and if the sales staff pushes too hard, they might just push those clients away altogether. Give them straightforward reasons of how you can reach their needs and talk with them enough where they feel that the choice is clear.

5. Egotistical. With so many vendors fighting for their business, trade show attendees have the upper hand and they know it! So go out of your way to make them feel special and give yourself the edge that you need. Start before the convention by asking your marketing team to contact your regular clients and offer an incentive to customers who visit your trade show display. Also, for new clients who seem interested, offer exclusive discounts for serious buyers. A little flattery will get you far.

The very best trade show display design and location won’t do you any good at all if you don’t work it right. Always remember to see the situation from your customer’s point of view, and that will give your staff the edge that they need to stand out from the crowd.

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About the Author

Scott Price was President of Skyline New Jersey and is currently retired.

2 responses to “5 Different Ways Attendees are Probably Feeling When They Step into Your Booth

  1. Great post! I remember seeing that Voice and Tone site that MailChimp uses and thinking this is exactly what companies should create to educate their booth staff on how to handle various attendees. Essentially it’s a small guide that shows how employees should interact with customers at different stages or in different moods. If you haven’t seen it, it’s at It’s segmented by customer moods, but you could easily apply the same logic to the 5 attitudes listed in this article.

    Similar to what Sarmistha said, you really need to educate your sales reps. Unfortunately, the booth itself can’t do ALL the work!

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