5 Tips for Being Your Best Self at a Trade Show

By Emily Moorhead

Whether you are an attendee or an exhibitor, when it comes time to go to a trade show, you’re sure to be in for a long couple of days. Trade shows, while beneficial and exciting, can also be downright tiring. When you are worn out, it can be hard to be your best self. But, for the sake of networking, productivity, and just plain fun, it’s important to take care of yourself so you can present your best self.  

Let your personality shine through

When you are making new connections, it is very important to be yourself. Some people think they need to assume a strict corporate identity to promote professionalism during trade shows. Although it is important to be poised and polished, you should definitely let your true self shine during your time at a trade show. It’s your personality that makes you memorable to those you meet.

Think before you speak

After countless interactions with many people throughout the day, it’s very tempting to talk quickly to get through your presentation. If you’re yammering, however, you might misspeak, misrepresent something you are saying, or sound like a drone. Don’t get too wrapped up in the moment and remember to breathe and think before you speak. Each new person you talk to is an individual and to make a genuine connection to them, you have to treat them as such. So, slow down, think, and speak in an informed manner rather than rattling off your memorized speech. It helps to engage you and others in the conversation.

Stay hydrated

With all the walking and talking you’re going to be doing at a trade show, it’s very important to stay hydrated throughout the event. (And, drinks at the open bar don’t count! We’re talking good old H20 here, people!) You’re probably going to be exhausted throughout the convention, so help your body out by drinking water. Nutritionists say you should be drinking half of your bodyweight in ounces of water per day. Water also helps keep your body cool, preventing unsightly sweat marks under the bright lights of the trade show floor. Being hydrated also prevents dry mouth, which causes chapped lips and bad breath, neither of which are good for networking.

Try to get sleep

You’re going to be busy at a trade show – from breakfast until the floor closes and then some networking events after, your day will be full. After you’re done working and being social for the evening, head back to your hotel room for some much-needed shuteye. You’re probably not going to get the recommended 8 hours of sleep per night, but strive for at least 6 to function like normal. You can catch up on sleep when you get back home. To help decompress after such an exciting day, listen to some chill music, do some light stretching, and stay away from any devices that emit blue light, such as your phone or tablet – those have been known to keep people awake.


Smiling affects your brain. When you’ve had a long hard day and you’re quickly losing steam, crack a smile. Scientists say that smiling improves your mood. They can also be contagious; people mirror the kind of behavior they see, so smile while networking. Your body also releases endorphins when you smile, lowering stress. You can appear friendly and open, lower stress, and improve your mood, all by just smiling.

Trade shows are an exhilarating couple of days. You get to meet new people, present your product or meet people with products, eat good food, and go to fun events. However, no one will deny that they are downright exhausting. When it’s tough to be your best self and keep your mood up, try being true to yourself, thinking before you speak, drinking water, getting sleep, and smiling. Happy networking!

Matthew Tagliavia