Friday, October 22, 2010

Don't Talk to Strangers...and other tips for tradeshows!

It is a general rule of thumb that it is impossible to go to a tradeshow and not talk to strangers.  Well, you could if you were really looking to sabbatoge your presence there.

I recently came back from a tradeshow where I talked to a man for about 10 minutes and at the end of the conversation I thought I might have a stalker - seriously!

So I was joking with some colleagues on a new rule I was implementing for our tradeshows - don't talk to strangers.  It was pretty funny and of course I wasn't serious, but it got me thinking that as a booth staffer you need to put up with so much more than just the logistics and travel that come with exhibiting - you have to be able to deal with humanity in a professional and positive way.

To make my point, I've come up with some tips on how to be a good attendee: 
  • Approach booth personnel with a smile.  Do not look like an ax murderer!
  • If the show is slow and you find it fun to go around and mess with exhibitors by making up stories/professions, etc. I recommend you head for the hills.
  • It is also not wise to bring up your hatred of anything that might be controversial like religion, politics, ethnicities, genders - keep it professional people.
  • If you've overstayed your welcome in a booth, take the hint and move along.
Admit it - you are smiling to yourself right now because you've experienced something similar - am I right?

So, it's not just about being a great booth staffer for your organization, it's about being able to think on your feet, deal with the unpredictable, and stay professional no matter what you come across!

Have a good story to tell?  Please send it along!


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