The Polite Way To Decline All The Offers At Expo Booths

Our etiquette expert shares how to navigate a race expo and politely say 'no' if you don't plan on leaving with extra gear.

Etiquette expert Lizzie Post, great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post, knows a thing or two about the rules of the road—and the descendant of the famous decorum diva is a runner too!

Q: When I go to a race expo, there’s always someone trying to sell me something I don’t want. How can I say no?

For some athletes, race expos are a great way to explore new products and services. If you’re not good at disengaging from sale offers, it’s probably best if you try to avoid engagement from the get-go. I know each race expo is set up differently, but can you simply stay away from the promotional gauntlet? Walk behind the vendor stalls or in the center of the aisle so you’re not being pulled to one side or the other.

If pressed, say: “Not today, but thank you.” This is direct without being rude and few vendors will push if they get a “not interested” vibe. Other strategies are to practice saying no at home, or engage a race buddy to be your wingman and keep you moving along.

Have a question for Lizzie? Email or tweet @WomensRunning with the hashtag #ProperForm.