How to Shine at an Exhibition

Do you have a long year of exhibitions planned in 2017? Then you will no doubt want to stand out from the crowd of competitors that will surround you, something that we here at EMC know can be easier said than done. However, if you follow a certain etiquette that an exhibition requires then you will undoubtedly outshine your competition!

So, what etiquette should you adhere to when out and about at an exhibition or two?

How to Treat Time-Wasters

An exhibition comes with an unspoken rule that many of the people that approach you on the day will waste your time. They will be ‘browsers’ rather than buyers, a fact which may not endear them to you in such a time-sensitive environment. However, sometimes it can be hard to suss these out from your actual clients.

Some say that spotting a time-waster is an inborn talent and not something that you can learn. However, there are some signs that anyone can spot. Such as:

  • Question after question, but an unwillingness to commit.
  • Doesn’t understand what the value of your service is, so keeps asking clarifying questions.
  • They ask for free work, discount, etc.
  • The work they have in mind is an offshoot of stuff they cannot handle.
  • Offers you an ‘opportunity’.

Spotting time wasters can be a bit hit-and-miss. But, ultimately doing so can save you time and money in the long run, even if you miss a couple of real opportunities along the way. Having a set of questions put together to help ‘filter’ these time wasters is an unspoken, but strategic etiquette that many of your co-exhibitors will also be practicing.


Remember, time wasters also lose you money. So don’t accommodate them!

Dress to Impress

When you are representing your business, you want to ensure that you appear smart and professional. Both in your manner and in the way that you are dressed. Many exhibitions will have a dress code, if such a dress code is in place then you should strictly adhere to it in order to make a good impression. Typically, smart dress is required.


Part of the dress code is a nametag, believe it or not. If you are an exhibitor this is one of the easiest ways to help you stand out from the crowd. It also helps to create a first link for the approaching customer, as they can see you are a member of your business and they know your name before you have even said a word to them.

In short: the nametag is an essential part of your exhibition uniform.

Listen More, Speak Less

Part of pitching yourself at an exhibition is not pitching yourself… Don’t worry, it’s not as confusing as it first sounds. The fact is, that, people can feel overwhelmed if they receive a lot of information at once. A better strategy is to coax them to speak about what they are looking for, contributing when needed or you have something useful to add.

Woman whispering to her friend

This strategy involves allowing them to speak 80% of the time, only leaving 20% of the speaking time for your pitch. It may seem a small amount, but that’s because it is! Those that their business or products concisely are the better exhibitors, as you not only give a better impression to the customer but do so more efficiently. Sometimes less is much, much, more.

Smile, You’re on Show!

Do you feel like you have not received many benefits from trade shows and exhibitions in the past? Well, perhaps you didn’t conform to the most important rule of a tradeshow; bring your most dynamic and engaging face. You will find that whatever you put into a show will be what you get out of it, so putting on your biggest smile and speaking to all those that show an interest in your business is the best way to achieve this.

It may seem obvious, but you would be surprised by the number of people who just expect people to engage with them if they are simply standing there. It’s just not possible in such a large show. With so many people, businesses, and products on show you have to be an engaging figure to draw people in from the overwhelming crowd.


Remember, at an exhibition, it’s not just your business on show, you are too!

And a final touch? Hand them a piece of promotional merchandise, the perfect way to ensure you stay in their memories and facilitate that sale post-exhibition!

Do you feel prepared for your next exhibition? Then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on 020 8492 2200. Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Google+ to keep up to date with all of our latest news and updates.

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