14 Tips for Trade Show Exhibitors

Jacaero MRO Europe

💡 In this guide, you will discover 14 essential tips for trade show exhibitors.

Trade shows are an opportunity for companies, large and small, to showcase their latest products and services. Lucrative business deals can come out of these fairs, so it’s important to take full advantage of them. Leveling up to the sharks of your industry can be quite a challenge, especially for first-time exhibitors. Here are the 14 trade show exhibitor tips that will help you make your next trade show a smashing success. Remember that even minor details are of utmost importance for trade shows, and your success is directly related to your efforts.

❗ Here are our trade show attendee tips.

Our 14 Best Trade Show Exhibitor Tips

Tip 1: Know your objectives.

You need to ask yourself one question before you start planning to go to a trade show: does it help meet your business goals? As they say, failing to plan is planning to fail. What are your goals for this trade show? Are you trying to capture future customers’ attention, boost sales, or create brand awareness? Your goal should influence your marketing method. 

Start by making a list of all of your requirements. Trade shows are very costly; from luring consumers with contest prizes to paying trade show booth staff, you’re definitely going to feel a pinch in your wallet. Create a detailed budget to ensure a smooth show and to avoid unexpected costs.

❗ Make sure to check our article on how to have a successful trade booth.

Tip 2: Hunt for a suitable trade show.

In the US alone, roughly 13,000 trade shows happen yearly. So, in-depth research on the type of trade show that will suit your business is vital. Get to know the general demographics of a show’s usual attendees – how many of them are your target audience?

Compare shows based on the level of competition, approximate attendance, media coverage, the dates of the fair, how long it should last, and the location to find the trade show that will give you the best results. 

Remember that competition is a great way to gauge your business’s position. Try to find out what benefits other companies reaped from your chosen trade show. Keep in mind that business is all about risk-taking; while you can do your research and come prepared, it’s impossible to know exactly how much a trade show might bring in.

ROLLER IAAPA 2021
ROLLER IAAPA 2021

❗ Check the list of trade shows in Dallas and Las Vegas trade shows

Tip 3: Secure an apt booth location.

While this might seem like the most obvious of our trade show success tips, booth location is essential for a successful trade show. A good location magnifies your brand and helps you attract your target audience. You don’t want to be the booth jammed in the furthest corner of the event hall; go through the layout of the trade show floor in advance and book a slot while ensuring you are easily accessible to visitors and likely to get high traffic. 

The earlier you book, the better! Afterward, know what items are provided and what you have to bring yourself, like tables or flooring. Don’t forget to ask the organizers about potential costs such as electricity, wi-fi, or insurance.

❗ Here is our guide on how to build a trade show booth.

Tip 4: Be on top of logistics.

There are a lot of different factors that go into running a trade show booth, and being on top of them all is crucial for ensuring that your trade show experience goes off without a hitch. Make sure that any of the supplies that you’re not directly travelling with, such as rented booths and equipment, will arrive early enough that they’ll be there when you’re ready to set up. Double check your inventory and ensure that all of your employees are ready for the show.

Tip 5: Put your best foot forward with your display.

Imagery is vital in creating a good impression with attendees; this is one of the trade show exhibitor tips that we can’t stress the importance of enough. Make sure that you’re using your best materials in your design – this isn’t the time to bring the standing poster that wobbles or the posters that don’t match. 

Put yourself in customers’ shoes and figure out what will catch their eye. Have you ever come across a crowd of people? Unless you’re in the middle of an emergency, you probably want to find out what the buzz is about! Use a mix of great graphics, good conversation, and lures like giveaways to get people to your booth.

❗ Don’t miss our trade show booth design tips

Tip 6: Collaborate with similar businesses.

No business is an island. Once you find fellow exhibitors with your exact target audience, it may be time for collaborations! Of course we’re not talking about your direct competition – rather, seek out those who compliment your services and products. Sharing trade leads and contacts in business can come in handy and boost your return on investments.

Preetygang
Preetygang Trade Booth

Tip 7: Get that hashtag moving!

Social media advertising is a vital tool for any business. We have so many social media platforms at our disposal, perfect for spreading the word about your business. With your team’s help, come up with catchy hashtags that have the potential to go viral. Remember that your competitors will also do this; make sure you come up with memorable, funny, and unique phrases that will likely evoke interest.

Tip 8: Offer promotional giveaways.

There is nothing as sweet as free goods and services; that’s why this strategy makes its way into the upper echelons of our trade show success tips. To bring in some excitement, introduce games like spinning the wheel, where participants are gifted trinkets, stickers, or wearables like caps or t-shirts.

The ability to attract more attendees while getting them to put on your promo products brings traffic your way. Also, ensure to display your products in a manner in which attendees can easily interact with them. 

❗ Don’t miss our trade show giveaway ideas.

Tip 9: Organize pre-trade show meetings.

There is always a possibility that attendees may not come to your booth, especially if you didn’t take time to meet them prior. One of our most important trade show booth success tips is to meet your most promising potential clients a few weeks before the trade show.

Face-to-face communication is essential for network building. The trick is letting them do most of the talking; ask them questions about themselves to break the ice and keep the conversation going.

Remember to always keep a record of the contact information that you receive from attendees for any trade show you organize; they’re incredibly valuable for future shows.

Tip 10: Ensure the booth is approachable.

Once the trade booth is set up, don’t just sit and cross your arms. Instead, your employees should engage with attendees. If you don’t, someone else will take the opportunity. This strategy requires at least two employees, but the optimum number will depend on how large your booth is and how busy the show will be.

For the best results, keep the newbies at home and showcase your most exemplary employees – the ones that are knowledgeable, passionate, and experienced in handling and informing about your products or services. 

One of our main trade show booth success tips that’s an industry secret is keeping a hospitable booth. You might put out coffee or tea, cookies, and comfortable seats to introduce a welcome feel to the booth and market yourselves as an oasis amongst the busy atmosphere of a trade show.

❗ Check our list of trade show best practices

Tip 11: Anticipate your likely return on investment.

Knowing your potential return on investment (ROI) is crucial; leaving things to chance can be incredibly costly. If this is your first time exhibiting, you’re probably wondering where to start from, and that’s normal. 

Measure your success by identifying the marketing techniques that you used and how effective they were. It will help give you an idea of what to do for your next trade show. One of our best trade show booth success tips is visiting other trade show booths to find out what they are doing differently – you might just learn something that will skyrocket your own sales!

Tip 12: Note down essential details about attendees.

Trade shows are a great opportunity to collect business cards from other professionals.  However, ending up with multiple business cards may not mean much. On the back of each card, include more information. For instance, were they interested in the product or service, or were they looking to create a business relationship with the company? It also helps during follow-up phone calls or sending emails as a way to start up conversations.

❗ Here is our guide on what to wear to a trade show

Tip 13: Keep updating attendee’s contacts for a follow-up.

Before calling it a day, staff should update a document that contains a master list of attendees and their contact details. It should happen every single day! Companies usually contact attendees after the show to follow up.

To create a lasting relationship, doing it sooner is better than two weeks after the trade show is old news, and they can’t remember.  Networking is crucial in the business world. Consider hosting a post-show event, with attendees, your competition, and industry leaders. Finding a good speaker is best, and everything should be classy, from the layout to the services offered! 

Tip 14: Time for reflection

You may or may not meet your expectations, and that’s okay. Don’t focus on what you didn’t achieve. Instead, lay out your strengths and weaknesses. Compare what you did on all the days and what seemed to attract customers more. It will help in the next trade show, and a bigger slice of cake may be yours for the taking.

Why exhibit at a trade show? Check our guide to learn the reasons why.

Conclusion

Arming yourself with the 14 trade show exhibitor tips above is a staircase to the industry’s top exhibitions. Measuring up to the companies that have existed for ages is challenging but possible. With determination and zeal, you could be the one to command the future of your industry.

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