How to Keep Your Booth Team Engaged During Trade Shows

During the show, the marketing director looked at me wide-eyed and said, “I could never do that…”


“Like you do… I could never just walk into the aisle and start talking to people like that.”

She’s absolutely right. A marketing director can’t do that. A sales director can’t do that. 

In fact, nobody in your sales and marketing organization can do that. And that’s a good thing.

Here’s why.  

Your sales and marketing department exists for one reason: to find prospects, qualify them into leads, and move those leads through a sales process into a closed sale.  

If they’re performing at their highest and best purpose, that’s where they’re focusing all their attention.  

Of course, at the trade show, the people in the aisle know that, too. They know you’re going to “sell them something.” If they talk to you, they’re probably going to get spam, junk mail, and robocalls. Yuck.

That’s why sales and marketing people can’t go out into the aisle to stop people walking by. Sales pros know it’s nothing more than a cold call: they’re picking a random person, asking them a sales opening question, and hoping they picked someone that’s interested in what they’re going to offer them. The sales guy knows he’s going to be rejected. It’s an inefficient and futile way to approach your clients.

So how can I do it, when the sales professionals can’t?

I can do it because I’m not selling them anything.  

I’m an interesting, fun person who is doing something intriguing, fun, and completely non-business related. I’m offering them the chance to step away from the “let me sell you something” treatment they’ve been getting all day and to simply have a good time. 

That’s what stops the first few people and starts to build the crowd. 

More people see that something fun and interesting is happening, so they stop as well. After a few minutes, the aisle is packed with engaged, focused show attendees. I have their attention, and they’re willing to listen to what I have to say.

And that’s when I start integrating the business message into the magic. There’s an implied promise: if you listen to the sales presentation, you’ll have fun and see something impossible. Everything else they’ve seen has been incredible up to this point, so they listen. 

That’s it. Now, dozens of people have focused their attention on the booth and heard the pitch. The ideal prospects in the crowd will come into the booth to meet the sales team and learn more.  

Now, the sales and marketing team can focus their attention on what they do best: qualify the people who come into the booth, put them into a sales funnel, and eventually move them toward a closed sale.  

How do you get the right people to the booth? Mike Duseberg builds a crowd at your booth, broadcasts a message that identifies your ideal clients, and brings in qualified leads. Check out with further information, a free five minute “mini-webinar” on trade show tactics, and other free information.