Trade shows and conventions are great opportunities to cement valuable business relations and to acquire cutting-edge industry knowledge. If you are the associate behind the vendor’s booth, remember that your colleagues, potential clients and/or guests are watching you. This is not the time to scratch an itch or sneak a peek into your mirror to see what may be caught between your teeth. Avoid eating and drinking in the booth during your shift.
Please do not chat with associates, read a magazine, speak on your cell phone, use your tablet (or other personal electronics), or interrupt other exhibitors. The public will perceive you as being bored and uninterested in your brand. Know everything there is to know about your brand and its products. Do more listening to your potential clients, guests, and colleagues than talking. Smile. Be approachable.
In North America, we tend to be relaxed and informal in most business interactions. Many parts of the world conduct business more formally. Issues of rank and seniority, if not handled properly, may derail your business plans.
When interacting with global trade show or convention visitors, there are important multi- cultural considerations. If there are V.I.P.’s, or other persons of prominence who may visit your booth, make sure that these guests are received respectfully and preferably by an executive of equal rank.
Other than the handshake, avoid physical contact with your convention or trade show guests and colleagues, unless you have studied the culture. The rules of touching vary from country to country. Do your research. Be prepared!
If you are attending the trade show or convention as a representative of your brand, make lots of new professional friends and enjoy the company of your colleagues. Your registration materials will guide you regarding the dress code and times of all sessions, events, meals and other activities. Arrive everywhere on time, dressed appropriately. Remember that you are being evaluated by your peers. Be alert for new ideas that you may be able to take back to your company or team.
Try to remember names, then use these new names in conversation. Should your potential client (or industry colleague) either not remember your name or not see your name tag, then please quickly come to his or her aid by offering your hand and a smile while saying your name.
Have plenty of business cards easily accessible. Should your booth visitor or industry colleague give you a business card, take your time and read it in front of the guest. Do not write on your guest’s business card. This shows disrespect in many cultures. Never jam the card into a pants pocket. Place it in a purse, inside coat pocket, or in your portfolio to show respect.
Most important? Smile and enjoy being at this exciting event where you have a unique opportunity to represent both your best self and the excellence of your brand.
Excerpts of blog or article may have been taken from the book: Hospitality Management – People Skills & Manners on and off the Job. Copyright © 2015/16 Lyn Pont, Ph.D.
“Pont’s book is a must-read for anyone considering a career in hospitality.”
Isadore Sharp, chairman and founder, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
See the book at: www.HospitalityManners.com
Visit Lyn at: www.MannersForBusiness.com
Lyn Pont, Ph.D. – World’s Top 30 Hospitality Professionals, Global Gurus
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