When it comes to exhibiting at events or trade shows, body language plays a crucial role in conveying confidence, approachability, and professionalism. Without exhibiting the correct, positive form of body language, all the effort spent on perfecting your brand, demoing your product or securing leads could be wasted. Your perfectly designed exhibition stands can only speak so much for your business, the rest needs to be done by your team and the brand itself. So factor the impact of body language into your brief for staff exhibition stand training.
Unsure of the best methods your team can employ? Check out our top body language tips below so you can have your team delivering not just great sales but positive interactions that instil confidence in both themselves and those looking to purchase from your incredible brand. Confidence that can lead to those fantastic repeat sales further down the line!
Why is body language important at trade shows?
Exuding confidence, although not too much, and appearing welcoming can make a huge difference to the outcome of your attendance at a trade show or event. Understandably, you may be nervous at a trade show though, lots of people may be wanting to talk with you, but nerves can show themselves in the form of body language and this can stop anyone from wanting to approach you. A nervous nature will see you looking down and hunching or dropping your shoulders. This will not lure people towards your exhibition stand. Instead, adopt a power pose that appears confident and welcoming. Standing up straight, arms by your side and shoulders back. That’s it! Start with this and people will approach. From them, adopt the best practices we have listed below and you will be on your way to securing event success!
Body language tips exhibitors should take advantage of
We have picked ten key body language tips that could help you and your team ooze positivity and confidence on the day of your event or trade show. Incorporate these and watch how attendees spend more time engaging with you!
Stand tall and maintain a good posture
A strong and upright posture exudes confidence and presence. Stand tall with your shoulders back, and avoid slouching or crossing your arms, as it can make you appear closed off. You must also be aware of the possibility you come across as arrogant so adopt a relaxed stance, some say feet should also be about 12 inches apart too.
There should be no barrier to your exhibition stand thanks to the way you stand and standing slightly side-on allows you to remain focussed on both the visitor and your stand.
The wrong posture can seem intimidating so ensure you are not too close to the person you are engaging with either. Personal space can be invaded by just taking one step too close!
Part of your posture also stems from the way you hold your chin. If it’s pointing upwards you could be looking down on the people you are talking to. Point it too low and you’ll appear like you don’t want to engage with them!
A warm and genuine smile is incredibly inviting and makes you more approachable but too false and those visiting your stand will see the falseness a mile off!
Appear natural and welcoming, as silly as it may sound at first, practise your greetings and engagement techniques with colleagues or at home. Even a slight change in how your eyebrows sit when you smile can alter the perception people make of you! Raising eyebrows when greeting people can be a huge game changer and shows you are willing to engage with them.
Make eye contact
Establishing eye contact shows interest and engagement. Look directly at people when they approach your stand but do not turn it into a stare. That can be incredibly off-putting. This eye contact shouldn’t be constant either. Maintaining constant eye contact makes somebody feel under pressure and could lose you the sale. Mix up eye contact with looking at your display, the literature you are showing the visitor and other notable features of your event area. Just ensure this doesn’t result in your head turning totally away from the person you are talking with. At no stage should you turn your back on the person who has visited your stand!
The important thing to remember here is balance. Too much eye contact will put seem aggressive and intimidating, too little and you appear disinterested and may also miss some “tells” that their body language gives you.
Offer a firm handshake
When engaging in handshakes, make sure your grip is firm but not overpowering. A handshake should be a brief and confident gesture. Offer this at the introduction and conclusion of the conversation you have with each visitor you engage with.
Open and welcoming gestures
Use open body language to create a welcoming atmosphere. Keep your arms relaxed and at your sides, rather than crossed, to appear more approachable and receptive to conversation. Crossed arms can lead people to think you have something to hide or are not interested in either your attendance or theirs!
Hand gestures can help demonstrate your products or explain things but be aware that too much can make you look like you are lacking confidence and trying to hide your nerves. Palms upwards helps enforce a welcoming and warm atmosphere whilst palm down can give the impression you are being confrontational.
Be mindful of personal space
Respect personal space boundaries and avoid invading someone’s personal bubble. Allow a comfortable distance between you and the visitors, approximately 1-2 metres, unless they initiate closer proximity. By watching how the other person approaches or stands with you, you will be able to get an idea of how comfortable they feel but also remind yourself of your own comfort. If you feel they are too close, you can always take a step back and it won’t look like you are abandoning the conversation.
Mirror and match
Subtly mirror the body language and energy of the person you’re speaking with. Matching their pace, tone, and posture can create a sense of rapport and make the interaction more comfortable. Do not make it too obvious though as they may feel it is mimicking them to ridicule rather than create a comfortable conversation space.
Pay attention to your facial expressions
Your facial expressions should align with your words and convey interest and attentiveness. Maintain a pleasant and engaged expression and avoid frowning or appearing disinterested. Show excitement about your brand and show enthusiasm when questions are asked. People buy people and by showing your passion for your brand through your expressions, people are more likely to feel confident about the service your product you are promoting.
Of course, you may have to move around a little to show your product or even demo it but constantly moving about can make you look rushed, confused or short on confidence. The last thing you want is for a potential client to think you would rather be somewhere else!
Be aware of nervous habits
Take note of any nervous habits you may have, such as fidgeting or tapping your foot. These can distract from your message and convey anxiety. Practice self-awareness and work on minimising these habits.
Remember, body language is just one aspect of effective communication. It’s important to pair it with clear and concise verbal communication, active listening, and genuine interest in the individuals you interact with.
Are you presenting at an event or trade show soon? Speak to our team at Nomadic! With years of exhibition experience behind us, our team can not only build you the perfect reconfigurable display stand suitable for multiple events but they can design an exhibition stand for you too! With multiple and truly versatile event stand options available, contact us today to see how we can transform your experience at events.