How to Get On the Trade Show Dance Card

Often, companies decide to exhibit at a trade show without giving importance to the attendees. Attendees or the company’s target market, don’t come without prior research on all the companies exhibiting, especially the ones of their interest. Most trade show attendees research exhibitors before they attend.  If you haven’t planned it out properly, then there’s a high likelihood that the attendees don’t put you on their dance card.

Be Sure of What You’re Selling

If you are standing at the booth clueless of what products you have and what are their benefits and uses, then it will send a red signal to the attendees visiting your booth. Make sure you booth staffers study everything prior to the show and make sure you have all the answers to an attendee’s questions about the company or its products.

An Effective Marketing Plan

Pre-show marketing plans are often the reason behind a booth getting lots of attendees. When you develop a strategic & creative marketing plan and portray the best of your company in your campaigns which will run all over social media or even ATL (above-the-line) and BTL (below-the-line) activities, you will be able to entice a lot of potential customers to your booth. It will also help impress existing customers and continue staying top of mind with them.

Make Good Offers

If your booth is designed in a unique way and has all the attractive signage and display, you will get on the attendees’ dance card. To make your strategy work even better, you can offer something in return. What if there’s a colorful attractive display saying that ‘visit our booth and see what we have for you’ ‘what’s better than a free sample, incentive or demonstration?’

It is not an easy task to get on the trade show dance card. It takes a lot of planning & performance and only then will the result be overwhelming.


Learning Trade Show Skills From A 2-Year Old

It’s a true joy raising a child (most of the time) and I’m amazed at, not only the childhood experiences that I had forgotten, but also the lessons a parent can learn from a child.

My son is currently 2-1/2 years old and I’ve recently realized that many of his life experiences can be related to the important trade show skills a marketer & booth staffer should learn.

Ask questions to engage & learn about your prospects

Recently, my son has started asking a lot of questions:

What’s that noise?

That’s a siren from a firetruck.

What’s a firetruck

The firetruck carries the firemen to the people who need a fire put out.

What’s a fireman?

The fireman is a person who puts out fires.



As you can see, asking questions uncovers a lot of information. For example, in a trade show setting, you might ask questions such as:

What brings you to the show?

Tell me more about (a problem or situation in their reply).

What if we were able to (insert suggestion about your product or service that solves their pain).

Uncovering information is a critical part of the booth staffing role which leads to prospect qualification and the proper follow-up method.


Humans have a range of emotions, however I’m also amazed at how quickly my son can recover from a sad moment into a smile. It’s infectious and his smile brightens any room. When you’re at a trade show, no matter how much your feet hurt, smile. It’s starts the process of engaging with strangers and makes them feel comfortable. You’ve then just made process of starting a discussion even easier.


Never Give Up

How many times does a child fall before he or she learns to walk? Thousands probably. It took Edison 10,000+ tries before he invented the light bulb. He didn’t classify these as failures. Instead, he said “I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.”

If your trade show promo doesn’t work, if you’re not drawing a lot of traffic, if your booth staffers aren’t asking the right questions — don’t give up. Find the way that will work.


How Do You Get Noticed At A Trade Show?

Trade shows  are a great way to attract potential customers and keep in touch with current customers. But to do this job, one must know how to effectively promote the company and set up a booth that draws all the attention. It is not easy to catch the attention of all attendees. You need to think out of the box and create an experience that stands out in the entire show.

Here are some tips to get noticed at a trade show:

Eye-catching Displays

The most important thing is the visual appeal of your booth. When you have incorporated good lighting, bright colors, creative banners and the interior design in your booth, the attendees will automatically notice your booth among the rest of the clutter.

Offer an Incentive

If an attendee visits your booth and looks at your products and spends time listening to you, don’t let it go to waste. Ask them to schedule a follow-up meeting or next sales step, and in return offer them small gifts or incentives. For example, a give-away or voucher for a future purchase. You can also create a solid impact by offering them a place to rest, refreshments or food items.

Influence the Attendees

When an attendee visits your booth, count yourself lucky because that person took the time to see what you are selling. Don’t start off by a sales pitch. It is very unattractive and often boring for an attendee. Try to play with words, be creative, and tell an amazing story and link it back to your business. When the attendee starts to get involved, he/she is more likely to buy your product.

Why Do I Have to Pay Drayage?

When you are planning to set up a booth at a tradeshow, you’ll need to transfer your material in the venue safely. Drayage, also commonly called material handling, is an important part of setting up your booth at a tradeshow.

Did you know that drayage is a French medical term for extracting money from your wallet?

In all seriousness though, paying drayage for freight transfer is very important. Without your material being carefully placed at the location, you cannot set up your booth. To transport such large materials and inventory, you’ll need the help of the show contractor. You will have to carefully examine and calculate the budget because drayage costs can sometimes be a shocker at the end if not handled smartly.

Drayage charges include unloading your freight at the venue, transporting the crates to your booth space and moving crates into storage after you exhibit is setup & empty labels are applied. Additionally, at the close of the show, your empty crates will be delivered back to your booth space and, once the proper paperwork is completed, the crates will again be picked up and taken to the dock for loading on your freight carrier.

Try this!!

Pack multiple cartons in a single packing to save extra material cost.

Don’t pack unnecessary stuff, it’ll only add up to your drayage costs.

What is better?

Is shipping the material directly to the event better or to an advance warehouse?

If you ship your materials directly to the venue, it might reduce your overall budget, because many contractors charge more when they have to move the material from an outer location or an advance warehouse. Though shipping directly to the venue can cause some problems, such as delayed delivery to your booth space.

While drayage can be a frustrating and expensive part of your trade show experience, it is an important service and part of every trade show. Rather than spending time and frustration complaining about it, you should plan ahead strategically to lower the amount of crates & weights to reduce your material handling expenses.