Tradeshow exhibiting can be a large portion of the marketing budget.  Use that money wisely and prep your booth staff. Sales time on a tradeshow floor can be powerful if trained the right way.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How much money have you spent on preparing your tradeshow booth for show time?

  • How much time have you spent preparing the sales team?

  • Does your sales team know how to work the booth?

  • Have you worked with them on the messaging and functions of the booth?


If you’re having a hard time answering any of these questions, then here are 7 tips and tricks you need to help prepare your sales team for a successful tradeshow!

Educate them.

Why are you attending the show? Are you launching a new product? Is there a special anniversary or celebration to announce? Are they there for publicity or to obtain leads?

Have one to three reasons for attending, focus on those and don’t lose sight of your “why.”

Explain the exhibit.

Are conference rooms for meetings only? Did marketing create an informational video that they should be aware of? Are there any engagement features of which the team should be aware and trained?

Show your team the anticipated function and flow of the design. Practice exhibit “dress rehearsals” with your sales staff. Act like various types of prospects. Make sure the sales team knows how to accurately describe your product/service. Make sure they can articulate your company in a way that will help you reach the goal of attending the show. Practice with all audio/visual equipment ahead of time to ensure they can operate it expertly during the actual show. Also, being confident with your materials will help to transition in case there are some technical difficulties.

Reshow efforts.

Marketing should already be rolling out preshow campaigns to drive clients and prospects to the show. Make sure the sales team is copied on all correspondence that is being sent out and that employees are clear on the message and goal of the show. Sales should then be setting up appointments prior to the show opening. Knowing about the pre-show correspondence will give your sales team a nice opening when calling on prospects for appointments as well.

Set the rules.

It is imperative at the show that the sales team is in complete sync with the exhibit.  This includes attire, rules of the conference room, scheduling, food/beverage use in the booth, etc. A clean, organized booth will attract more visitors than clutter and chaos.

Work the booth.

The sales team should have prepared scripts for working the booth. This includes engaging questions to ask those passing by and powerful questions to qualify prospects that enter the booth. Don’t just let the salespeople “wing it”. Make sure the message and questioning are compelling and consistent. Write the scripts at least 2 weeks before the show and make sure your staff is constantly practicing these scripts! If they come up with an alternative way to say something, or another response to a potential question or concern, make sure this is communicated with all sales and marketing members.

Strike while the iron is hot.

A daily download of the leads collected should be shared with the appropriate salesperson so immediate follow-up can occur. This could be as simple as a quick call from sales saying “Thanks for stopping by the booth, I see you’re interested in our new product line. Let’s carve out some time tomorrow during the show to talk.” Use some form of a CRM (Customer Relations Management) tool to track follow-up calls, emails and future action plans. This will help to ensure potential business doesn’t fall through the cracks.

Post show follow-up.

Help your sales team communicate with the sales leads better and faster. Marketing just spent a large portion of its budget on this show and the sales team just dedicated hours of its time – don’t waste the leads! Share all details of the leads and train your salespeople on any post-show marketing message.  Once again, create scripts for them to call the leads and keep the lead engaged. Don’t just assume the lead will be followed up with one of your sales personnel because they were given a business card. Capture it and track it.

Next week, I’ll be introducing part 1 of my 3-part mini-series: The Role of Sales at a Trade Booth Show. Each week I will give insight on the sales role at a tradeshow…from pre-show preparation to what happens when the show is over.


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Executive Coach

Deb Venable has over 25 years of experience in the tradeshow industry. As a seasoned entrepreneur and business owner, Deb understands first-hand the struggles and obstacles of growing a business and exhibiting.  A leader in sales strategy and coaching, Deb’s passion for people and progress help her work with business owners to generate significant, predictable & sustainable growth year after year.

MYB2BCOACH is designed to leverage the combined knowledge of your business leadership and transform it into practical skills that become second nature to your sales team. Our proven process is built on strategy, training, accountability, and A.I. sales coaching software. Your sales team will become confident, comfortable and conversational in their prospecting and closing, leading to new clients, improved profits, increased commissions, and job satisfaction.