Success at Trade Shows

I received the following email the day after the Corridor Nine Business Expo.

Hi Rick,

Blog idea for you.

We were at the C9 expo yesterday. It was a fantastic expo. It reminded me of all the people who just walk the show carrying on and on about their stuff they’re trying to sell. Can you please help them? For their sake, and mine as well?

Thanks,


The short answer is, “Probably not.” Not because I don’t want to, but because they don’t want it.

If you’d like a longer answer, read on.

You may remember this post on how I choose whom to refer, but I realize that your question comes from a different point of view. I think that you’re talking about the person who doesn’t care that you are a real business, that’s spent hundreds or thousands of dollars to have the space that you have, so that your prospects can meet you. He comes because it’s free. Because there are a thousand people in the room and he believes that every one of them should know how great he is at what he does. So, he stands at your booth stealing time that you’ve paid for trying to convince you that he can help you when in fact, he doesn’t stand a chance in hell because he’s a crappy salesperson.

Can I help him? Maybe. Does he want my help? Not until all of you start telling him to get away from you.

Do you like that answer better?

How about this one?

They need their head fixed regarding referrals and networking. Remember this post about selfishness? Almost everybody knows that referrals make for better selling. However, probe a little and you’ll find that most people go to a trade show looking to be a solution, not to find a solution.

Wrong…..Wrong…..Wrong. But, that’s only my opinion.

Bottom line is that I’m always willing to work with people that have the desire and are committed to change. Problem is that although many show walkers say they want better results, it’s easier to stay the way they are.

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2 thoughts on “Success at Trade Shows

  1. Good post….. There are definitely good “floor workers” doing trade shows, expos and smaller networking events. It’s an art form. Rule number one: “respect the booth”. If you want to meet, discuss or sell them something there, bring them a lead. Rule number two: If a client/prospect of theirs comes by, graciously step aside immediately no matter what. I miss Ralph .

  2. Danny makes two good points but we should remember that one of the benefits of attending shows is that you can network and that includes networking with exhibitors. You certainly don’t want to be taking the time of an exhibitor that has a crowd at their booth – that’s not fair; it’s more appropriate to speak with an exhibitor that has nobody at their booth – especially if you can be part of the solution for that problem. The most important thing to do though is simply get permission to call rather than taking up any of their time at the show.

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