Limited Time Offer! Schedule your FREE business coaching session and scale your business smarter & easier! Reserve My Spot

Success! Your account information has been updated.

close icon

This episode is a business coaching course that explains what trade show mistakes to avoid.

Results-Focused Training, Tools, and Workshops from Expert Business Coaches.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 1

-OK, so we've gone over what the trade show booth is going to look like. We've gone over what specifically we're doing at the booth. What are some of the things that we need to avoid doing at the booth? Some might call this the trade show troll checklist.

-Well, here's the deal. You don't want to be a trade show troll, OK? So that's a little bonus tip. You just don't want to be a troll. Now, if you're going, I am a troll. Do you not like trolls? I'm talking about a troll from like a "Lord of the Rings," sort of a "Narnia" sort of a movie, where there's these troll-ish, like Smeagol. You know Smeagol. "Don't touch my precious." You don't want to be that guy at the booth. And so we have a list of some moves that you just don't want to do that we've seen consistently being done by people all over the world. and you'll fire them off and I'll give you a little bit of context.

-OK. So the first thing avoid doing. Don't adequately train your staff. You might be a troll if you don't adequately train your staff.

-Yeah, here's the deal. If you decide to not adequately train your staff, what's going to happen they're going to be at the booth. They're not going to know what to say. It's going to be obvious they haven't prepared. They won't know your benefits. They won't know how to answer any questions. They won't know how to deal with any objections. And you're just going to have this poorly trained, highly decorated team that loses. Don't do it.

-OK, you might be a troll if you don't develop a clear call to action.

-Yeah, you're at the booth and you're like, and so that's what makes our company unique.

-OK, you might be a troll if you don't develop a no brainer offer.

-That's where if you're at the booth, and you don't have clear value proposition-- I'm telling you, most vendors-- going back to point two. Most those vendors are going to say, at the end of their presentation, and so that's what makes us unique. And they don't have a close. They don't have a clear call to action. So you have to have a clear call to action. And then the next is you have to have one that is a no brainer.

-OK, the fourth thing here. You might be a troll if you don't create a booth checklist. You try and go from memory.

-I have screwed up some booths. I'm not kidding. I literally sent a whole team of guys to Dallas back in the day. And they get there and we don't have any bistro tables, and no lead sheets, and no schedule. And they're like, uh. I was like, yeah, that's part of our new elite, marine style training to see what you can get by on. So we had guys writing notes on the back of print pieces, and trying to go-- they're going, Clay, what hours do we have available this week? And we're trying to communicate over the phone. And just don't work without a checklist.

-OK. Number five, you might be a troll if you show up late.

-Yeah, you just don't want to be the guy who gets there right as the show is starting and you're trying to set up. There's always a guy at every trade show. It's never ladies. You women are so much more prepared, just better people. But what happens is a lot of these dudes, they get to the show and they're like super sweaty. These sweaty guys-- because you just finished. You want to haul in the equipment and set up and then take a shower. And then have like an hour to regroup, get your game face on, then come back. You don't want to be setting up as people are getting there. Dumb!

-Dumb. Number six, you might be a troll if you sit down and focus on your smartphone.

-Just don't sit down at your booth. Never sit down. And then never be looking at your smartphone. Just be focused. You deserve it. Your wallet deserves it. Your customers deserve it. Nobody's going to buy from you if you're not really paying attention.

-OK, the next is number seven. You might be a troll if you become a paper pusher.

-Paper pusher is where you go to the booth, and you basically, as a sales person, you're just going, would you like a pamphlet? Would you like a brochure? Is there in any way you would like a brochure? I don't know why. If you're from England, you're going, why would you most us like that? I'm not mocking you. It's just a voice I go to sometimes. But the thing is, you just don't want to go, would you like a brochure? Would you like a print piece? Would you like a brochure? Because I think you'd like a nice print piece. What about a nice brochure? And then you go back to your office and you don't book anything. And you go, maybe the font was off. Maybe if we've got a nicer font maybe we could book more things. That's not going to help you. You got to make sure that you are not just pushing paper.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 2


-You might a troll if you let your closest of kin design your banners.

-Yeah. Just an example. There was years ago, I did a trade show. And I didn't know what I was doing. And so I was being stupid.

But a friend of mine who's a muscle head. Like, he's a huge, huge weight lifter. Massive. Huge.

He worked at this place in Tulsa. He's a fitness guy. And he is jacked.

Any he DJ'd for us. And he goes, I've got the dude that could also make the booths for us. He's very good at design. He could help us.

And so I don't really know who this guy is. But he's a friend of mine. He could help us.

And so he welds this apparatus together. And it was the biggest monstrosity of twisted metal. And it was awful. It looked like a dude who had just had fun with the welding kit for the first time, was going, oh, look at this. I could weld this to that. Look what I can do with this.

It was this crazy booth. But we did it because a guy who worked with us had a friend. And we just let him design the booth.

It was the craziest thing. It looked like wreckage from Star Wars. It looked like the interior of the Millennium Falcon. I guess, the exterior of the Millennium Falcon. It was bad.

-OK. You want to maybe invest some time and some money into making it look good.

-Make sure it looks good. You want to save yourself a lot of trouble. Again, email us. We'll send you a booth design.

I want to make sure we send the guys, Marshall, actual booth design. We have a little 3D thing we'll send to you. It'll help. I promise you.

Use this template. It'll save you some time and money. We're trying to help you here, Thrivers. Help us thrive with you.

-Number nine. You might be a troll if you dress like your life apparel mantra is only God can judge me.

-This is what happens. There's a guy-- we'll call him Smeagel. And he's like, well, only God can judge me. That's why I'm not wearing pants.

And you're like, uh-- you definitely don't have pants on. And I'm not gonna-- you know-- uh-- I don't want to book you because you don't have any pants on. And they're like, well, only God can judge my apparel. Well, what we know that's what you think. But you gotta put on some pants, man.

I see vendors at the trade show. There was one vendor I saw. This is a true story. This guy, he's at the trade show, and he's got a pony tail. Which I'm not opposed to pony tails. If you want to wear a pony tail-- you're into the whole Davy Crockett phase of your life right now-- that's cool.

But he's got the ponytail, got the whole colonist look going on there. And he's got a shirt that is showing-- we're talking so much chest hair that if you were to shave it, you could like tape it together into a rug. It is unbelievable.

And he's just showing the chest hair. Got the Davy Crockett deal going on. And he's got his hand in his pants the whole time, like this. Where it's like, not just going in his pocket, but right in his pants.

And the whole trade show was just like, you're sitting there next to this guy. And you're going, this is fantastic. But you know in his mind, he's like, well, no one can judge me. You know, you just don't wanna be that guy. It's true.

-Number 10. You might be a troll if you look tired and bored.

-Oh, that's always the good one. Where you're going, would you want to book with me? Because I'm-- So, you want to-- now, what was that?

Or oh yeah. All our packages are great. Sorry, I've been up all night. No one's gonna buy that stuff.

If you're a yawner, just Taser yourself. Get a Taser, get a nice, like a police-grade Taser. Tone it down a little bit. Dial it down. And take it-- I'm gonna draw you a diagram.

If you're the guy who's tired right now. And you're at the trade show. If you're watching this right before the trade show, let me show you a diagram. Get a police-grade Taser. Get a nice one. We're talking police-grade. Get this thing.

And you want to Taser-- if this is your thigh, and this is your kneecap area right here-- you want to Taser right above the knee cap, right on that inner thigh.


And trust me. You will cure that problem.

-One time. Beginning of the trade show. That's all you need.

-To quote Wyclef Jean. "One time."

-There we go. Number 11. You might be a troll if you wait for people to come into your booth.

-Yeah. Again, that's the whole deal where you're going, I know people are going to come by and call me, because people woke up this morning with a passion and a vision to pay me.

You've been watching like way too much motivational stuff. And you're just like, I know money is attracted to me. I've watched The Secret seven times. I've watched The Secret. I've watched The Secret of the Secret.

I know that if I just think about positive money, positive money will come to me. I'm a money magnet. Money will come to me. It will come to me. I don't need to do anything, because money's coming to me. Except for not now.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 3

-You might be a troll if you give people forms to just fill out.

-That's one of my favorite ones, where you go, now, if you'll go ahead and fill out this form, we'll go ahead and have you go ahead and get, maybe, a call back. You want to fill out this form? Is that OK? Because we'll just give you this form. And you fill out the form. And I like-- have you seen the form? This is actually a 14 point font. We did that to be a little bigger for you, here's a form.

It's not going to work, man. You can't use the DMV marketing strategy at the trade show. People aren't going to do that stuff.

-Number 13. You might be a troll if you leave your booth and spend all day speaking to broken vendors.

-Here's one of my favorite booth strategies. This is my favorite one. This is our booth. Here's our booth. Let's imagine this is the booth. This is our booth. Here we go. This is the booth. Here we are. We got this booth. We've probably spent $5,000 making it, designing it, flying our team out to it. We have spent time and money on this booth. Here's their strategy.

Oh. Hi. Sorry. Sorry. I was-- I was over there. I was actually not in my booth. I'm sorry. I was over there. Give me just a second. I'll be there in just a minute. Sorry. Sorry. I wasn't there.

And then, at the end of the show, they go, I don't know why I didn't book anything, you know? Because customers are walking into your booth going, is somebody here? Hello? Knock knock. I mean, it's just weird. Don't do that.

Have you ever gone into that deli? In every city, there's a deli where the owner is like-- the owner's son works there, and he'll go on break. And he'll take out some crappy piece of cardboard. And he'll write on the counter, on break. Have you seen that before? You've seen that move? Where you walk in, and it's some-- he's got the counter going on, right here. And he just writes the sign that says on break.

I see vendors do this all the time. And that is the sign-- in my mind, that is one of the weakest, most pathetic, terrible, ridiculous things you could ever do. Don't do it.

-Number 14 here. 14. 14. You might be a troll if you operate without a unified theme.

-Yeah. Again, that's if Carl's got the alien theme. You've got the predator theme. Kara has the Patriot theme. Amanda's going with this whole like internal, sort of like, hey, we're trying to recycle and reduce our carbon footprint theme. And then, Jerry's dressed up like Darth Vader. You're going to have a hard time.

-OK. In number 15, you might be a troll if you create an elaborate social media, or complicated technological multi-step plan, and then delegate it to the new guy.

-This is-- this is one of my favorites. Let's see if you can follow me. They'll go, what we're going to do is, at the booth, rather than trying to book anybody, what we're going to do is we're going to say, if you'll just take this form, and you'll just go online, and you'll just tweet us.

If you'll get up there to Twitter and you'll just send a tweet. That tweet-- if you'll do a hashtag, and you'll put the name of our company on that, then what's going to happen is that you're going to be registered for a contest that we're doing on Facebook.

Now, on Facebook what we're going to be doing is, at the end of the month, we're going to do it based on whoever has the most likes of this photo. It's very, very easy.

So you're going now, what? I need to sign up on Twitter, hashtag name your company, post a photo on Facebook, and get the most likes to win? Exactly, it's so easy. And you give it to the new guy to execute. Don't do that. Just keep it simple, man. I'm at a trade show. It's overwhelming. Don't give me a lot of stuff I have to do.

-All right. So these are the different things that you need to avoid doing. If you don't avoid doing all these 15 things, you might be a troll-- trade show troll.

-You will be a trade show troll. You're going to be running around going, I don't know why we're not making any money. Why are we not making any money? Because you're a trade show troll.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 4

Let's Get Started. Try Us for $1
Login Try Us for $1
search icon
Stuck? Need Specific Advice? Ask our Mentors any Business Question.

Ready to Thrive? Log In to your Account.

Login with your email
Please enter your email.
Please enter your password.
Login with social accounts
Signup | Forgot password?

Forgot Password?

Send us your email address, and our team of elite minds will get right on it.

Sign up to Thrive15

and get unlimited access to 1,700+ courses
  • Full Access

    $ 49 /mo
    Try it free
    • World-class mentorship
    • 24/7 access to all videos
    • Practical business tools
  • save $98 on an annual membership


    $ 41 /mo
    Save $98!
    Try it free
    *Billed as one payment of $490.
    • World-class mentorship
    • 24/7 access to all videos
    • Practical business tools
  • Thrive15 group memberships

    Team Membership

    Need to train five or more people?
    Learn More
Graduation Cap Icon College student? Sign up for $19/month. Learn More

Contact Us

Give us a call or send us an email and we will be in touch as soon as possible, or sooner than as soon as possible.

Email: info@thrive15.com
Phone: 918-340-6978
Prefer communication by smoke signals?

Ask us a question!

We want to answer you, no strings attached. How can we reach you?

Please enter your name.
Please enter your phone number.
Please enter your message.


Let us know what's going on.

Please enter your subject.
Please enter your message.
Even more feedback