Exhibiting in a trade show is expensive. The cost includes booth space, there’s usually a charge for electricity and often there are union charges for set up, even furniture and carpet have a price. And then there’s the display. An eye-catching display can cost thousands of dollars. You’re not done yet – there’s logistics, transportation, wages, lodging, food, the list goes on. Okay, so if you exhibit in shows you know all of this so what’s the point? What would you say if I told you I have a secret weapon to use at any time trade show that could improve your performance whether it’s lead generation or products sales? Would you be interested in knowing how to improve your trade show results? Want to know my secret?

Why’s it a Secret

I’ve worked a thousand shows or more, that’s no exaggeration. For more than ten years I worked for an organization that exhibited in 200 plus shows per year, and I went to most of them. The secret I’m about to share was rarely used at these shows. What I learned from working thousands of shows, visiting tens of thousands of booths, and observing an incalculable number of staffers, was that my secret was only being used by a very small percent.

I can also tell you that I adopted the secret early on in all our booths and with all our staff. It was what we did. We were very successful.

Today, I don’t work shows, but I do walk a few, sometimes for business and sometimes for pleasure. And I can tell you this, not only do exhibitors continue to ignore my secret, but it’s gotten worse. Last year while walking a home improvement show with hundreds of exhibitors I was hard pressed to find anyone using my secret. As I recall I saw three, maybe four using the secret. Like I said, there were hundreds.

So, What’s the Secret?

What’s the secret? When I tell you, I predict you’ll have two reactions. First, you’ll think, “I know that! That’s no secret!” Your second reaction will most likely be to think that I tricked you, that the title to this post was click bait. However, neither is true because as simple as the secret might be, people aren’t using it.

What’s the secret? SMILE. Everyone working your booth needs to face front and smile. It helps if they share pleasant greetings, and even better if they invite attendees to participate in whatever your booth has to offer, but it begins with a simple smile.

If you think I’m full of malarkey walk a show and see how many staffers look you in the eye and smile. Then count how many are on their phone, at the back of the booth with a blank expression on their face as they ignore everyone who walks past, and sometimes even into their booth.

Improve Your Trade Show Results

You will find a few friendly helpful faces, and I’m not talking about those who go too far and chase you down the aisle like a carnival barker. I’m talking about a friendly person who smiles at you and then asks if you’d like to sign up for their drawing, or could you use a free bag, or how are you enjoying the show?

Do you want to improve your trade show results? If so, it starts with a smile.

Photo by Aatik Tasneem on Unsplash