Your booth staff is the most important asset at a trade show or event. They will interact with hundreds (or thousands) of attendees and your team should be ready to ask the right questions that will lead to your next sale. Below are three tips to help you get qualified leads and opportunities at your next show.

Maximize your time

Time is money! The last thing you need is to waste time on a lead that is not qualified. It’s important to establish your target audience prior to the show or event to help avoid the wrong visitor (AKA, goody grabber!) By doing this, you will save yourself time and focus on the right leads. A good way to identify the right lead is by understanding show badges. Trade show badges will typically include a color code to identify whether the visitor is another exhibitor, an attendee or student.

Asking the right questions

Most interactions on the show floor last between three and five minutes. Start by asking visitors an open-ended question to identify what product or service they may currently be using. This can help you understand their specific needs and interests. Once you’ve captured their interest, this is your opportunity to shine. Give them a brief pitch explaining who you are and how they can benefit from your company’s products and services. Remember to listen attentively throughout your conversation to make sure they know your engaged and truly want to earn their business. If during your conversation you feel there may be a more qualified representative of your company in the booth in which they should speak to, handoff the conversation to the expert.

Closing the deal

This is just as important as asking the right questions! Always thank the visitor for their time and for the opportunity to learn more about their needs. Don’t rely on your memory or a pen to remember everyone. If your lead retrieval system contains a note feature, enter a quick summary to help you remember key points from your conversation. Before your visitor walks off, your end goal is to confirm and document a post-show course of action by scheduling a time and date to follow up. Be sure to stay on top of your post-show follow-up to make sure your leads remember your company and what you can provide.


  1. Maximize your time with visitors by defining your target audience and knowing which visitors are qualified.
  2. Ask open-ended questions to drive interest. Let the prospect explain to you why they are at the show, which allows you to pinpoint if they are a good fit.
  3. Capture the right information and mutually agree on a time frame for follow up after the show is over.


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