Group Offerings

House Rules for Exhibitors at National Pavilions

  • Be punctual – Observe the exhibition opening hours. You never know when an important potential client may arrive. Also arrive early on the set-up date in order that the South African Pavilion can be finalized early and not at the last minute.

  • Be present on your stand – When this is not possible ask one of the Trade And Investment South Africa representatives present on the stand to man your booth for this time, to take messages and hand out your brochures/visiting cards for you.

  • Dress appropriately – The appearance of yourself and your staff is very important.
    The appearance of your staff is very important. If they are dressed in an inappropriate manner, are untidy or look as if they do not belong at a trade fair, this will certainly discourage people from wanting to discuss with your company. You have to consider the image you are trying to create? It is one of openness, professionalism, honesty, fitness, outdoors etc., and then dress accordingly. Clothing worn should be comfortable and cleanliness is of the utmost importance. Keep in mind the staff members will be standing on their feet for most of the day, and therefore comfortable shoes should be worn. Not too much jewelry should be worn as it could be off putting during a presentation, especially if it tends to jingle around one’s wrist. Hair should be neat and clean.

  • Be an ambassador – Not only for your firm but also for your country to visitors to our pavilion. Do not criticize our country to visitors. This creates a very bad image and can have adverse publicity for our country and for other exhibitors on the pavilion and perhaps lead to deals being lost, including for your firm.

  • Do not drink and eat on your stand – This creates a particularly bad image for the whole pavilion. A bar/entertainment area is provided where you may offer your guests/visitors to the stand a coffee, juice or glass of South African wine. A South African evening or cocktail party will also be organized and will offer you the opportunity to invite your guests/contacts/potential clients.

  • Be aware of your body language – Body language speaks a thousand words, and most people destroy any potential business because of unfavorable body language. The signals you give to people at an exhibition make or break a sale.

The following are useful tips on how to approach visitors:

  • Always approach a person from the Front, if this is not possible then from the side but never from behind.

  • Physical contact should be avoided. Do not shake hands unless a hand is offered to you first.

  • Never stand with your back to the entrance of the stand or aisle.

  • Allow for breaks, especially if the trade fair is not busy, this will prevent boredom, as an unenthusiastic person will chase away potential clients.

  • If standing, stand upright with your hands comfortably at your sides; never fold your arms across your chest. Posture is very important, it tells a lot about a person.

  • If sitting, then sit upright, and look busy, do not stare vacantly into space.

  • Look interested and friendly and approachable.

  • Avoid talking to fellow staff members by grouping together on a stand, this may lead people to believe that they are intruding on a private conversation.

  • If a visitor walks onto your stand, acknowledge them in a friendly manner. Do not rush up to them, allow them sometime to focus on your products and then, and only then should they be approached.

  • Greet them in a warm and friendly manner, it is a good idea, particularly if you are participating at an international trade fair to greet them in Sotho for example, this creates interest and an opening for further dialogue.

  • Always be welcoming and assertive not aggressive.

  • Do not invade someone’s personal space; keep your distance.

  • Whilst making conversation, keep eye contact throughout, this creates trust.

  • Give your full attention throughout any conversation. Do not look over the person’s shoulder or gaze aimlessly above their heads.


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