Trade Show Survival Guide Part Two: Five During-the-Show Tips

You’ve planned and prepped – finally the trade show is here! Your team of marketers and social media mavens is ready to make some killer connections and impressions. Follow these tips for an effective trade show experience:

1. Stay organized.

If you followed the tips in Part One: Five Pre-Show Tips, you should already have an idea of who your audience at the show will be. As you face the crowds of new faces and businesses, have a strategy for remembering them. For each business card you receive, I suggest writing an A, B or C in the top right or left corner. Here’s the breakdown:

  • A means this is an ideal buyer persona – someone you’d be VERY interested in following up with and entering into the sales cycle.
  • B means this person is lukewarm – could go either way. Definitely worth a follow-up email.
  • C means this isn’t your ideal prospect, but it never hurts to keep track of them.

2. Stay hydrated.

I don’t know about you, but I feel tired just hearing the words “trade show.” Keep yourself hydrated to combat fatigue. I’m not talking about that venti latte; nothing’s wrong with it (I'm a coffee lover myself), but caffeine propels dehydration. Maintain a balance with water and other liquids throughout the day. It may mean more bathroom breaks, but your body and mind will thank you.

3. Take physical AND mental breaks.

Physical tiredness is obvious, but sometimes we forget about mental fatigue (which is just as serious). Without taking mental breaks, we lessen our productivity and risk burnout. Taking a simple walk around the venue can refresh your mind. Try not to think about the show during breaks. Text a loved one, check your personal social sites or, even better, unplug for a few minutes!

4. Debrief each night.

Following tip number one, there has to be a reason for staying organized. After dinner and evening events, kick back and review all your conversations and contacts from the day. Separate your A, B and C cards and email the “A”s that night. Wait a few days to email the “B”s, and wait a week or two for the “C”s. This will be SO much easier than trying to recall everything in the office. Plus, you’ll have a head start on your sales cycle.

5. Have fun!

Its cliché, but think about it: You are a direct representation of your company. Do what’s necessary to get excited and genuinely enjoy your time. Your enthusiasm will make you more approachable, too.


Liking these tips? Have any you’d like to add? Comment below! Our next and final post of the series will include post-show tips. Stay tuned!

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Topics: Trade Shows/Networking

Candace Graves

Written by Candace Graves

Candace Graves is a digital marketing specialist with a degree in Public Relations from Baldwin Wallace University.

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