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Trade Show Etiquette for First-Time Booth Staff

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Here are a few simple lessons for ensuring that your first-time booth staff member will personify your brand with the best possible etiquette:

Your next trade show is just a few weeks away and this is by no means your team’s first rodeo – for your seasoned show staff, greeting attendees and drawing them in with their energetic personality, is no longer a challenge. Having a veteran team is key, but maybe you find yourself with a regular staff member that can’t attend or you hired a new employee since your last show. This can leave your team rushing to adjust responsibilities, nail down speaking points, and coach on how to present a new product or service. These are all crucial details but must happen in addition to teaching your new team member the proper trade show etiquette, which can ultimately make or break all your team’s preparation.

Here are a few simple lessons for ensuring that your first-time booth staff member will personify your brand with the best possible trade show etiquette: 


DO: Plan your attire, plan your meals, and plan your sleep schedule – all are factors that influence your attitude on show day. No show attendee will want to talk to an obviously exhausted, irritable or messy staff member. Lots of caffeine, snacks and vitamins always help.

DON’T: Avoid cell phone usage in the booth and having too much conversation with other staff members – this can often appear exclusive to attendees or as if you don’t want to engage with them.

Most importantly, DON’T forget your best magnetic appeal: SMILE. It may sound cheesy, but it’s true. Happiness is contagious. If you’re excited to be there, you may just flip the mood of the attendee who didn’t wear the right shoes or get enough sleep – instantly making your booth more approachable. 


Being aware of visitors’ actions can help you make the most of your interactions. Pay attention to what they are observing to help you navigate a conversation. Be mindful of their tone and emotion to gauge how to address their concerns and questions. And always be quick to greet and attend to your visitors – feeling ignored or unnoticed may drive them to the next booth, losing an opportunity to do business.


Visitors can come in waves and before you know it, one staff member is juggling several conversations. Be quick to step up and ask how you can help a team member. Even if it’s bringing them resources or helping them to address specific questions in the conversations. Fulfilling your role and stepping into another when needed, helps to create a seamless experience for your visitors.


It’s easy to overpower the conversation of “we provide this…” and “we can do that…” but how exactly is the solution relevant to your attendees? Be sure to start with asking open-ended questions regarding the attendee’s needs and challenges to be able to position your company as their guide to achieving the objectives they identified for the show. This still allows you to promote your company while making the prospect feel heard and valued.

REMEMBER: The client is the HERO – and you are their guide to achieving their goals. 

Preparing your booth staff with proper training on trade show etiquette is a key part of any successful trade show. Rockway’s experienced staff understands the time and effort you put into preparing your booth and staff for show day. Rockway is here to help you exhibit with confidence – from creating a custom exhibit tailored to your goals, to handling logistics, we focus on the heavy lifting so you can focus on the next big deal. Contact us when you’re preparing for your next trade show.

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