A trade show is one of the best ways to promote your company to a larger audience. You don’t have to worry about generating warm leads; if someone is at the event, they’re already a warm lead. You don’t have to worry about business SEO, your social media presence, whether your logo is the right color, or all of those other things that business owners have to think about 24/7. A trade show offers you and your staff an opportunity to promote yourself to a captive audience of interested people, so if you decide to attend one as part of your overall marketing strategy, then you’re not going to be disappointed in the results.

If you have never been to a trade show before, then you may be wondering exactly what you need to know about ensuring success at a show. Below are the golden rules for exhibiting at a trade show, so you can be sure you’re not missing anything essential.

Golden Rule #1: Smile!

When exhibiting at a trade show, you are part of the exhibition; the brain behind the business. As a result, you need to be your friendliest, funnest version of yourself– think about 90’s game show hosts and you’re about on the money for how you should be behaving. If you’re not naturally this exuberant, then you’re going to need to fake it until it feels natural.

Golden Rule #2: Stand Out

When you’re competing with so many other businesses for space, standing out is always going to be tricky at a trade show. While there’s the potential for a huge number of people to walk past your designated area, you have to go the extra mile to ensure you make people pause to take a closer look. Make sure you have considered your options for trade show booths, opting for something that fits the space you have available well, and helps to create a colorful, intriguing display that will stop passers-by in their tracks.

Golden Rule #3: No Potential Customers Leaves Your Booth Empty Handed

It’s all well and good to impress someone on the day; you have to ensure they are going to remember your business in the future as well. You therefore need to commit to the rule that no one walks away from your booth without something to remember you by. It might be a pen bearing the name of your company, a cupcake with frosting the color of your company logo, or even just a business card– provided everyone leaves with a reminder of your business, you’ve done a good job.

Golden Rule #4: Keep Your Expectations Low

The dream of a trade show is that you’re a huge hit, your exhibit the talk of the show and you leave with your order book full until Christmas of next year. The reality is likely to be… rather different. What happens on the day of the trade show isn’t the be-all-and-end-all, so if you have a quiet day, that’s fine. Just ensure customers will remember you and take care to network with fellow businesses, and you’ll be helping to secure your company’s future as a player.

By following the golden rules above, you can be sure that your first trade show goes as well as it possibly can.