The Trade Show Sales Office: Best Practices

Creating a genuine interaction in a trade show sales office is no easy task.

Due to generations of transactional style sales tactics, or “seeking the sale at all costs”, exhibitors can be automatically on guard when they hear the word “sales”. Here are a few recommendations from our team to build trust and create genuine engagement in your trade show sales office.

Familiarize Yourself

First, let’s rewind a bit. The sales process begins for you long before you’re in the onsite sales office. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. How well do you, as part of the sales team, know what you’re selling?
    1. By first understanding the product and/or service, you can then understand how exactly you can benefit your consumers and pivot to their needs.
  2. What are the specific worries and pain points that exhibitors typically experience before purchase?
    1. How can you assist in easing these with your product and/or service?
  3. Offer specific and actionable results.
    1. By taking advantage of your value adds (i.e., sponsorships, enhanced listings), what do exhibitors have to gain? What show specific data can you show to prove this is worth the purchase?
    2. Do you have “example companies” who have previously used your enhanced listings that resulted in a beneficial gain?

Exhibitors’ biggest concerns are getting their product or service in front of attendees for potential purchases or leads and increased engagement from those who are in attendance. Once you have recognized their needs, you will be able to understand how to sell to provide specific solutions using your product.


Setting Up

Now that you fully understand your product and who you are selling to, you can understand and prepare the actual area where you will be selling booth space as well as engaging with your customers.

  1. Ensure that any internet connection is hard wired for all your assignment stations.
  2. Provide appropriate staffing to be sure that all appointments are handled in a timely manner.
  3. Have a check-in desk to greet exhibitors and verify their appointment times.
  4. Assign a team member to announce and call exhibitors to the assignment station when their appointment time has arrived.
    1. Include “wiggle room” between appointments in case they run over or for when an exhibitor is late for their appointment time.
    2. Make sure you have a plan for exhibitors who miss their appointments.
  5. Always have the floor plan accessible and easily viewable. We recommend several large monitors displaying the show floor in real-time.
    1. You can also invest in signage with QR codes linking to the show floor plan.
  6. Understand the exhibit show floor’s restrictions well. Often exhibits can have large and extravagant displays. If there is an area with low clearance, it is important to know this.
  7. Know where registration, bus and taxi drop offs, and the entrances that are the most likely to be used are located. When purchasing for next year, exhibitors will be in search of the area with the most foot traffic as possible. Knowing this ahead of time allows for better recommendations.


Keep Things Moving

It’s important to set expectations for your exhibitors. Post-covid, we are seeing more and more trade show managers change their processes, which can cause confusion among veteran exhibitors returning to the show. Are they required to sign a contract or pay a deposit? Are there additional products, sponsorships and/or services available? Knowing what to expect will help to keep things moving efficiently.

Selecting a booth can be a source of frustration for an exhibitor. Ease this potential frustration and confusion by encouraging exhibitors to write down up to five booth preferences. This can also provide a window for you to engage your exhibitors, as there is usually a small waiting period between check-in and booth selection. Talk to them about their experience at the show. This can also show you the best way to sell to your exhibitors. They may mention how your show compares to other recent events they have attended. Is the show a huge success for them or do they feel it is on the decline? MYS has a whole team geared to exhibitor engagement and success.

Finding time for part of the sales team to visit the show floor is more important than some may realize. When the sales team wanders the floor, they are provided interaction outside of the sales office. This creates more of a genuine feeling and allows for easier conversation. The sales team can also check on the exhibitors that missed their appointment (we are all human after all).


In Summary

At the end of the day, we all have a singular goal – a successful show for both you and your exhibitors. Whether you are using MYS or another software solution to run your sales office, we hope that we’ve given you some tips on setting it up for a successful rebooking for your next show cycle.

For more information on information or if you have additional questions on how we might be able to assist you onsite, please contact your sales rep.

The Trade Show Sales Office: Best Practices