10 Most Common Trade Show Modeling Mistakes

Mistakes trade show models make

10 Most Common Trade Show Modeling Mistakes

When it comes to trade show modeling, mistakes can make or break your career. Even the smallest of mistakes can add your name to a trade show modeling ‘blacklist’ and the next thing you know you’re not getting hired for any promotional gigs anymore.

To avoid being blacklisted by the trade shows industry, we’ve come up with the top 10 most common trade show modeling mistakes. Avoid making these mistakes at all costs!

10 Trade Show Modeling Mistakes

1. Not Researching the Brand

Modeling mistakesIt is crucial to be knowledgeable on the brand you are representing. Do your research. You should be able to answer basic attendee questions and give feedback about the brand you are representing. Treat every trade show like a test. Would you show up to a test without studying? Of course not, you’d fail. If you’re serious about a career in trade show modeling, then researching every brand you work for is a crucial factor.

2. Negative Body Language

Trade show models are hired to represent the brand’s image. If your body portrays a negative look, then that’s what attendees will remember about the brand. Avoiding attendees, slouching, crossing your arms, tapping your feet, and leaning against the table, are all negative body languages that should be avoided. Positive body language welcomes attendees and encourages them to your booth. Plus, it’s easier to approach attendees with a friendly, warm personality, than a negative one.

3. Being Too Aggressive

As a trade show model, it is important to be assertive in order to attract attendees and obtain leads, but being too pushy is a huge trade show modeling mistake. Many new models feel the need to be aggressive in order to stand out, but that is not the case. Being overly aggressive can cause your client to look desperate and unprofessional.

Instead of interrogating every attendee, greet them and give them a small description of the brand you’re representing. Follow up on any questions or comments they have, but do not get pushy or overly aggressive. Politely ask the attendees if they are interested in learning more information and write down their contact information, or take their business card.

4. Being Robotic

Many trade show models have a memorized routine for every trade show. This is not necessarily a bad thing; however, it may get boring and cause you to blend in or make simple mistakes. Instead, change up your routine, not only will this improve the exhibit but it will also help to keep you fresh and exciting all day. Change up your approach, use different motions, point out different features of the brand, and most of all have fun! If you are having fun, attendees will too.

5. Not Engaging with Attendees

The trade show floor can get very chaotic, but this should not negatively affect your trade show modeling. Be mindful of the attendees around you and engage with them as much as possible, no matter what the trade show floor looks like. Never leave the booth unless the client asks you to and continue working hard until the last attendee leaves.

6. Wearing Improper Promotional Attire

As a trade show model, you are responsible to portray the ideal brand image. Arriving in the wrong attire or clothes that stained, wrinkled, or untidy, compromises the brand’s image and your ability to work with them again. Make sure your attire is presentable and professional. If an outfit is not provided by the client, then specifically ask what type of attire is appropriate for the show.

7. Eating/Drinking While Working

There is a time and place for everything. Eating and/or drinking while engaging with attendees is very rude and can cause attendees to avoid your booth. An occasional sip of water between attendees is fine, but do not eat or drink at the booth, wait until your lunch break. After your lunch break, be sure to check yourself in a mirror to make sure you are still clean, professional, and presentable.

Finally, avoid chewing gum at all costs. Chewing gum is unprofessional and a rude gesture when talking to people. If needed, take a breath mint a few minutes before your lunch break is over.

8. Making Personal Calls or Texts

When you are at a trade show, you are working! You are on the client’s time, so act accordingly. If you make a personal call or text you are wasting their time and decreasing your chances of getting booked again. If it’s an emergency and you must answer your phone, tell the client first and then politely step away from the booth to take the call.

9. Showing up Late or Leaving Early

First impressions are everything. Showing up late is a terrible first impression that can ultimately ruin your reputation. Instead, leave yourself plenty of time to get to the event early and collect your trade show badge before it gets too chaotic.

Leaving early is equally as unacceptable. Never leave early unless the client says it’s okay. Attendees come at different times throughout the day, so it’s important that you work the full hours you were hired for. By leaving early, you’re allowing trade show leads to leave with you.

10. Having a Bad Attitude

Your attitude sets the tone for the day. If you walk into a trade show with a bad attitude, the entire day, and maybe even the entire booth, is going to reflect that vibe. Always walk in smiling to help set the tone for the day. Leave all personal problems at home so they do not affect your work.

These 10 common trade show modeling mistakes tend to go unnoticed because many trade show models don’t know they are making them. Now that you are aware of these mistakes, you can knock it out the park at your next promotional modeling gig.  What other trade show modeling mistakes have you seen models make?