How to Dominate Trade Shows

Show Notes

Are you planning on attending a tradeshow in the near future? If you want to dominate that show then this podcast is just for you. In this episode of the Thrivetime Show Clay Clark gives you the moves to implement at a tradeshow.

Step 45 – How to Dominate Trade Shows:

  1. There are usually 100 vendors competing for the attention of the customer.
  2. 80 of the vendors are usually going to be lazily sitting down in their booth while dispassionately passing out print pieces and brochures.
  3. You will typically be committing multiple (12 hour) full days of your team, so don’t go to tradeshows unless you have clearly established:
    1. A break-even point for the show (the number of deals you need for the show to pay for itself)
    2. Quotas that you are willing to hold your team accountable
    3. A game plan that has been proven to work
    4. The willingness to train your team until they reach the level of excellence before attending the show
  4. NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “Marketing is a contest for people’s attention.” – Seth Godin (Best -selling author of The Purple Cow and marketing guru)

How to Find the Best Trade Show for Your Industry

  1. Do intensive Google searches
  2. Call the top vendors in your industry (get references…there are many scams out there)

Understand the Goal

  1. Get the attention of your ideal and likely buyers.
  1. NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “You are either remarkable or invisible.” – Seth Godin (Best-selling author of The Purple Cow and the man that sold Yoyodyne to Yahoo for $30 million dollars).
  2. AMPLE EXAMPLE – Oxi Fresh – Green Man Video
  3. Have meaningful discussions with your ideal and likely buyers.
  4. Set appointments with your ideal and likely buyers.

Trade Show Checklist

  1. Verify That Your Tradeshow Will Be Attended by Your Ideal and Likely Buyers or Do Not Participate
    1. NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “Best buyers buy more, buy faster, and buy more often than other buyers. These are your ideal clients. Have a special effort dedicated to just the dream clients.” – Chet Holmes (Best-selling author of The Ultimate Sales Machine)
  2. Determine Your Break-Even Point or Do Not Participate
  3. Stand Out or Do Not Participate
    1. NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “Know your numbers’ is a fundamental precept of business.” – Seth Godin (Best-selling author of The Purple Cow and the man that sold Yoyodyne to Yahoo for $30 million dollars).
  4. Set an Appointment Quota or Don’t Participate
    1. NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” – Steve Jobs (Best-selling author of The Purple Cow and the man that sold Yoyodyne to Yahoo for $30 million dollars).
  5. Establish Merit-Based Pay for Booth Participants
    1. NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” – Jim Rohn (Best-selling author and legendary motivational speaker)
    2. NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “What is needed, however, isn’t just that people working together be nice to each other. It is discipline.
    3. NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “Discipline is hard–harder than trustworthiness and skill and perhaps even than selflessness. We are by nature flawed and inconstant creatures. We can’t even keep from snacking between meals. We are not built for discipline. We are built for novelty and excitement, not for careful attention to detail. Discipline is something we have to work at.” – Atul Gawande (The New York Times best-selling author of Checklist Manifesto and a professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School)
    4. NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “In 2008, the World Health Organization agreed to work with Gawande’s thesis, bringing the checklist concept to eight hospitals around the world. During the next six months, deaths fell by 47 percent and post surgical complications dropped by 36 percent.” – Atul Gawande (The New York Times best-selling author of Checklist Manifesto and a professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School)
  1. Commit to Not Sitting or Do Not Participate
    1. NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” – Thomas Edison (The famous inventor who is credited with having invented the modern light bulb, recorded sound and recorded video. When he wasn’t inventing everything he also organized and grew General Electric into one of the largest companies on the planet.)

30 Items That You Need to Make Your Trade Show Successful:

  1. NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “The volume and complexity of what we know has exceeded our individual ability to deliver its benefits correctly, safely, or reliably.” – – Atul Gawande (The New York Times best-selling author of Checklist Manifesto and a professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School)
  2. Lead Sheets with Standardized Pricing
    1. Downloadable for Lead Sheets –
  3. Create a No-Brainer Offer (If Possible)
  4. Trussing
    1. Downloadable for Overall Trade Show Booth Design –
  5. 2 Flat Screen TVs
  6. 8 Uplights
  7. 4 Bistro Tables
  8. 4 Linens for Your Bistro Tables
  9. 1 6 Foot Table
  10. 1 Linen for Your 6 Foot Table
  11. Laminate Flooring
  12. 4 Clipboards
  13. 1 Point Person Whose Entire Job is to Bring People Into the Booth
  14. 4 Sales People Whose Entire Job is to Set Appointments
  15. 1 Appointment Setter Whose Entire Job is to Scheduling and Staying Organized
  16. Trade Show Leads Sheets (Offering Your No-Brainer if Possible)
  17. Business Cards
  18. A Looping Trade Show Video (Visually Appealing)
  19. An Agreement On Trade Show Uniforms
  20. One Sheets
    1. Downloadable for One Sheets –
  21. 2 Post Up Stands (Offering Your No-Brainer if Possible)
  22. 50 Pens
  23. 20 Bungees
  24. Trade Show Backdrop
  25. 6 Hangars For Backdrop
  26. 8 Power Strips
  27. Reserve Power for the Tradeshow
  28. Audio Recorder (For Manager’s to listen to presentation quality)
  29. 8 Ratchet Straps
  30. 8 Heavy Sandbags
  31. A Giveaway (Food if Possible)

There is No Shortcut to Greatness | You Must Invest 8 Hours Into the Training of Your Team

  1. NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “The missing ingredient for nearly all of the 1,000-plus clients I have worked with directly to improve their businesses is pigheaded discipline and determination. We all get good ideas at seminars and from books, radio talk shows and business-building gurus. The problem is that most companies do not know how to identify and adapt the best ideas to their businesses.Implementation, not ideas, is the key to real success.” – Chet Holmes (The best-selling author of The Ultimate Sales Machine and the former business partner of Charlie Munger)
  2. How to Set Appointments
    1. Rapport (Developed using the Lead Sheet)
    2. Needs (Discovered using the Lead Sheet)
    3. Benefits (Delivered using the One Sheet)
    4. Call to Action (Appointments set using the Lead Sheet)
    5. Isolate Objections Set an Appointment (Overcome using the One Sheet)

We Have a Massive Database of Trade Show Training Videos Available for You at



  1. Podcast –
  2. Downloadables
    1. Tradeshow –
    2. Booth –
    3. Tradeshow Checklist –
Business Coach | Ask Clay & Z Anything

Audio Transcription

Broadcasting live from the center of the business conferences universe, presenting the world’s only business school without the bs, with optometrist turned entrepreneur, dr. Robert zoellner, and the US SBA entrepreneur of the year clay clark get ready to enter the thrive time show on talk. Radio 1170. Thanks for the conversation today, we are talking about trade shows trade shows and trade shows. You see. A lot of people want to go to a trade show to pick up new business to gain new clients. We are teaching you today about how to dominate trade shows. There is usually a hundred vendors at a trade show competing for the attention of the customers and I would say that a typical business conferences type trade show there might be 80 to 90 of the vendors that are usually just going to be sitting by lazily sitting down in their booth, while dispassionately, passing out print pieces and brochures on their phones on their phone. Hayes of your team’s time, I mean your team’s to be like 12 hours a day for 2 to 3 days in a row as if you’re going to go to a trade, show and invest the time for two to three of your people to be there all day, I mean that’s a massive commitment of a time of your team and resources. We are not doing something else, you’re going to commit that much time to something you might as well. I might as well just nail it, and so here are the things that your coach would help you work through that you really want to come to grips with and know before you go to the trade show. So one. If you want to know the break-even point for the show marshall, you need to know the number of deals that you need to have for the show to pay for itself. Why do you have to do that? A lot of business owners, though go to these trade, shows without any clear idea of what a success at the trade show looks like in so you define what that success is by knowing the number of deal the approximate prophet that you would need to make from all of the deal that you generate from the trade show in order to get to that goal, and you have been to the dallas bridal show, oh yeah, over there, all right across the street, from the anatole hotel in down in the dallas area and you’ve been there.

You worked in the booth for the companies I’ve had in the past. Dj connection.Com is will epic, photography, I’m. You help your clients in all different industries to do well at trade shows, but we went to the trade show in dallas the dallas market hall. There was about 250 or 300 vendors, I believe and you have to stand, but you also have to know the break-even points on your mind. You knew you were trying to book what one bride per hour, so one bride price for each teammate. So when I’m at the show-and you work the booth with me or do you work the booth with our team, you believe we’re not sitting around I mean we know how many we have to get to know. The difference is a lot of business owners in other business conferences vendors are just sitting there passing out these flyers and they don’t care whether or not somebody comes to their booth or not impacted the kid around. When we were down there like. How do you some of these vendors come back year after year after year? I would just got her name out there, yeah and just came out. So if you need a book one per hour, that means that you got to set 5 appointments per hour, which means that you got to talk to you, probably about 10 people per hour, which means you got to get rejected about 20 times per hour. Just get her name out there. That’s it and quotas is a thing. I see a lot of people not want to do like holding their team accountable, right and you’ve got to place a sense of urgency with those two members that are working your booth or they will fall into the same thing. Everybody else is doing well start talking to the people at the next booth I’ll be sitting on their phone, they have to know hey. We have got to sign up, like you said one an hour or whatever.

That is so at the dallas market hall there’s about 300 vendors and it costs us all into rent a booth about a thousand dollars sprawl the decoration and stuff to put in the booth to set up another thousand or $2,000, and then to pay the team to be there all, and it’s about 5 grand to go to a show. So I know specifically how many weddings we have to book to make the show pay for itself. The third thing is, you have to have a game plan. It’s proven to work in your coach will help you through the game plan, but this could be a very, very long training session, because there are so many details to master, which is why we have a ton of videos available for you at the business conferences thrive time show.Com or putting a link to those videos on today’s training because there’s a lot of detail, but you have to approve in the game plan to make the trade show work. Then the final thing you have to have, if you have to the willingness to actually train your team until they reach a level of excellence before attending the shop marshall you’ve seen me role play with the team. We’re training were setting up the system in tulsa we’re setting up the equipment were setting up the trusting, we’re rolling out. The flooring were putting out the bistro tables, we’re putting up the tvs were taken down.

The tvs were sitting up, we’re role-playing marshall we get to level of business conferences excellence before we even got outside of our own building, let alone shut up. The trade show where a training people at the trade show we’re trading you before we get to the trade shop. That’s right, I’ve, never seen this process take less than 10 hours. Yes, my blocking off, pin hours of dedicated training for how to talk at the trade show, and so you got to make sure that you’re putting this in the schedule. This is training time with your team. Anybody that’s going to the show it better be trained know we have to do before you invest all this time. As I recommended, you would find the best trade show in your industry, and you would find that by calling the top vendors in the industry and asking them what’s. The show is in fact good because there are so many crappy trade shows out there. I would argue that for every 5 trade shows there are probably for our crappy and terrible and should not exist. So you don’t want to go to a mobile, pop-up flea market. You want to go to a trade show where that it will be populated by your ideal and likely buyers. If your ideal unlikely buyers are not there, then there’s no point to going now. Once you get there, you have to get the attention of the ideal unlikely buyers, seth godin the best-selling author in the man who sold, his company yoyodyne to yahoo for 30 million dollars once wrote, you are either remarkable or invisible. So what you want to do at the trade show you want to stand out. You want to make sure that you stand out so I’m going to give you three really easy moves you can do. You can make your booth taller than every other booth I love that move omni lighting.

They will rent you all the materials you need. There’s also trade show booth companies will do this for you, then you put up lights or there led lights that shine and get people’s attention that works. Another move you could do is you could have a big sign that says we’re giving away free lunch or free drinks or free whatever, and people will come to your booth for the free drinks, the free lunch, the free, whatever that’s the move and the third move you can do. She can create kind of a party atmosphere. You can have business conferences music plan, you can have your team dressed up a certain way. All I’ve seen fitness companies have men who are built like arnold, schwarzenegger I mean nobody’s built like arnold schwarzenegger, but people that are extremely muscular like competitive weightlifters tree trunks for are handing in the booth shirtless greeting people I’ve seen that move I’ve seen him do it when they’ve got polo shirts on there and possibly too small, and they don’t fit in there. Just in the booth greeting people I’ve seen people put a lamborghini in their booth to get people’s attention. If you tell me a story, one time about a client that had the green man suits, they were yes and they had a trade show at the trade show they had a men wear a green suit, so it looks like the man had no i, guess the faceless man and a green man suit, and if you go to youtube and you type in the oxi fresh green man, you can see this guy, the green man and they had people wearing green suits that were running around the trade shut when it gets everyone’s attention. When you see a guy who’s wearing a full, a full body suit, that’s green with no face okay. So the whole point of the trade show that was the first get the attention the next step. If you want to have a meaningful discussion with your ideal unlikely buyers in the search tabs, you want to set an actual appointment, but go at the trade shows not to get a deposit at the trade show.

So make an example. People would walk by your booth in your booth will be getting everyone’s attention because the booth is taller than everybody else and then you would say:hey are you? Are you in need of home siding and they would say no next person? Hey? Are you in need of home siding know? Why are you in need of home siding nope? Are you in need of siding for your home nope? Are you in need of home siding yeah? Actually, I am marshall. You saw that happened in our own office. What was thomas siding guy? You were doing. Training on getting ready for a trade show I believe, and you said what you said:hey are you in need of siding or something everybody? Every single person and I walked in the business conferences room and I said I am i, am in need of siding, I should wait, I think I think I do need and you guys are just playing weird but I sincerely who’s doing our siding now, and you should probably ask everybody that isn’t at a trade show. Are they in need of side and i? Think we have a lot of siding? We need I think it’s going to 15008. You got to ask everybody. Every single person at the trade show you’re asking them. You did not be discouraged if somebody says nope not looking for it ideal michael byers. What is the home and garden show where a wedding show or something about 3 to 5% of the people will say. Yes, I am in need of a photographer. I am in need of siding, I haven’t even whatever it is. You’re selling chap one thing that I learned from doing the wedding shows:i, withdrew your system playing with you and with marshall, and some of the other guys was that preparing your team for that exact mindset.

Just tell him like make it fun like. Oh, when another, would you like to know just got stoned face just got stonewalled, what make it fun you know and ignored so many times it’s okay, it’s all good. Whatever people say they weren’t interested in something I used to work with the guys is a technique. I said yes I’m here you need of a photographer. If they say no, then is a is a fun way for you to have a good therapy. You could say, would you be interested in in like you can just like free money or something we will use them free money and if they said yes is sorry, we don’t have it just so you can see if you just so. You can see that if you have with the business conferences person wanted, then they would be interested. People start to say this. False narrative essay ever wanted to trade shows not here to buy anything you’re just wasting your time or really. But so you would ask me, how are you I need a photographer for your wedding and if they said no, they would you be interested in free money and if they said yes, you realize that they’re not reject. You know we checking the question right, that’s the move! So then what you do is you have to have a trade show checklist and your coach will help you do this, but the trade show checklist has 30 items that you have to bring search up, I’m going to list them off here, oh yeah. He got to have one lead sheets with the standardized pricing. If you want an example, we have it available for you on today’s show notes you just go to thrive. Time should I come you click on podcast and all this whole check list is available for you.

You’re ever wanted to be at a trade. Show you’ve got to get to this information. I’m telling you it’s. The secret sauce companies have paid me thousands of dollars to help them have a successful trade show and we’re giving away that knowledge for free to you got to have a no-brainer offer. If it’s so good people can’t say no to it in a booth design. That makes sense, and we have an example of ailable for you on today show notes. You want to have flat screen that show your company’s name and some kind of movement. You would have ate up late up up lights for bistro tables, for linens for your, bistro tables, 1 6 foot table linen for your 6-foot table, 1 laminate flooring for clipboard and one business conferences person whose entire jobs bring people to your booth, and you have to have for sales people whose entire job is to set appointments. One appointment setter whose entire job is too and you get it there’s a big list. They don’t live in. Your coach will help you with the final capstone. I want to give you on this. Is there is no shortcut to greatness? You have to invest at least 8 hours and training your team before the show make it to the show they already need to know how to set appointments already need to know how to follow up. They already need to know how to be successful to trade. Show not a train show, but you want to prepare your team, so you can hold them accountable, because if you can’t, if you haven’t properly trained your team, that you can’t hold them accountable for coach the details and how do an effective trade show


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