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10 Trade Show Exhibiting Dos and Don’ts

tradeshow exhibiting dos and donts“Top Ten” lists exist for everything from “What To Do On Vacation In France” to “10 Things Not To Wear To A Costume Party.”  Dial in to what you need to run a successful trade show marketing program by reviewing this list of do’s and don’ts while exhibiting.


1.  Set clear objectives for your trade show exhibiting opportunity.  How do you define “success”?

2. Determine how you’re going to measure the ROI for your trade show event.  How will you keep score?

3. Start the show marketing early with good pre-show promotion.  Give the attendees a reason to make your trade show exhibit a destination at the show.

4. Train your booth staff.  Equip them with the tools and techniques to perform well on the trade show floor.

5. Follow up with your prospects in a timely manner and implement a trade show lead management plan.  The first one to follow up often wins the sale!


1. Just sign up for the trade show or marketing event out of habit.  Make the show organizer sell you on why you should go again this year.

2. Design your trade show display just to make you proud.  The goal is to design so the marketing message speaks to the attendees.

3. Collect business cards in a fish bowl: If you’re going to do that don’t bother going to the show.  You can get the same info off the internet.

4. Sit behind your draped table for 3 days and say it was a lousy show.  Be aggressive to meet and greet everyone at the show (and find the best prospects).

5. Leave your leads in a shopping bag for three months.  Have a plan to follow through and get right to it after the trade show ends!

With these trade show tips in hand, begin preparing for success in the trade shows and marketing events you have on your calendar.  Do you have any more tips to add to either side of the list?  Leave your comments below!

What's Working In ExhibitingGet more information on what exhibitors say is working for them in 7 key areas of trade show marketing by requesting the What’s Working In Exhibiting white paper.  Click here for your free copy. 


About the Author

During his 30+ years with Skyline Exhibits, Glenn’s role has ranged from Director of Sales Training to National Sales Manager at Skyline corporate headquarters in Minnesota, as well as General Manager of Skyline South in Atlanta. Glenn has conducted over 400 seminars throughout North America helping companies better manage their trade show and event marketing programs. Glenn is currently the Owner and President of Skyline Genesis Event Marketing in New York City. He gladly assumes the ultimate responsibility for customer satisfaction and the quality of their New York trade show displays and the most effective marketing package that will strategically meet or exceed their objectives.

3 responses to “10 Trade Show Exhibiting Dos and Don’ts

  1. Also, share with your staff that is OK to not know an answer to a customer question. But, provide someone on the tradeshow floor that CAN answer the question. To admit you don’t know something is not shame…but to lie and try to “wing” it only embarrasses the company.

  2. Thanks for sharing this fabulous information. I really feel these do’s and don’t could help..though exhibiting sounds easy, some things just have to be kept in mind, especially the ones that are not to be done.

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