While having a stunning trade show booth is very effective for drawing in customers at an exhibition, this is only one half of the equation. Now that you've reeled them in, it's time to hook attendees and generate a genuine interest in your product or service that will last long after they go home.

The key to doing this lies in connecting with customers on a personal level, and building a rapport that you can turn towards your goods. So how can you engage customers at a trade show?

Thoroughly preparing before the exhibition can help make the venture more successful.

Prepare well beforehand

Firstly, it's essential to do your research and prepare thoroughly before the exhibition, as this will enable you to be much more efficient while you are there. Find out which other businesses will be there and the kind of turnout there has been in the past so you will have a better idea of what to expect. 

According to marketing services company The Growth Co., it's also a good idea to gather the staff who will be operating the booth to ensure they all understand the goals of the company well, and establish a target number of consumers to reach. It can also be helpful to practice talking to customers with one another and come up with ideas to stimulate curiosity. 

Open and friendly body language can help people feel comfortable.Open and friendly body language can help people feel comfortable.

Have good body language

An important aspect of exhibition etiquette is having good body language, as this can determine how you are perceived by attendees. When you're standing in a trade show display waiting for customers, you should always maintain an open, relaxed posture, as this can help show people you are friendly and encourage them to approach you.

The American Indian Chamber of Commerce advises that you should also maintain eye contact with the person you're talking to, and raise your voice just enough to be heard over the noise of the crowd. In addition, don't forget to smile, and a breath mint never goes amiss. 

A good opening line can draw people into the conversation.

Communicate effectively

When you strike up a conversation with an attendee, your ability to communicate well can mean the difference between gaining a new customer or them walking on to the next display. Stay away from the old-fashioned pushy sales pitch – instead, you should aim to engage the person in a genuine exchange. 

Trade show advice company Skyline says that having a good opening line can help you draw people in and allow you to steer the conversation. There are several ice-breakers that Skyline suggests, such as:

  • Ask them what their biggest challenge is – this gives you the chance to show how your product can provide a solution.
  • Find out what they are looking for at the show – the answer can help you tailor your approach to the individual's needs.
  • Enquire whether they've heard of you before – you will have the opportunity to build product recognition and associate a positive experience with your company.

Get people involved

Lastly, you should look for ways to get people actively involved with your product. Marketing business Vertical Response claims that a good way to do this is by providing an interesting contest to generate traffic at the show. Another great idea for your trade show display is incorporating an interactive element through the integration of technology such as tablets. This can work to engage attendees in a hands-on way and allows your booth to do some of the talking.

If you'd like more information on how to boost your customer base and brand awareness though trade exhibitions, contact the team at Proj-X Design today to discuss our innovative display solutions.