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Its simple psychology. When you look good, you feel good. When you feel good, you express confidence. Confidence inspires trust. Trust makes you more approachable.  As a member of the booth team, you’re required to meet and have conversations with many visitors. They may be partners, customers, industry peers and prospects. The latter are often complete strangers. So what steps can you and your team make to encourage engagement?


Whether your team will wear clothing of their choice or is chosen by the company for booth duty, it should go without saying that the outfit needs to be clean, tailored and wrinkle free. You want to look smart. Neutral colors, blues and greens tend to be more approachable and trustworthy (which is why they are often chosen by medical organizations). Leave bold fashion statements and accessories, like excessive jewelry, for after the show.

Some people suffer from osmophobia, which is a smell disorder that can trigger headaches and migraines. For this reason, it is best to avoid, or skip, heavy after shave colognes and perfumes.

Bring along a pocket size mouth wash to rinse your mouth after meals, coffee or catching a smoke. You and your team will be doing a lot of talking which can be dehydrating. Dehydration causes bad breath because your body doesn't produce enough saliva.

Generally, there are two schools of thought on the subject of name tags. The lanyard you’ll issued by show management enables exhibitors and attendees to pass security onto the show floor. The name is usually printed large enough to be easily read a feet away. But it can hang low and flip around. Another option is to issue custom name tags that attach magnetically so they won’t damage clothing. They tend to be smaller and won’t clash with your professional attire. Custom name tags have the advantage of being placed on the upper right lapel. When your right hand is extended to a visitor to shake hands their eyes will naturally move up your arm to your name tag and reinforce your verbal introduction.

Now that you’re dressed for success, you want to keep these points in mind to welcome attendees and engage them in conversation:

  •  Stand casually and keep your posture open, don’t cross your arms or put your hands in your pockets. It can be intimidating to approach a group so don’t huddle with your team mates.
  • Remember to smile and make eye contact so passersby feel you welcome into your space. Think like a host.
  • Introduce yourself and maintain a distance with which your visitor is comfortable. Proxemics is the study of personal space zones. While Americans tend to be informal in their business interactions, the proxemic zone for social space at professional gatherings is 4 to 7 feet apart. You may want to start there initially and let your visitor move in closer as they develop greater trust in you.
  • Initiate a conversation by asking an open-ended question. That means, a question that requires more than a one word or short answer. You want to put your visitor at ease so they will do the talking.
  • Then wait for it……just LISTEN. Resist the urge to be thinking of your sales pitch when it’s your turn to talk. Really LISTEN. Your visitor will tell you why they are there. Then you can formulate your response to their specific inquiry or problem.


We hope these insights prepare you and your team for success at your next trade show. For more information on booth training, check out our website.