Trade Show Etiquette for Attendees


When attending a trade fair as a guest or visitor there are some unspoken do’s and don’ts that you need to know.

Attendee to Supplier

  • When establishing a rapport with the supplier practice the 3 G’s – grip, grin, greet.
  • When a supplier hands out flyers, you must politely give feedback whether you are interested in their service or not and not string the supplier. 
  • Be honest with the details of your event.
  • Be honest with your budget.
  • Don’t compare rates (can you match the rate/package of ***) or haggle as if you’re at Divisoria.
  • Don’t take photos of their items or exhibit. Take a mental note of what you like about their product or write it down. People are sensitive when it comes to intellectual property/design.
  • Everyone loves free food samples. Don’t linger around to munch all the samples. Graciously accept the sample, taste, ask questions if you’re interested in the product and get the move on. 
  • If you’re at the same industry, don’t attend a trade fair as a guest and go around pitching your services to other attendees. That’s being sneaky. Rent a booth and work the floor or pay the registration fee and observe and learn from your competition.  

Attendee to Attendee

  • There are several trade fairs that have heavy foot traffic and getting through can be hard. Say “Excuse me, pardon me, makikiraan po, etc.” will get you through that mess more quickly than shoving or elbowing people. 
  • If there’s a line, ask where the end of the line is and fall in line like a good sport. 

Attendee to Organizer

  • Pre registration normally has a deadline. If it’s already closed, don’t beg Organizers to reopen the online registration just for you. If it says, print registration form, then print unless they tell you otherwise.
  • If there is a line at the registration area, ask where the end of the line is and fall in line like a good sport. 
  • If you’re also an Organizer of the same industry, do not transact or market your own event. Feel free to collect flyers or literature of suppliers/exhibitors but do not invite them to join yours. 

Thank you Ms. Chacha Datu of Lifestyle Party Planners and Ms. Gerri Diokno of Home and Bridal Essentials for sharing some of your thoughts and tips.