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Exhibitor Etiquette: Don’t “Doc Block” and More Unspoken Rules of the Exhibit Hall Floor
Sarah and I have had the opportunity to be on-site at several conferences recently. While we were in Columbus, OH for the Ohio Foot and Ankle Scientific Seminar, we were chatting with a fellow exhibitor. As we were talking, an attendee started to walk in the direction of the booth.
As exhibitors, we are always conscious of what is going on around us. We never want a personal – or even business – conversation to get in the way of a potential customer approaching your booth. We refer to this as “doc-blocking.”
In addition to doc-blocking, there are a few other exhibitor etiquette unspoken rules we want to share:
Don’t approach an attendee, even if it’s someone you are friends with and haven’t seen in a while, while they are at someone else’s booth. That’s called stealing, friends.
Don’t talk crap about your competitors on the floor. It looks bad and you have plenty of other things to talk about. Plus, you’re doing them a favor by spending your valuable time talking about them when you should be asking the DPM what his/her needs are and how you can service them.
Don’t be a Debbie-Downer to your neighbors. Stay away from conversations that begin with “this show sucks.”
If you have food and beverage, share with your neighbors (especially if it’s alcohol.)
Make friends with your neighbors so they will watch your booth for you if you have to step away. They might even share their electricity. If you really hit it off, they might send DPMs to your booth when they’re done chatting them up, especially if they know your product/service is something of value.
Don’t stand in the middle of the aisle and hand out samples or flyers like you’re a lotion booth in the mall. No one likes that guy and it keeps DPMs from coming into the exhibit hall if they feel like they will be solicited to no end.
In general, just be nice to the people around you and be aware of what’s happening around you. Finally, have fun and get your neighbors to have fun with you!