Trade shows offer businesses a chance to showcase and demonstrate their products and services, as well as an opportunity to reach different segments of the market. However, if you’re new to trade shows, you probably have a few questions about how you can have the best trade show exhibit possible. There are many steps you can take to help ensure a good show, but here are a few of the most important considerations for a trade show newbie.

  1. Do your homework. Before you head to the convention hall to set up your trade show exhibits, you need to do some background research. What will your space be like? What are the dimensions? Are there electrical hook-ups and Wi-Fi? Is the lighting good or do you need to bring more? Knowing these things in advance will allow you to bring the necessary equipment to make your trade show exhibits great, as well as make any adjustments if needed.
  2. Set up a top-notch display. Having a booth that draws people in to learn more about your company is a critical element behind a successful show.       Consider the aesthetics of your trade show display; you want one that is visually-appealing and functional. Use a mix of mediums, such as graphics and still images, video, and tangible items along with the standard informational brochures and the like. Additionally, make sure that visitors can move easily through the exhibit displays.
  3. Offer something to your visitors. Almost everyone who visits your trade show exhibit wants to walk away with something, so don’t send them off empty-handed. Offer freebies that also contain your brand information, such as pens, golf balls, or bags. You can also take it a step further by doing a giveaway with a featured product or service. Visitors can enter the contest by providing their name and contact info – which you can use to reach out to them later – and you can draw a name at the end of the trade show to determine the winner.
  4. Know your audience. Going into the trade show with a solid idea of who your target market is can help you zero in on that group and speak directly to them. For example, if you’re selling nutritional supplements, your audience will likely be fitness buffs and those interested in a healthy lifestyle. Appeal to that group by offering free samples (who doesn’t like free stuff?) and gearing any presentations toward maintaining a healthy and fit lifestyle.
  5. Send a clear message. Visitors to your trade show exhibit should know exactly what they’re getting into. Make sure your company’s pertinent information is readily available so people can quickly decide if your booth is one they want to spend more time in – saving you time and effort in the end. You also want your goals and objectives to be clear to consumers.
  6. Network with other exhibitors. Getting to know other exhibitors and exchanging information can turn into a mutually beneficial relationship. Doing this can help you expand your contact list and ultimately reach more people to grow your business.
  7. Ask for feedback. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice and feedback from visitors to your trade show displays or other exhibitors. Since this is your first time at a trade show, you’ll likely learn a great deal from this experience. It also doesn’t hurt to get tips from more experienced exhibitors and to ask what you can do to make your second trade show even better.

With these tips in mind, your first foray into trade shows can be a positive experience. Plan, plan and plan some more to make your trade show exhibits as successful as possible – but don’t forget that once the show is over, the REAL work is just beginning.