Trade shows are like the Olympics of the additive manufacturing industry – everyone’s there, showcasing their best products and services, hoping to take home the gold (or at least a few new clients). But how do you stand out in a sea of exhibitors and visitors? The secret ingredient is Business Etiquette!

Now, I know what you’re thinking – etiquette? But surely we all observe that when at trade shows?! But how many times have you found yourself in conversation with someone at a show, their eyes start glazing over, looking past your shoulder, they start fidgeting and can’t stand still; in essence giving you every social que possible that they’re ready to move onto the next conversation with someone more important!

So we start to realize that too often proper Business Etiquette is not observed, with many left asking where Etiquette has gone. specifically as it’s the key to making lasting connections with potential clients and partners.

So, let’s get down to business, shall we?

1. Do Your Research

First off, do your homework! Look through exhibitor lists, look up the companies that you want to talk to, identify the best person (or people) for your particular line of inquiry while at the show.  This will show the exhibitors that you’re serious, that you value their time and respect the investment that they’ve made to be present at the show. The benefit of doing your research is that you’ll always be relevant to the person you’re talking to.

2. Make Yourself Presentable

Next up, dress to impress! And no, we’re not talking about a three-piece suit (unless that’s your thing). But dressing smartly will not only give a good impression to the exhibitors and other visitors, but it will make you feel more confident and help you to focus on your objectives. Again, being presentable feeds back in to being seen as serious, and by extension, valuing the time of the person whom you’re seeking out.

3. Respect People's Time!

If you hadn’t already noticed, a big theme for proper Business Etiquette is respecting people’s time. 

Now, when you’re at the trade show, time is precious. It seems blatantly obvious, but people often forget the number one reason for trade shows – to SELL! So, be respectful of other people’s time, if you’re not looking specifically to buy, by keeping your conversations concise and to the point. If you want to have a longer chat, schedule a follow-up meeting – after all, Rome wasn’t built in a day!

In addition, when you’re talking to the exhibitors, be sure to actively listen. Don’t just nod your head and pretend to be interested – ask questions, show enthusiasm, and don’t be afraid to share a joke or two…it’ll show how engaged you really are. Remember, we’re all people, and people like talking to people!

4. Follow Up Is Key

Last but not least, follow up promptly! Don’t be that person who promises to send a follow-up email and then disappears into the void. Send that email, send it fast, and don’t forget to thank the exhibitors for their time (there it is again).

Business (& hiring) made simple

So, there you have it – Business Etiquette 101! Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to making lasting connections, growing your network, and maybe even taking home a few gold medals (or at least some new clients) at the next additive or advanced manufacturing trade show and conference.

Here at Alexander Daniels Global, we’re proud to be recognized among our clients for our use of proper Business Etiquette. For us, there’s no such thing as a ‘means to an end’, we’re all about creating lasting relationships with candidates and clients as you can read about in our company values.

For more information about how we can help, contact our team of expert recruiters today. We also have a wealth of HR resources, such as our annual salary survey, to help you stay on top of hiring trends.

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