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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.


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