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An Exhibitor's Guide to Trade Show Body Language

As a vendor, you have probably thought a lot about what to say to prospective clients. You have a narrow window of time to make a first impression on someone at a trade show. Have you considered what you are communicating before you even open your mouth? Most of what you are communicating to potential clients is non-verbal. You are saying a lot in the way you hold your body, your facial expressions and how you move.

1. Give yourself a once-over.

Before the show begins be sure that you are looking your best and feeling fresh. You will be in very close proximity to potential customers at a trade show, so you should not smell strongly. Avoid strong fragrances and make sure there’s nothing in your teeth!

2. Smile.

It is a universal sign of happiness, and it is contagious too! Communicate your open and friendly nature by smiling often.

3. Stand tall.

Good posture is key in communicating confidence, in yourself and, by extension you business. Sitting down may be mistaken for disinterest. Try to meet the eye level of attendees, if you must sit down, consider a tall stool, as that reduced the height difference between you and attendees.

4. Make eye contact.

Stay present in interactions with trade show attendees. Look people in the eye when you introduce yourself. Try to make that connection, it will serve you well.

5. Open up.

Try to keep your hand down by your sides in a comfortable, relaxed position. Crossed arms can be off-putting, so it is best to avoid. No clenched fists or crossed legs, either!

6. Have some backup!

It is important to have enough staff at your booth to ensure you are able to take a break during long trade shows to freshen up and grab a snack. No one wants to watch you eat at your booth or check your phone.

So don't just tell potential customers that you're right for the job, show it! 

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