3 People You Encounter at a Trade Show

A business team shaking hands to seal a deal

A business team shaking hands to seal a deal

Although it may seem presumptuous to categorize trade show attendees into groups; those that have frequented these events will agree there does seem to be consistency in the characters we encounter. So the question is “How do I maximize on the brief encounter to, not only benefit my business, but also to offer a solution to the attendee?

So let’s look at three of the common trade show attendees and some possible suggestions for how you can improve the encounter:

Lookie Lou: These are the attendees that travel through the trade show displays looking for trade show swag, contests to sign up for and ideas they might use in their own booth.

Suggestion: Greet them with a smile, hand them your swag, invite them to sign up for your booth prize and ask them one simple question: “What do you hope to learn from this event today?”

Think about it; they can’t answer yes or no and the question will force them to stop and think in order to provide a viable response. Listen carefully to their answer for any clues that may lead you to a deeper discussion about their business. They may just thank you for the pen with your company name, but they may also turn into a member of our second group of trade show attendees…Curious George.

Curious George: These are attendees who not only want your swag they are also looking for “something.” They may not be quite sure what the something is; technology to help them work smarter, services that will help their profitability or products that improve their sales efforts. You may or may not have that illusive something but only by asking the right questions, will you begin to uncover their needs.

Suggestion: Greet them with a smile. Invite them into your booth by asking “What have you found most interesting today at the trade show?” Their answer may help you uncover a little of what they need. Follow up by asking them “What do you hope to accomplish today?” Lead them to yourInTouch table technology and show them the products you have that might meet their needs or show them a video on the InTouch Table to expand their knowledge of your company. Using more hands on demonstrations, show them the mobile iPad trade shows app that you have on your iPad. Make sure to send them customized sales literature using this application.

Devoted Dora: Lastly, we come to the attendee that we may take for granted. Devoted Dora is a previous or current customer and already understands our business and the positive impact it has on theirs. Sadly, in an effort to obtain new customers, we frequently ignore the opportunity to maximize on our relationship with Devoted Dora.

Suggestions: Greet them with a smile and even their name, if possible. Ask about their day, their business and any other personal greeting that reminds them of your relationship. Use this ‘in-person’ time to share the latest company offerings, such as InTouch Table Technology and other products or services. This is the perfect opportunity to build on that relationship. Retention of existing customers costs less than obtaining new customers.


With all of the attendees that visit your booth, greet them warmly, ask open-ended questions, gather their contact information and make the most of the every minute they are in front of you. You only have a moment to make a difference – make sure you take every opportunity to maximize on your encounters.