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Tradeshow 101 | Redirect Your Exhibit Investment Toward What Works

With tradeshow season winding down for the summer, we’ve reached an opportune time to review effective tradeshow practices. Forgive me if some seem rather obvious; however, many are routinely overlooked by exhibitors who, as a result, may not be getting the maximum benefit from their tradeshow investment.


Show Planning

Exhibitors should map out the essentials months in advance of the show. This includes everything from ordering swag to selecting personnel who will man the booth. While the former may or may not boost your visibility, the latter is key to your success. The people at your booth represent your company and reinforce your brand. They should be skilled communicators, and knowledgeable about your products and services. Remember – the whole purpose of exhibiting is getting priceless face-time with customers and prospects. If you aren’t prepared for that, don’t bother going; just throw your money at ads instead.


Booth Layout

I can’t stress enough that the purpose of exhibiting at a tradeshow is to personally engage a targeted group of customers and prospects who have all gathered in one spot for this purpose. So, why block access to them with a long table? Why let them passively parade by your booth and scoop up brochures (which 99 percent of them will toss when they get home)? When ordering your booth space/carpet/electrical, tell the organizer you want to skip the table; instead, use a podium/shipping case, such as the ones included in pop-up display kits. The podium tops have plenty of room for a laptop and some business cards. If you want to set out brochures, use a space-saving literature rack rather than spreading them across a long table. You want people in your booth talking with you!


Dress for Success

Anyone who has ever attended a tradeshow knows what hours of standing and walking on a cement floor can do to your feet and lower back. The biggest favor you can do for yourself is to wear comfortable (and yet professional) shoes. Next, those manning the booth should dress professionally or in whatever manner suits the audience. No one wants to wear a three-piece suit to a hardware show, right? Make sure your badge is clearly visible so that attendees can address you by name.


I’ll have more best practices to help you get the most ROI from your exhibit investment in upcoming blogs. Meanwhile, visit us to learn more effective tradeshow practices.



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About Joan Weis