Starting conversations

Messebau Zimmermann GmbH

Even experienced employees from the sales department sometimes have difficulties to find an appropriate conversation-starter to address interested visitors in the right way. Addressing passing visitors directly and trying to awaken interest in the stand and the company is not the same as presenting a product to customers during an appointment.

Especially employees from more technical based departments often don’t feel comfortable when they must contact unknown people ‘spontaneously’. They feel like forcing something on them.

For this case, a professional and specialised training before the beginning of the fair helps to decrease inhibitions and to increase confidence. Directly at the fair, you could follow the hints below which help to find an appropriate and smooth start into a conversation:


Advertising oneself:

  • One possibility to arise interest among visitors is to distribute flyers, leaflets or vouchers at the entrance of the fair. You can thereby distinguish yourself from your competitors and create, at best, a fist opportunity to start a conversation. Furthermore, you can awaken the visitor’s interest by announcing a lottery or give-aways that the visitors can pick up at the stand.


Careful observation:

  • Especially specialised visitors always look for solutions to their problems or new developments in their business sector. But also visitors of public exhibitions want to discover, to compare and to inform about new products. Just stay attentive and do not address visitors at random but choose and address those who show interest in your stand in general or in a special exhibit. This moment, after a visitor got a first impression of your stand and the presented products and services, is perfect to start a conversation in an elegant way. Pay attention to a friendly, welcoming and interested attitude. Even if the visitor doesn’t ask a precise question, you could start the conversation by asking yourself if she or he would like to know a special thing about a product or start with some information without overwhelming your guest with too many details. You should avoid the standard question “May I help you?”. It is too general and interested visitors could feel intimidated or overstrained. Instead, ask if the visitor has already heard about your company for example and offer, where appropriate, a special test-product. If the guest is still interested, you can switch into a sales talk.
  • Check if you have the right position at the stand and towards the alleys. You should have a good overview of all passing visitors.
  • Pay attention to your body talk. Your attitude should be open, friendly and interested. An open and natural smile will emphasize this effect.
  • Search the eye contact with the visitors actively, it signalizes customer readiness. Nevertheless, a lot of visitors will ignore this non-verbal invitation. Don’t worry because the interested visitors will take the opportunity to get in contact with you.
  • It is important to show a serious interest in your visitor’s requests. At the beginning of a conversation, rather stay reserved, listen carefully to what the visitors say and try to filter out their needs. Afterwards, you can focus on exactly these aspects.
  • Be patient. Especially at specialised fairs, it is recommended to be more restrained at the beginning instead of overwhelming the visitors with too much information and starting a sales talk. Try to be friendly and professional without being too invasive.
  • You should also reflect on your own mental position towards fair participations. If you feel that a fair participation is more a cumbersome duty than a great opportunity for you and your company to meet new people, have interesting conversations and to widen your world, the visitors at the fair will probably see and feel this mind-set as well.

We are happy to advise you – your exhibition construction team from Leipzig.

Do you have questions or need support for your next trade fair stand? I will be happy to advise you.
Yours Gabriele Krannich
(Project Manager)

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