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Tips On Selling At A Trade Show

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💡 In this guide, you will discover the best tips on selling at a trade show.

Let me congratulate you for taking the time to search for tips on selling at a trade show. That means you understand the weight of this endeavor and are out to achieve nothing but the best. Trade shows present the opportunity to meet with your target audience, and if you play your cards right, you may add some extra zeros to your bank account. The problem is that while there are many potential clients and sponsors, so are your competitors.

Most businesses may have similar objectives for participating in these fairs, but not everyone achieves them. If you want to stand out and avoid being invisible amid the industry gurus, you will have to do more than just book a venue at the show.

❗ Don’t miss our trade show booth design tips

What are the best tips for selling at a trade show?

Tip 1: Find a suitable event

Trade shows happen all year round, with some even recurring. A lot of resources go into these fairs from finances to time. Therefore, it is best to do in-depth research to know the best one for your business. While the show with 50,000 visitors may be quite tempting, are they your target audience?

According to a study carried out, 45% of visitors go to one trade show yearly. The secret is knowing the one that puts your target market in one building. A better idea is to go to the show as an attendee. This way, you can learn trade show booth ideas and talk to other attendees. 

You could also ask the trade show promoters about the demographics. So that if you are looking to attract business partners, then CEOs and industry leaders are a perfect audience. If you want buyers, then the working class is excellent.

❗ Check the list of trade shows in Dallas and Las Vegas trade shows

Tip 2: Prepare your marketing materials

Get your marketing team to invest in attractive and informational flyers, brochures, or even spec sheets incorporating a catalog or a price list, shipping costs, and payment terms. Giveaways are always attention grabbers and may include wristbands, branded t-shirts, tote bags, or even some candy! Branded cups and pens are all too dated. Stand out with headphones, laptops skins, sunglasses, or even socks. Make sure you stand out!

Also, ensure you have enough business cards with you. Never fail to collect the attendees’ information, such as names and emails. Consider a pre-show promo. Most businesses email their customers way before the show, a few days to, and on the opening. With the booming digital market, post about the event on social media platforms. Keep tweeting and retweeting from time to time; people may want to know what will go down at the event. You could also start up conversations on what should be included.

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❗ Don’t miss our trade show giveaway ideas.

Tip 3: Draft a good pitch

If you have an interest in how to sell at a trade show. Tell your organization’s story, like who is the founder and what are your goals? You could even create a video that tells more than that. Secondly, did you craft your product? If not, where was it manufactured? Who else is using the product? If a celebrity is on top of your list, give it away! If you ship from China or Taiwan, show the potential client that the quality is top-notch!

❗ Check our guide on how to sell at a trade show and our tips on selling at a trade show.  

Tip 4: Settle on the best distribution channel

Are you looking to sell individual pieces or as wholesale? If you are looking to sell more at once, determine the minimum order with the costs. Also, establish if there will be additional costs for solo pieces. Determine what is feasible for your company regarding the minimum price tag per sale and what customers are likely to settle for. Most importantly, ensure you properly price the products. 

Typically, we price products based on the material used and the effort applied. Make sales calls for research into what your competitors are offering. So that your strategy may be to sell more for an added feature, sell less to attract customers, or provide similar pricing. For instance, GUCCI may overprice their products any time, and nobody would even mind. But an upcoming fashion designer may have to sell less than what they deserve to get sales. Find out who you are and the practical price tag for your product or business. 

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Tip 5: A good display wins attendees over.

Whether you prefer to build your booth or are opting for a booth builder’s help, ensure you have the best design standing come the opening day. Keep in mind if you are the guy at the corner, getting noticed may be quite an effort. The perfect spot is crucial and calls for early preparation and booking as one way of how to exhibit at a trade show effectively. Suppose you can get a space right at the entrance, good for you!

This way, you can know the amount of space you have and if the promoter has any display restrictions. Additionally, determine beforehand if the Wi-Fi cost is included or not. This way you can be prepared beforehand with internet access. 

What can you do with your space? One mistake that exhibitors make is putting furniture at the entrance of their booth. Those should go to the back so that your booth feels inviting. If you can incorporate a lounge area where attendees can sit down and probably sip some coffee, that may be a good investment. Visitors walk around most of the day, and if you can be a refuge for the tired feet, you have their ears!

A carpet on the floor creates a good impression, and you do not have to buy one as you can rent it from the promoter. It may be costly but makes the difference you are trying to achieve. Also, invest in banners, lighting, videos, a sound system, and lovely backdrops for a good brand image. Just ensure you do not overcrowd the assets so that buyers can easily walk in. Remember, creativity has no bounds; from including plants to anything you feel is ideal for your brand, go for it! 

❗ Check our guide on how to make your trade show booth stand out

Tip 6: Lay down realistic goals

A successful day at a trade show doesn’t necessarily have to be a significant sales day. Although, before the event, you will surely have set some goals. It could be selling as much as possible or getting leads for future partnerships. But since you want to know how to sell at a trade show, your objectives are clear. However, don’t set unrealistic goals like selling a thousand pieces; well, it’s very much attainable. Instead, start by measuring your goals. 

In business, rough ideas or estimates are some of the reasons for failure. With reasonable and measurable objectives, achievement may get simpler. Consider meeting, say, 30 orders each day at the exhibition. As each day passes, you can effortlessly know what you did, which led to more sales. With these statistics, your next trade show is likely to be a success.

Tip 7: Get your best staff for the event.

Flight and accommodation expenses may limit the number of staff attending the fair. However, ensure you have at least two employees at the booth. While you may see potential in your intern, you have to come with the best,  and skilled employee that has knowledge about the products and services. If attendees notice their questions are not getting answered as expected, don’t be surprised if you can’t make sales. 

It may be wise to delegate the roles to your team. For instance, get that employee that everyone likes at the office for their charm at the entrance, and the expert explaining the products and services, you might sell more than you anticipated. Additionally, while you are prepared to win the Grammys for the inviting smiles at the booth, network everywhere, even at the elevator. You could be speaking to a CEO or prospective sponsor whose t-shirt and sneakers may not reflect their industry position.

❗ Make sure to check our article on how to have a successful trade booth.

Tip 8: Don’t waste time

Ensure you utilize your time from the moment you open your doors to the moment you close up for the day. On how to exhibit at a trade show successfully, you need to make valuable interactions, as this is the path to making sales. No stand is busy from the morning to evening; there are both active and dull periods.

When it’s all flooded with visitors, ensure you interact with those that can make a difference. Don’t get it wrong; everyone matters. But if it’s crowded, you can’t afford to spend time explaining your products to someone who is only looking to know more.

With no traffic, you may take time to describe the products even if there is no intention for purchase. A good salesperson can effortlessly establish if a client wants to buy or window-shop. So, study the visitors to determine if they can be potential customers. Authentic buyers and the press members are good for business. 

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Tip 9: Engagement methods

As if it is not enough to have competitors on the next stand, your engagement techniques may have a say on sales. Don’t stand there and cross your arms. Your awesome products may be irresistible, but if your attendees get no one trying to sweet-talk them into a purchase, you may be far from achieving any of your goals. Sometimes, attendees go to trade shows to determine why the showcased products are unnecessary, but if you have what it takes, you may sell not one but a few more items! 

Start by establishing eye contact and find a way of inspiring a natural convo. They have heard several pitches about companies, products, and services, so why would they take even a second to listen to your long and boring speech? Even a ‘hi, followed with ‘how are you,’ doesn’t work anymore. Instead, make a short introduction and ask their purpose for attending. This way, you can determine if they fall into the prospective customer list. If they are buying, let the best sales pitch win!

❗ Check our list of trade show best practices

Tip 10: Ensure your products are sellable

While you may consider bringing the latest product from your team, does it add value to the customers’ lives? Think of the following questions concerning your product: Is the design attractive and unique? Is the price fair? Is the collection function-worthy and of high quality? If the buyer wants to make an order, will the quality of the sample be similar to the arrival? Lastly, can the products be sent as gifts?

Why exhibit at a trade show? Check our guide to learn the reasons why. 


Participating in a trade show involves time and investment. Ascertaining yourself to get the most is crucial by familiarizing yourself with how to sell at a trade show. Invest wisely and ensure you meet your budget. Never overdo it without researching the ROI. Follow the ten tips above, and you will make more sales than you expected!

❗ Check our trade show guide

Learn more about trade show best practices:

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