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Ep 134 – Trade Show Tips & Encouragement for INTROVERTS

Introverts (and you know who you are) can find working or attending trade shows, conferences or events to be a bit stressful and overwhelming. Here are 10 Tips and some encouragement for all the Introverts out there to not just survive Trade Shows, but Thrive! And these are for whether you are working a booth or an attendee!

1.     Embrace your fear.  It’s temporary!  It’ll be over soon.  I know it can be stressful to talk to new people.  Know why you’re there. Make connections.  Do demos.  Find new qualified leads. Whatever it is, remember it and embrace it!

  • If you’re an attendee – you have to talk to people.  I have been at shows early on where I didn’t want to talk to anyone so just grabbed literature.  The problem was when I got back and started reading through the literature I had so many questions!  Spent way too much time trying to figure everything out.

2.     Be prepared – know your stuff!  Having a script or talking points memorized can help you. Have your opening question ready to say to each person to engage them, and then be prepared to answer their questions.

3.     Practice Practice Practice!!  The more you practice, the more comfortable you will be at having those conversations with attendees.  Plus you’ll avoid stumbling over your words and looking not confident. 

4.     Have Confidence in yourself and your abilities!  Especially when practicing, See yourself as someone who brings great value to your company and to the attendees.  You have important things to say and people need to hear them! 

5.     Know that people want to talk to you.  Everyone at trade shows is there to get results and make connections.  They just don’t know what you have to offer any may not engage with you.  That’s your job!  And if you’re an attendee, it works the same way.  Can’t get the answer to your question if you never ask it!

6.     Act your role. Whatever your role is in the company and in the booth, be that person.  And if that’s tough for you in a public setting, well, You’ve heard fake it till you make it.  Kinda like that.

  • My good friend and improv coach Roger Miller told a story about his wife who worked at a restaurant and on Friday nights would wear a nametag that said Sassy. And then she transformed her personality to match that name!
  • What would you put on your nametag to give yourself confidence?  Top expert?  Market leader?  Go to guy? Try it out!

7.     Delegate the uncomfortable stuff to others. Put yourself in a position to Win!  Know yourself and know the strengths of the staff.  Figure out the tasks for the show and assign the tasks to the right people. 

  • I give a simple and super effective tool to get this done that will help you with every trade show going forward in Episode #2 of Trade Show University – Staffing your booth for success – Listen to Episode 002 Here!

8.     Incorporate things that get people approaching your booth.  Find ways to engage that don’t feel uncomfortable or awkward.  Games, giveaways, spinning prize wheels, or even sponsorship opportunities like bingo cards where people have to get a stamp to fill out a card.  Do things that will naturally get people stopping at your booth so you don’t have to worry about engaging as much.

9.     Figure out what relaxes you.  Trade shows can be long and stressful, especially for the introvert who has to be “ON” all day.  What do you to take away stress? Think about it! Meditate, work out, go for a nice quiet dinner, grab a beer at a sports bar and watch a game.  For me it’s get back to the hotel room, kick off my shoes, put my feet up and read or get on a call with my bride.  Whatever it is for you, Make a plan to do that right after you’re done with your day.

10.  Attendees – Visit the show floor on the last day or near the end of the day.  These are the times of the show when they will be less busy allowing you more one-on-one opportunities.  Less crowds!  Less chances for stress and anxiety.


Links to Episodes Mentioned in this Episode:



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About the author, Jim

Jim Cermak has over 30 years of exhibiting, planning and working trade shows. As a Professional Trainer, he helps companies transform their results at trade shows, expos, events and conferences.

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