It’s Anders here. I’m working a show and  I just have to share this with you. Behind me, the booth you see right over my shoulder, yesterday they were breaking so many boothmanship rules I couldn’t even help myself, I had to count them. There are  basics of trade show marketing and then there are the sins that you don’t want to be doing. I can’t believe how many times people keep doing the same mistakes over and over again. I’m going to cover them right here.

1. The right amount of booth staff for the size of booth

In that tiny little 10 by 10, first of all, there were about seven people working that booth. That was very tight. Of course, people can’t get in when there are that many people working the booth. It’s ridiculous. Usually for a 10 by 10, we say two people for every 100 square feet. That’s one rule that they were breaking.

2. No sitting in the booth during show hours

Another rule that they were breaking is that they were sitting. They had chairs in there, and they were sitting there the whole time, the few that could sit, because there weren’t seven chairs. You don’t want to be sitting. You don’t want to make people look like you’ve got to get up off your seat to help them and engage them. They’re lazy.

While they were sitting there, what were they doing? They were playing on their phones. At one time when three of them were sitting, two of them were playing on their phones and one of them was doing something with a computer. Ridiculous. It drove me nuts being across the way from them in the booth that I’m working.

3. No phones/no eating in the booth

Then, another thing they did was they were eating in the booth. They were eating, not just eating a chocolate bar or some nuts or something kind of clean. No. They went to the concession and they bought salads and these cakes. They were eating with forks, and they’re doing that while people are trying to talk to them. There’s stuff in their teeth.

As an attendee wanting to come in and actually engage with somebody, you don’t want to interrupt someone’s meal, for one thing. Also, you don’t want to have a conversation with someone when they’ve got crap in their teeth and everything. It’s ridiculous.

Make sure you’re not eating in the booth, you’re not sitting in the booth, you’re not sitting behind a table. If you’re sitting behind a table, it’s a barrier. And, you want to be off your phone. That was the last thing they were doing – they were taking calls in the booth.

If you have seven booth staff people, schedule some breaks. Have some shifts. Have fewer people in the booth. Then, those people who are on break can actually eat a meal in peace, they can enjoy themselves, and come back refreshed and ready to work the booth. That’s what you’ve got to do.

Even though these are the most common booth don’ts, please don’t. Remember those rules and you’re going to have a lot more success at your next trade show. Thanks for watching.