What if I told you there’s a universal trade show language that will attract prospects to your booth and maximize your return on investment? 

The kicker? Everyone, regardless of language or culture, learns this communication style at a young age. Unfortunately, we use it less as we grow older. I know what you’re thinking, “What’s this universal trade show language ?”

I am referring to smiling. A language that we admire in children but rarely practice ourselves. Statistics show that kids smile over 400 times a day. On the other hand, the happiest adults average only 50 smiles a day.  

I know, smiling doesn’t seem revolutionary, especially at a trade show. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Many gestures convey different meanings to people. This factor makes it easy for prospects to misread or misunderstand your non-verbal cues.

However, a smile is the universal language of friendliness and approachability. It puts prospects at ease and sets you up for success. 

Sounds exciting? 

Keep reading to discover why you should practice this simple yet highly effective communication tool on the show floor.  

  1. You are more approachable when you are smiling

As you know, perception is crucial in business. It’s why customers only deal with brands they like and trust. Think about it. With so many options, trade show attendees are spoiled for choice. This is where smiling comes in; a genuine smile acts like a magnet that attracts prospects to your booth. 

It’s easy to see why smiling makes you more approachable. It shows that you’re enthusiastic about demonstrating how your exhibits work. Moreover, an honest smile exudes confidence; it assures prospects that they are dealing with an expert.

On the other hand, frowning reduces your chances of attracting prospects to your booth. Grimacing communicates your lack of interest to trade show attendees. As you can imagine, this negative perception will repel prospects and negatively impact your ROI. 

  1. Smiling can quickly change the mood

In all fairness, running an exhibit booth can be downright stressful. Standing for long periods, slow traffic, uninterested prospects, and the stale show air can dampen your moods. 

Guess what? Putting a smile on your face can make you happier and more productive. Here’s how it works; Studies show that smiling releases endorphins and other natural painkillers. These brain chemicals are game changers; they fight fatigue’s effects and energize you. 

Don’t let a rough day at the trade show floor get you. Remember, smiling is the best remedy when you feel a little down or stressed. 

  1. Smiling is contagious

Admit it; smiles are contagious. When was the last time someone smiled at you, and you didn’t return the compliment? A genuine smile connects people on a subliminal level; even babies get excited when you smile. 

Your smile is like a ray of sunshine. It lightens up your surroundings by bringing joy to the people around you. This is why smiling boosts your “likability factor”; it makes people lower their guard and want to interact with you. 

This “likability factor” is crucial on the trade show floor. My good friend and colleague, who is a retail guru, explains that people may shop because of logical decisions. But emotions are what cause them to make the purchase. The biggest differentiator from one business to another is often the “likeability factor.” We are not in the product or service business: we’re in the people business. People buy based on emotions, not products or services. 

Thus, smiling is the ideal ice breaker at a trade show; it emotionally connects you to your prospect, making it impossible for them to ignore you. But don’t take my word for it. Try putting it into practice and watch your trade show fortunes soar.    

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