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This week Meetings Africa 2014 took over the Sandton Convention Center. At some point either as a travel agent or as a business owner, you will take part in a travel trade show, here are some tips on how to maximize this opportunity and gain new business.

Smile and greet every attendee
A smile and a simple hello can go a long way. Attendees of the show have a large range of exhibits to choose from, so help them pick yours! Make sure you are always standing up straight and your uniform is perfect, also be sure not to chat too much to colleagues at your exhibit, your focus should be on the customer. Thanking attendees for spending time with you once they leave also leaves a lasting impression.

Dress for success
Attire might differ for organisation to organisation, but one thing is certain, you should always be presentable and neat. A good idea would be to wear branded uniforms that tie in with your exhibit.

Get to the point
Attendees of trade shows are there for a reason. It’s important to introduce yourself and find out as quickly as possible how you can answer their specific questions.

Create a buzz
Months prior to the trade show, spend time informing existing clients and your market of the upcoming show, you could even use the show as a platform for a new product or service launch, that way old and new clients will be able to interact with it immediately.

Chat to the show’s management team
Trade show organisers will want your business to have success so you come back the following year. Organisers will help you with extra tips and perhaps even marketing before the start of the show.

Get their info 
To create leads from the attendees who visited your store during the show you need to have a system of taking down contact details. Don’t wait month to call these prospective customers either, they should be called in the week following your interaction.

Stand out from the crowd 
Make sure your exhibit and the hand-outs and information you are giving to attendees are different and engaging. Take a moment to think how you will stand out from your competitors and how this can translate into new business.