Trade Shows – What you do matters

Computershare team at AFP 2023 Conference

How you do it is the most important part of all.

Trade shows – What you do matters

What you do at a trade show matters. How you do it is even more important. We provided Graphology or Handwriting Analysis for Computershare | Georgeson’s booth at the AFP (Association for Financial Professionals) 2023 Conference in San Diego this past week.

We have the privilege of working with great people and companies. They would most likely agree that we do whatever it takes to make our clients shine, honor their mission, and achieve their goals. 

Always Be Learning

You can learn by working with great people, regardless of their area of expertise. There is an undeniable difference between having someone merely sit at your booth handing out swag or having a close-knit team of experienced professionals who understand your business, services, and products cogently explain them to attendees. This team took no shortcuts in meeting their goals. They had reviewed the salient information for attendees, examined how they were going to engage (three different specialists representing three specific facets of the company’s offerings), and carefully reviewed the form and function of each element of their booth.

By having team members representing three primary verticals, the company was able to provide in-depth information on the spot.

Why is this important? At this particular conference, an estimated 7,000+ attendees were expected; nobody wants to have to call, text, or email to get an answer to their question.


How you treat people is how they, in turn, treat people. Simple? Yes. How many businesses actually practice this? Let’s put it this way–there could be more. 

We always make sure our team has access to food, water, breaks, and anything else they need. When told I should go to lunch, I turned to my assistant and told her to go ahead. The team leader then told us we should both go, that they would watch everything. This was before they had taken a break. 

Attention to detail 

We had requested a highboy table with a black drape. The table linen was not there when we went to the showroom floor the evening before to introduce ourselves to the team, get a general feel for the trade show layout, and see if there was anything that needed tweaking. 

It was not an issue for us. 

Leaders lead by example

Nonetheless, the first day of the show, early in the morning, the senior executive showed up with a black drape for the table. She had noted that it wasn’t there and that it had been requested. With no further ado, she solved the issue by picking one up. This was on top of a very, very busy schedule, managing her day-to-day work and working the trade show floor the entire day, meetings, receptions, and events scheduled before and after.

Their team had compiled a list of attendees who they had invited to stop by along with the specific information pertinent to each one.


Where are you physically at the booth? Who is able to see, hear, and visit it?

If your entire team is behind a counter or table, you are creating a barrier between your company and your attendees.

Is there room to maneuver? Access for people with wheelchairs? Are the acoustics conducive to people understanding what you are saying as well as being understood?

What people need

Most trade show attendees end up lugging around big, heavy bags. Offering them a place to put them down gives you a two-fold boost: the individual is not physically encumbered and is more available to engage; they feel more open and are more receptive to your message.


Our whoops! moment—our iPad with a looping slideshow presentation that showed what we were doing and how to do it, ran out of juice about an hour before the end of show. We should have had the power block on the table, ready to go, instead of in the cubby under the front of the booth. We were so busy we didn’t have time to get it out!

The slide show explained the process and also served as an attention-grabber. 

Take-aways for successful trade shows

Being personable and available is paramount. Great customer service means gauging the needs of the customers attending that particular show. Connecting people is a win-win proposition. Add elements to make attendees comfortable. Keep it simple. Use entertainment that is useful to attendees. Personalized, analog (non-digital) entertainment is a great way to engage. Share a message that is sticky and has legs. Follow up. And don’t forget: Always Be Learning.