Trade Show Booth Etiquette & Body Language
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To ensure the members of your booth staff present a professional, approachable image, review the following rules of trade show booth etiquette and body language with them before the show opens on the first day.
• Never sit down. Sitting down makes it look as though nothing is happening. No one will ever want to talk to you. If your booth has bar-stool-height chairs behind a draped table, relax. Because of the higher seat, you are at the same eye level as people passing the booth. Acceptance for these stools is definitely increasing – the public is sympathetic to the detrimental effects of standing on a concrete floor all day.
• Avoid idle chatter with other booth personnel. The sight of two well-dressed executives or sales people in conversation looks like a meeting. No one will interrupt a meeting.
• Absolute “No-No’s” in the booth:
All of these activities ward off the press, as well as potential customers.
• Do have and use some kind of breath freshener! (Make sure your entire staff has something!)
Many books have been written about body language; here are the most important points to remember, from a trade show perspective:
• Talk to the person, not the piece of equipment or product you are demonstrating. Maintain eye contact with the reporter and avoid getting “caught up” with the demonstration.
• Raise your voice or you’re likely to be drowned out by other people in the booth, people in the aisle, or the sounds of people and equipment in other booths.
• Present an open posture. Folded arms and crossed legs are a message that you’re not very open, and will keep reporters and customers on guard, or from entering your booth at all. To create intimacy and trust, let your arms hang at your sides and position your feet about six to eight inches apart.