9 Tips For Vendors And Exhibitors at Exhibitions

Every so often after an exhibition, you hear vendors say “I didn’t sell at that exhibition, I wont go back next year” And they state this fact as though the organizers of the exhibition were supposed to lead attendees to each vendor one after the other. In the same vein you hear other vendors talk about how they sold out all their products and you wonder how that is even possible. 
Exhibitions can be so much fun for both attendees and vendors. You look around, get inspired, network and get contacts for future projects among other things. Sometimes vendors don’t get to partake in all the fun because they are busy, too busy trying to make sales, but they struggle with that because they were unprepared.

Vendors show up to exhibitions, set up nice looking displays and think that is all there is to it. “Bring products, customers will come” However, that is a strategy that stopped working with the rise of more innovative and creative businesses. To be ahead, you need to think ahead and know all the hacks to nailing an exhibition. Below are 9 ways to make sales at your next trade show.


I tell vendors all the time to be friendly and smile; And No, I don’t mean that phony smile that you plaster on your face when there’s a potential customer in view, but a genuine warm and welcoming smile. That would undoubtedly attract attendees to check out your products. No one likes a snob… or do you?

Imagine walking down a long crowded street and someone just flashed you a random bright smile, by default you would be drawn to approach the person.

You want your products to remain top of mind so even if they aren’t going to purchase there and then; they remember you when they do need what you’re selling.

Also Read: http://digest.bellafricana.com/13-signs-meant-entrepreneur/


Some people will only approach you when you acknowledge their presence. It can be something as simple as “good morning”. Also with the hustle and bustle and elbow jabbing that comes with trade shows and exhibitions, some people may honestly walk past your stand without actually seeing your products.

Approach attendees; call out a greeting, a compliment or something like that. Just acknowledge that you see them there, because when you really think about it, this is not a boyfriend/girlfriend matter where one is posing for the other. You’re trying to make some money (duh) best leave all ego, shyness and their kissing cousins at home.


Do not start with a sales pitch once you have the attention of a potential buyer. Tell a story. People don’t buy what you’re doing; they buy why you’re doing it. Most new businesses are so desperate to generate revenue they forget value. For once I would love to hear a vendor say something like “do you know you can get rid of shoe odour with baking soda? As opposed to “You should buy these shoes they would suit you”  

You absolutely cannot keep asking people to come and buy, come and buy. It causes some sort of real life spam, besides that’s what everyone does so why not bring something different and let your approach make you unforgettable.


Yes, approach and engage attendees as you must, but try not to be too pushy. Most vendors literally want to shove their products down your throat. There’s a thin line between assertive and aggressive, try not to cross it.


It’s always better to have too many people than too little people helping you at your stand. You can’t afford to be short on staff. I have walked away from many stalls because I was just left standing there unattended to. Recruit friends and family to help if you can’t hire extra hands. It is important that while you’re talking to one customer, someone else is engaging the other and calling out to a potential.


At a recent event I attended called the Lagos leather fair, while everyone was handing out complimentary cards, there was this one business -ForFori (makers of leather shoes, belts, wallets and bags) who were giving customers note pads with all their details at the back and product images inside.

I thought that to be very smart, because whether we like it or not, they have imprinted themselves in my mind and made sure they weren’t forgotten soon after the exhibition, because if you make sales at an event what is guarantee that you will get them to come back? Keepsakes. Always have complimentary cards and a freebie. It can be a key ring, a hand band or even a pen. Trust me, it doesn’t have to be anything major. Just be sure to leave something that people will remember you by months after they’ve forgotten about the event.


You’re the brand ambassador of your business, so leave your poker face at home and have fun. Crack jokes, don’t be static or rigid. You may not be an overtly social person but you know someone who is, get them to come with you. I had a blast at Oeclats stand at the Lagos leather fair. The head designer Gbemmy and her friends made m e laugh so much. I was still hanging around their stand long after I had bought one of their products.


Attendees are always on their feet at exhibitions, to make your stall one to go to, invest in foldable chairs and keep them within your perimeter. People will appreciate the thought. Offer them water to drink, something to munch on. Making attendees comfortable serves for good future relationships with them.


This particularly grinds my gears. Some exhibitors will stare you down because someone somewhere told them to make eye contact with customers. They act like predators and will stare till they see a chance to pounce on you with their products. Kindly review this modus operandi; it will chase your customers away.

Trade show Marketing genius Steve Miller advises exhibitors to avoid the following behaviours during exhibitions.

  • Sitting
  • Reading
  • Texting
  • Receiving calls
  • Standing in the aisle
  • Clustering with members of staff
  • Chewing

Exhibitions are all about being noticed, so create unique experiences and always remember the trick is to staying on top of your game.

Having said all the above, it is also important as an organiser of an exhibition/trade show to attract the right kind of traffic to come and patronise or notice the exhibitors.

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If you think something was left out or you have a message, why not drop a comment below, we would like to hear and learn from you.

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Visit www.bellafricana.com to see some quality Afrocentric products Made in Nigeria.


Highlights from the 3rd Market Place Pop Up

Hello beautiful people, did you miss the 3rd edition of the Market  Place Pop Up organized by The Market Place NG? Don’t worry, as usual we have anticipated your needs and written a highlight of the event just for you.

Many thanks to our partner, Trade Nigeria, for the amazing pictures from the event. Come on, let’s relive the amazing day filled with fun…

The Pop Up Market, professionally organized by The Market Place Nigeria, has been around for a while now. The third edition was held at The Red Carpet Hall, Oniru, Victoria Island, Lagos Nigeria, and bursting with various creative businesses. Africa is indeed talented.

Highlights From The 3rd Market Place Pop Up

Both adults and children had something of interest to buy. There were amazing food and drink stands for all and new music talents showcased their skills. The day was simply terrific.

Bellafricana was fully represented at the Pop Up Market by our team and also our extremely talented verified merchants. Watch out for the Bellafricana Verified props in the pictures.

The category of products displayed ranged from fashion items to hair and skincare products. Home decor wasn’t left out also.

Pictures from the 3rd Edition of The Market Place Pop Up

Here are some of the amazing people that graced the Pop Up Market.

Highlights From The 3rd Market Place Pop Up

Addict by Pawprint

Beautifully Nappy

Bliss African Fashion


The Potters Signature

Ty Tys Design

If you have never been to any of the Pop Up market organized by The Market Place NG, get ready to be amazed as there is a 4th edition in the works. And rumour has it Abuja is the next destination.

Exciting, isn’t it? If you are recident in Abuja and know of venues that have both indoor and outdoor facility that can accommodate up to 100 vendors, kindly share in the comment box below or send as an email to the organizers at  [email protected]

Take a look at what went down at the 2nd edition of the Pop of Market HERE.

Did you know Bellafricana Verified merchants got a 10% discount to display at the Pop Up Market? Yes they did!

Our partners, the amazing organizers of The Market Place Pop Up extended a 10% discount to all Bellaficana verified vendors.

Highlights From The 3rd Market Place Pop Up

You too can get awesome discounts like our Bellafricana Verified vendors. You can also learnt about exhibitions and markets coming to your target audience. Why not get your brand verified today, goto www.bellafricana.com/get-verified/ or call us on +2348086363970.

We will be happy to hear from you, we are always proud to see Africans growing a strong business passionately. Still want to know more about what it means to be Bellafricana Verified? Visit this link

ConnectNigeria Marketplace 2016

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”] Hello beautiful people, ConnectNigeria is hosting a Marketplace for this Saturday, 27th of August 2016. One of the awesome things about summer time is all the really cool marketplace we get to attend. Why is this awesome? Let’s analyse it… [/dropcap]
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Highlights from the 3rd Market Place Pop Up

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”] Hello beautiful people, did you miss the 3rd edition of the Market  Place Pop Up organized by The Market Place NG? Don’t worry, as usual we have anticipated your needs and written a highlight of the event just for you.
Many thanks to our partner, Trade Nigeria, for the amazing pictures from the event. Come on, let’s relive the amazing day filled with fun… [/dropcap]
Continue reading


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