Changes to Trade Show Etiquette After Covid-19

To capture attendee’s attention, it is imperative to ensure your booth staff has mastered the proper trade show etiquette. It is extremely important that your booth staff understands expectations, properly greet attendees, and making sure to keep your booth visitors engaged.

As with most things today, the rules for trade show etiquette are evolving to stay in step with social distancing guidelines. Once trade shows resume, the following are new ways to ensure proper etiquette for your booth staff.

Ways to Greet Attendees

One of the most important tasks for your booth staff is for them to stand and greet your booth visitors at the front of your booth. Prior to Covid-19, we would have suggested that the front area of your booth not feel like a blockade for attendees wanting to come into your booth. In contrast when trade shows resume, attendees are going to feel more comfortable knowing you are managing the distance between your visitors.

When you start planning your booth design for your next trade show, it is a better option to have an entrance counter for your staff to greet your booth visitors. The size of the counter should be proportionate to your booth size. It is strongly suggested to have some sort of divider for the safety of your staff and visitors. The best dividers for trade show counters are clear acrylic sneeze guards especially ones with the pass-through slots at the bottom and a covered opening for speaking. This will ensure your staff are still approachable yet still be able to maintain social distancing.

Another great option is using a counter/kiosk combo such as our trade show counter C004 and we can add a clear acrylic sneeze guard on the counter. You can incorporate your graphics along with playing videos about your brand or products, which is a great way for you to stand out as attendees are walking down your aisle.

To promote the safety of both your staff and attendees, it is imperative that your booth staff remain behind the counter and let your visitor decide if they would like to step inside your booth.

Booth Visitor Engagement

A great way to engage your visitors is by greeting them with an open-ended question versus a “yes” or “no” question. This will give your staff the opportunity to get your visitors engaged. While Covid-19 makes it harder to get too personal with your visitors, ensuring that your staff has the knowledge on how to be engaging without being too engaging.


One of the habits that will be the hardest to break for not only your staff but for attendees as well is handshaking. One way to go is for your booth staff is to let your booth visitors guide this interaction this way if they do not attempt to shake your hand than just leave it at that. Another option is to use a non-contact replacement such as tilting of your head or elbow tapping. Having your staff wear pins or stickers with a no handshake image so visitors know regardless of what language they speak.

Being that many people just automatically shake hands, it is important that you keep hand sanitizer in reach for those times that your staff does come into contact with attendees. Another way to show you care about the safety of your visitors is having hand sanitizer available throughout your booth by having both hand sanitizer stations and travel size bottles with your branding on it.

Another especially important trade show etiquette tip is training your booth staff to be professional, approachable, helpful, proactive, and enthusiastic. It is important that your booth staff is knowledgeable about your company, products, and services so that they can answer whatever questions that they are faced with. These will ensure your staff will be able to be engaging and useful to your booth visitors.

Minding Your Attendees’ Space

A new type of trade show etiquette is going to be a part of exhibiting once trade shows resume is for your staff to be mindful of not overstepping your visitor’s boundaries. Making sure staff gives visitors enough space to feel comfortable will be an important aspect of exhibiting in our new normal.

Having designated standing areas is one thing you can incorporate into your booth design to ensure your visitors do not feel crowded. Utilizing single seating for your lounge seating areas such as lounge chairs or ottomans. Another option is using clear acrylic table dividers on café height tables or bar height tables.

Making sure you know the maximum amount of people that can be in your booth to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Using floor markings in your designated standing areas is another way to helping your visitors in not feeling too crowded in your booth. Another helpful way is to use freestanding dividers with clear or frosted acrylic between seating areas.

A way to prevent visitors from gathering in one small area is to ensure your booth space is easy to navigate. By having a more open floor plan, you will ensure a smoother flow of traffic and as well as a higher level of engagement because your visitors will not feel crowded.

There are going to be quite a few changes once trade shows resume. These changes are going to impact trade show etiquette therefore it is imperative that your booth staff is up to date on the latest social expectations. Also, it is vital to choose a booth design and booth elements that will ensure your staff and booth visitors feel safe.

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