Did you know that there is a universal trade show language, and, almost everyone of you reading this knows how to speak it, even though you, perhaps, don’t recognize it as such?

Regardless of language or culture, we learn this communication style at a very early age, but often tend to forget it as we grow older.

You’ve probably guessed that I’m referring to the language of “smiling.” A language we so admire in kids, who just know how to beam from ear to ear to show their pure joy.

On the trade show floor, there are many gestures that communicate a host of different gestures both positive and negative. Some are offensive, and some misunderstood. However, a smile speaks to, almost everyone, as a sign of friendliness, and approachability.

Plus, it’s been said that speaking the “smiling” language is good for your health.

Here are three reasons why you should practice this simple, easy, yet highly effective, communication tool on the show floor:

1.  Smiling makes you more approachable.
When you smile, you attract people to you.  This attraction factor acts like a magnet. People do business with people they like and they trust.  Being approachable is the first step to encourage this relationship. Grimaces that show your lack of enthusiasm, or interest for being at the show, are more likely to repel prospects rather than attract them to you — but a smile draws them in.
Plus, smiling people come across as being more confident. Check out the difference in the way people react to you when you smile, rather than frown.

2.  Smiling is a mood changer.

Often, the long show hours, the stale show floor air, and the slow traffic, can make you feel down, and depressed. Put a smile on your face, and there’s a high probability your mood will make a shift for the better. It’ll help you stay positive, and add some energy when you most need it. It’s been said that smiling can trick the body into helping you change your mood.  Plus, any time you’re feeling a little stressed on the show floor, smile and you’ll be amazed at how this little “pick me up” works.  Give it a try next time you feel a little down or stressed.

3. Smiling is catching.

When you smile, there’s a strong chance that you make others do the same.  Just think of the last time you “coo-cooed” at a baby, they smiled at you, and you probably returned the compliment. When you smile, you lighten up the environment, change people’s moods, and set the “likeability factor” into action.

According to my good friend, and colleague, Rick Segel, the retail guru, “logic makes us shop BUT emotions make us buy. Many times, the biggest thing that differentiates one business from another is the “likeability factor.” We are in the people business. Customers don’t buy logically; they buy emotionally.”

Smiling speaks to that. But, don’t take my word for it, give it a try.

Written by Susan A. Friedmann, CSP, The Tradeshow Coach, Lake Placid, NY, internationally recognized expert working with companies to increase their profitability at tradeshows. Author: “Riches in Niches: How to Make it BIG in a small Market” and “Meeting & Event Planning for Dummies.” www.thetradeshowcoach.com & www.richesinniches.com