Your First Trade Show? - Five Basics You'll Need

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 - 1:46pm

Like the impact you'll want to make at the trade show - let's get right to the point. Trade shows can be very beneficial for companies that sell to other business or to consumers. While there are numerous expenses and preparations involved in a trade show presence, the rewards are worth the effort.

This is a chance to showcase your company's products and it needs to go well. Here are five things, in no particular order, you will want to do for everything to go smoothly.

  1. Scope out your space. There can be obstacles in the way such as poles and you will need to know about any electrical boxes. The show agent can give you a plan of the space. When planning the layout think of how those who are passing by will be able to see and view the products you are selling. Pop up displays really catch the eye of people passing by. Along with the layout it will be necessary to allow space for visitors and your sales people to walk around comfortably. Don't forget the right lighting for your sales staff. Oh, and seats.
  2. Pre-print. Get your brochures and catalogs designed and printed and exactly how you want them to look as early as possible. Pop up displays need to be ordered for your booth now as well. These can really bring in customers. Bonus - They can be used over and over again at future trade shows so get it right the first time.
  3. Prepare advertising and invitations. How will you let people know that you are at the show? The show itself will do some advertising. Some industrial journals do special issues for the show. This is a great way to advertise to a targeted audience. If you are going to send special invitations for the show be sure to send them in time for the invitees to make their own plans.
  4. List of lists. Make a list of everything else you will need for the show. Pens, order books, notepads, water and cleaning supplies are some of the things to think about. Another thing to plan for at this stage is packing up when the show is over. Small hand tools and any other items necessary for the set-up of your display need to be available.
  5. Freebies. Hand outs and freebies are a GREAT attraction and can really help start the conversation. Have something small, easy to carry and memorable. Practical items that people will use keep your company name in front of them for a long time.

It comes down to, when getting ready for your first trade show be sure to keep track of all the little stuff.  

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