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6 Reasons Attendees Don’t Trust Your Booth Staffers

April 10, 2014 | | Comments 3

Why do B2B buyers continue to attend trade shows by the tens of millions, rather than make all their purchases online?  Because they want to meet you face to face, to see for themselves what the people who work for your company are really like, and if your company is trustworthy enough to do business with.6-reasons

Well, attendees won’t trust your company if your booth staffers do these 6 things:

1. Your staffers ignore attendees

It’s hard to believe, but far too often attendees walk into a booth and are ignored by booth staffers – maybe even your booth staffers.  This behavior exasperates attendees.  If you ignore them in your booth, they would expect to be ignored as a customer.  Which is why they are unlikely to ever become a customer.

2. Your staffers do not make eye contact

Attendees can’t make a personal connection if your booth staffer doesn’t pay close enough attention to even look them in the eye.  They don’t have to stare; they just have to demonstrate they are paying attention to your visitors, so the visitors feel valued.

3. Your staffers talk without listening

If your staffers are too intent on unloading the same talking points, rather than listen first to what each visitor is trying to achieve at the show, then your staffers’ data dump will fall on deaf ears.  Attendees want a dialog, not a diatribe.

4. Your staffers don’t know what they are talking about

Thanks to all that product information on the Internet, today’s trade show attendees are better informed than ever before.  So if your booth staffers lack the product and industry knowledge to competently answer questions, attendees will take their business to someone who knows their stuff instead.

5. You hire booth babes instead of brand ambassadors

An assertive, friendly, knowledgeable booth staffer will create far more real opportunity with buyers than a booth babe that will intimidate some men, be avoided by some senior decision makers who don’t want to look like they’re hitting on women, and by many women who are offended by them.  If you do not have enough capable booth staffer among your employees, you can hire brand ambassadors, and skip the booth babes.

6. Your staffers stand in front of a confusing or shabby trade show display

Attendees quickly judge how trustworthy your company is by how well your booth represents it.  Does it quickly communicate how you can help them solve their problems?  Does it show that you are a good company to work with?  Or does it send conflicting messages, and look like it needs repair or replacement?  Your exhibit will reflect well or poorly on your booth staff.

The goal of branding is to build trust with buyers.  If they trust that you represent something they value and need, and can consistently deliver on that promise, then they will reward you with their business and their praise.  Make sure your trade show booth staff and your trade show exhibit will help earn, not spurn, that trust.


There is so much riding on your booth staffers. In fact, 85% of what attendees remember is based on them. Get your hands on the Better Booth Staffing for Greater Trade Show Results white paper so you know how to really improve the performance of your trade show program. Click here for your free copy.

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Filed Under: Trade show booth staffing


About the Author: Mike Thimmesch was Skyline Exhibits' Director of Customer Engagement, for over 25 years. He is now retired and spends him time freelancing, traveling, and enjoying time with his family.

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  1. […] Business at a distance can be cold – that’s why most trade show attendees come in person, so that they can interface with people directly. That’s not a guarantee of an immediate rapport, however, especially when your booth staffers make mistakes like those outlined in this article. […]

  2. […] tools like posture, facial expression, body movement and gestures play a vital role when we are staffing our booths and when we have been tasked to deliver some awesome presentations. “The speaker who stands and […]

  3. Your exhibiting space “is a collection of experiences; to try, to buy, to admire and to inspire.” Make is fun, make it memorable. Make it unique.

    Here are some ideas as to how:

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