The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal

Here are some essential ingredients for successful participation in a trade show

Will you be participating in a trade show soon? Do you want to make as many relevant contacts as possible, whether potential clients or partners, without it costing you more? Here are some key tips provided by Julien Roy, President, Consultant and Speaker for Marketing Face to Face.

The keys to increasing your results

Pique visitors’ interest

Consider the presentation, lighting and sound of your booth. Give each space a specific function (welcome, meeting or demonstration area, etc.) and set it up in a distinctive and clear way for visitors. Usually, 30% of space is allocated to material and 70% to visitor traffic [1] .

Make sure that your booth is lively with videos, regular demonstrations or training sessions.

Be minimalistic when choosing innovative products. This will allow visitors to understand your activities and will reflect your competitive advantage. Equip yourself with communication tools like promotion kits, brochures, business cards, branded products, samples to distribute, etc.

Train your team

Make sure that your employees at the booth are your brand’s ambassadors and inform them of your expectations and objectives.

Each person needs to have a specific role, be aware of it, and be positioned strategically at the booth.

Teach your staff about the right attitude to have in such an environment (e.g. not using their phone when sitting at the booth).

Check that your team knows its sales pitch and is aware that selling at a fair is different than normal sales. Some good reflexes to have are:

  • Asking the right questions to filter visitors and discover their true interests
  • Not putting pressure on visitors, but being spontaneous when giving information so that you can better identify their needs and make an appropriate proposal when the time comes

Opt for dress that is homogenous or identifiable to your business.

A training course to master the art of communication and sales
» Improving your sales pitch to win over new prospects

Mistakes to avoid

Minimize the sales environment specific to trade shows

People stopping at your booth will probably have interacted with many others during the show: fatigue, distraction and limited time are issues you need to take into account to grab your listener’s attention. Make sure to listen and adapt your pitch, as mentioned above.

Not having a follow-up strategy

You meet a lot of people, your pitch is impactful and you promote your products and services effectively. But the return on your investment only begins with a follow-up strategy. As the Canada Business Network mentions: “Each passing day dulls the positive impression you invested so much to create[2]».

Finally, cut down on useless expenses and use your resources and energy where they matter most. Your priority is to invest in optimizing the number and quality of new contacts. Focus on people who can put you in touch with those who are established in the field. Later, you can implement more complete strategies.

» Learn more about Marketing Face to Face.


[1] Guide de préparation aux foires commerciales, Programme Corex

[2] Trade show marketing, Canada Business Network

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