Tips For Picking Your Next Trade Show

Selecting the right trade show for your business isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Check out some of the ways you can be sure your next trade show is a perfect fit.

Let’s face it. You aren’t going to be able to exhibit at every trade show that pops up across the country. Each show is an investment of time and resources, and you absolutely need to be getting the most out of each show. There are plenty of ways you can improve your booth or staff, but what about the trade shows themselves? Not all trade shows are created equal, and sometimes a show that looks promising may not yield the ROI you’re expecting. You never want to get burned on a show that you thought was a sure thing, so we’ve brought you some ideas for picking out the best shows for your company.

Tips For Picking Your Next Trade Show

Make Some Rules—And Stick To Them

The only way you are going to narrow down your list of potential shows is by setting down some basic guidelines. Ask yourself what you want to gain from your next trade show, write it down, and keep it handy. If a show doesn’t meet your criteria, then forget it and move on to the next one.
So what guidelines should you be using to select your show? Well, there are several things you should consider when looking at shows.

Who is going to be there? Just because a show has a large number of attendees, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should be exhibiting there. Think quality over quantity. Are the attendees at this potential show going to be decision makers, or lower level employees being sent to the show?

Geographical location. Are you trying to move into a new market, or increase sales in your own backyard? The location of a trade show will play a large part in where many of the attendees are from.

Is the event well promoted by the organizer? You are putting time and money into exhibiting at these shows, and the trade show’s promoter should match your effort. If the show is being marketed poorly, then you may want to move on down the list to another trade show.


Before It’s Final

So you’ve narrowed down your list of trade shows using the criteria you have established, but you still have a little work to do before you commit to the show. The show may look good on paper, but take some time to get in contact with people who can confirm that this is the right show for you. Of course, you’ll want to contact the trade show’s management and get information straight from the source, but you should also talk to past exhibitors and attendees. The show’s managers probably won’t lie to you, but getting a second opinion can’t hurt. Find out how useful the show was for past exhibitors, as well as attendees. You may just learn something useful going forward.

Lastly, attend the show yourself, if possible. Having firsthand knowledge of a show will make your decision making process much easier.

Remember, each trade show is an excellent opportunity to find leads and expand your brand. The choice of a trade show is an important one, so take your time and find the best one for your business.

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How To Make Your Brand The Focus Of Your Trade Show Booth

Guidelines to get your company the most visibility from your trade show booth.

There really aren’t many better ways than a trade show to get your business in the spotlight that it deserves. The constant traffic and eyes on your booth are invaluable to widening your brand’s audience. Attendees that stop by your booth may be potential leads for sales, but they are also developing a mental image of your company from what they see at your booth. This is why it is so important for your booth to project exactly what you want your business to be known for. Take a look at some of the tips we’ve provided, and you can be confident that your company’s brand is being showcased properly.


Keep It Simple

After allowing for space limitations, the design of your booth is completely up to you. However, keep in mind that people passing by are being bombarded by visuals all around them. Singling out one booth, let alone one graphic or poster is being made more complex by the many booths they are walking past. Each booth, graphic, or media demands a little bit of their attention. You may run into trouble if your booth is covered in information that takes longer than a glance to decipher. Stick to showing off the most important aspects of what makes your business so special. Remember, you still have a staff to give more in-depth explanations to potential leads. Let your booth do what it does best—attract attendees. Then let your staff handle their end of business.


Be The Booth

Take a little time and think about the overall layout of your booth. If you’re exhibiting at a  show with smaller spaces, then you may not have as much room to work with. Still, booth design can go a long way towards portraying your business in the way that you want. Does your business include cutting edge technology? Then consider a sleek and minimalist design that exudes speed and competence. The physical design of your booth can say just as much about you company as the graphics and information that you use. A sales pitch may be even more impressive if it’s delivered within the confines of a well-designed booth that echoes what your staff is telling a potential lead.


Dress Well, Test Well

We mentioned that your staff is just as important as your booth, and you should do your best not to forget that. The employees working your booth are also representing your company and your brand. It goes without saying that they should be knowledgeable and friendly, but make sure you have them dress the part, as well. You don’t need them to be in evening attire (unless that’s the vibe you’re trying to put out), but a good-looking polo with a small, embroidered logo isn’t a bad idea. There are plenty of looks that fall in between a full suit and a t-shirt, so go with one that you feel best fits your business.


Practically everything that goes into a trade show booth reflects your company in some way. So put your best foot forward, and be sure the image you are cultivating is one that showcases exactly what you want your business to be known for.

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3 Ways To Stand Out From The Crowd At Your Next Trade Show

Check out some tried and true ways to separate your trade show booth from the rest of the competition.

Trade shows are great opportunities for showcasing your company’s brand to potential customers. Each trade show is a chance for you to get more eyes on your business and product. This being the case, you want to find ways for your trade show booth to get the attention it deserves. Try some of these ideas at your next event, and you won’t be disappointed with the results.

3 Ways To Stand Out From The Crowd At Your Next Trade Show


Get Cozy

Setting up and manning a trade show booth can be an exhausting task for you and your employees, but did you ever think that it could be a tiring time for attendees, as well? It might be worth it to set up a space that gives attendees somewhere to sit and relax, even for just a few minutes. Some comfortable chairs, refreshments, and maybe some reading material about your business could be a welcome stop for many trade show attendees. No one wants to be on their feet all day, so why not have space available for R&R? At the very least, potential customers are going to remember your booth, and now you have an easy way to talk and engage with them.


Show It If You’ve Got It

Sometimes a company has an excellent product and an unbeatable track record, but you would never know it from their trade show booth. Just because you know that your business is great at what it does, that doesn’t mean people will automatically stop at your booth. In fact, unless you put the same level of attention into your booth as you do your business, there isn’t going to be any reason for attendees to stop by. Your staff may be primed and ready with a sales pitch, but they can’t make a passerby stop without any help. Make sure your display is informative without overloading on information. An eye-catching booth will go a long way to help you get the foot traffic you want.


Use Social Media

You are going to find yourself at a distinct disadvantage if you don’t make the most of your social media platforms. Pre-show marketing on social media is an easy way to build a buzz around your brand. Let attendees know what is going on at your booth, and when to be there for contests or other giveaways. Live tweet during the show to stay on the radar of potential customers. It might seem small, but that reminder about your booth might just be the reason they stop by.

Show off your products and business on social media, but also do your best to come off as personable. People respond better to social media campaigns when they can tell that there is a real person behind the account. List off contest winners and prizes, but also think about doing a Q&A session or interacting with individual attendees online. This simply shows that your company cares about their business and that they aren’t just a number.


If your business is good at what it does, then you need to carry that over to your trade show booth. There’s no reason your booth shouldn’t be as smart and innovative as your company.

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4 Great Ways To Increase Traffic At Your Trade Show Booth

Learn how some simple changes can mean a lot more eyes on your booth and your business.

Each trade show can be different from the last, but one thing that doesn’t change is your basic goal. You want potential customers coming towards your booth, and not just giving it a look as they walk past. You need ways to generate leads, but getting more foot traffic flowing towards your booth isn’t always the easiest task. Take a look at some of the ways you can draw more attendees to your booth, and make your trade show a success.

4 Great Ways To Increase Traffic At Your Trade Show Booth

1.      Eye-Catching Graphics

In most cases, the people walking by your booth are going to make their decision about stopping within seconds. If your graphics don’t stand out, you can almost guarantee a lower rate of attendees stopping by your booth. So give them something that will grab their attention in those precious first seconds. Your design is up to you, but it should follow a couple tried and true rules.


  • Less is more — You don’t need to put up every bit of information about your company on your graphics. Too many words, colors, or images can drive away potential customers, rather than intriguing them.


  • Say What You Need To Say — So don’t go overboard on your graphics, but be sure you are showing attendees what they need to get a basic understanding of your business. Potential customers won’t want to stop by if they can’t decipher what it is your company actually does.


2.      An Engaging Staff

For some people, the thought of standing at a booth and talking with strangers all day is a nightmare. Understand who you have staffing your booth, and do your best to find employees that are outgoing and engaging. People have different strengths, and working a trade show booth isn’t for everyone. Having an energetic staff will absolutely help to draw more people towards your trade show booth.


3.      Find The Right Giveaway

Let’s be honest, no one needs another key chain or cheap pen. If you are going to do a giveaway, try to put some thought into what you are investing in. Whatever you choose, just be sure that it will have some value to the person receiving it. Otherwise you’re spending money on something that will just end up in the trash or forgotten in a drawer. Make it unique and useful, and you’re sure to see more attendees stopping at your booth.


4.      Look At Your Lighting

Each convention hall is going to be different, and something that often goes overlooked is the lighting that your booth will receive. Don’t settle for whatever lighting your booth may happen to get. Having your own lighting adds some flair to your booth, and it will help illuminate the graphics we mentioned earlier. Putting up your own lighting is an easy step that will help ensure you are getting eyes on your booth during your next trade show.


With all the time and effort that goes into a trade show booth, you don’t want to miss out on potential leads because of few easily fixable problems. Sometimes a few simple changes can be all you need to boost your booth’s results.


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How To Make A Small Trade Show Display Work For You

Whether you’re going into your first trade show, or are simply limited in the space you can use, check out these tips on making the most out of your display.

It’s easy to get caught up thinking that bigger is always better. A larger booth does have its advantages, but there are quite a few areas where a smaller trade show booth can be just as effective as its larger counterpart. You don’t need to break the bank on an imposing display to get the ROI that you’re looking for from your next trade show. Let’s take a look at some of the ways a smaller booth can be just as efficient.


10 x 10 Jet Truss Display System


One of the main benefits of a smaller booth is that the lower cost allows you to spend more on other aspects of your trade show strategy. Your booth is only as effective as the marketing behind it. If you have more money in your budget, consider using it to enhance your promotions and outreach before and during the show. A great promotional giveaway can increase traffic to your booth, regardless of the size. Spending some time and money on an aggressive marketing campaign will help make up for any perceived losses from a smaller booth.

You also don’t want to find yourself paying for the space for a big booth, only to find that the trade show has a lower attendance than you expected. Do your homework on your next trade show and figure out what kind of attendance you can expect.



Ask yourself if there is a real need for a massive booth that takes up your allotted space. Does that amount of space have a function, or does it only serve to show attendees that you can put up a big trade show booth? A big booth can come off as impersonal without an appropriate amount of staff and content to fill it. You want potential leads to feel like your company cares about them on an individual basis. A personal touch can do just as much for lead generation as a huge trade show booth.

A smaller booth is also more versatile for repeated uses. Not every convention hall is going to allot you the space for a giant booth, and having a trade show booth that works well in many locations can be a great advantage for your business.



A smaller booth may not have the same visual power attached to it as a much larger booth, but as they say, time is money—and a smaller booth takes much less time to set up and take down. Pop up displays can be moved without any special type of transport. Fitting them in a car or SUV is easy, and leaves you with one less thing to worry about. Use this time to network and market your booth appropriately. You can also focus more time and effort into the graphics on your display.


If you have the budget and space for a bigger booth, than by all means, look into your options. But you shouldn’t write off a smaller booth because you’re worried that you won’t be able to compete with the large booths at your next trade show.

Posted in Banner Stands/Displays, Events, Exhibiting, Graphics, Literature Displays, Marketing, Panel Displays, Podiums and Counters, Pop up Displays, Portable Displays, Table Covers/Table Throws, Table Top Displays, Trade Show Displays, Trade Show Tips, Truss Displays | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

5 Reasons To Leave A Trade Show

Just because a trade show worked well for you in the past, that doesn’t mean you have to keep exhibiting there forever.

Sometimes finding a new trade show that fits your needs can be challenging, but using this as an excuse to stick with a show that isn’t doing much for your business is only going to hurt you in the long run. It’s very possible that a show you’ve been exhibiting at for years just isn’t the right fit for your business anymore. Here are some reasons that you might want to consider waving goodbye to an old trade show.


Decreasing ROI

Sure, you may have had success with this show in the past, but keep an eye on what you are getting from it now. If your ROI has been low for a few years, you either need to take a close look at your exhibit booth, or the trade show itself. Many times there is something that you can do to kick start your booth, but in some cases it’s just time to look for a new trade show.


Rising Costs

You might feel like you are getting a good amount of leads from your trade show, but how much is it setting you back in costs? Yes, the show is benefiting you, but you need to weigh that against the total cost—in time and money. A trade show that keeps increasing its prices faster than inflation is a trade show you’ll want to think about ditching. Don’t get caught paying for something that isn’t really worth it in the long run.


Poor Marketing and Promotion

Social media now plays a much bigger role in any successful company’s strategy, and your trade show should know that. Any trade show should be utilizing social media and promotions to get attendees into the hall. Every business has to change with the times, and this goes for trade shows as well. If your show isn’t doing everything it can to increase attendance, you may want to start looking elsewhere.


Low Attendance or the Wrong Attendees

This trade show may have started with a large number of your target attendees, but things can change quickly, and a smaller number of the right attendees means you won’t be generating as many leads. Also, you may find that the trade show you are at just isn’t attracting your buyers. There’s nothing wrong with making a change if you realize that your potential customers have moved to other shows. Ask the show’s owners for a list of attendees that indicates the right people are showing up to your trade show.


Lack of Enthusiasm

A big warning sign about a show can be your own level of excitement for the exhibition. A trade show is an excellent opportunity to generate leads, network, and see what your competition is up to. If you feel like you’re just going through the motions, then you may want to take a step back and reevaluate what this trade show is really doing for your company.


Do these remind you of any of the shows on your schedule? Then you may want to think about shifting your resources to shows that give you a better opportunity to make good on your investment. Don’t let the wrong show hurt your trade show booth!


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How To Make Giveaways and Contests Work For Your Trade Show Booth

Contests and giveaways can help increase traffic at your next trade show, but you need to know what works and what doesn’t.

It’s been said, everyone likes free stuff, and while that may be true to a certain extent, what really matters is what is being given away. A cheap pen with a company’s name on it is certainly not going to excite someone walking by a trade show booth. There’s no reason to spend money on promotions or giveaways if you don’t see any results from them. So let’s take a look at some of the ways you can get the most out of your next promotion.

tradeshow giveaways.fw

“Is this useful?”

That’s the question you need to ask yourself before deciding on a giveaway for your next trade show. Can you reasonably expect someone to use this item and get some mileage out of it? If not, you may want to rethink the item that you are giving away.  Think of the difference between a promotional brochure and a calendar. The brochure may get looked over and then stuck in a drawer or wind up in the recycling bin. An item like a calendar is useful, and a potential customer may wind up looking at it nearly every day. The same goes for coffee mugs and reusable drinking cups and thermoses. Your giveaway will have a greater impact if it can be incorporated into a potential customer’s daily routine.


“Is this a quality item, or just a piece of plastic?” 

We’ve already mentioned cheap pens, but sometimes the line between a good and bad giveaway is pretty fine. A cheap, plastic pen? Not ideal. But a quality, engraved pen? A potential customer may end up using that for quite a while. Think about what the quality of your giveaway says about your company. You don’t want trade show attendees to associate your business with something cheap and boring.


Entering attendees into a raffle is a great way to get contacts and generate leads, and the same strategies apply to any raffles or contests you may be holding during your next trade show. Your goal is finding potential leads, but you should also put some serious thought into what you use as a prize. You might find that what worked well for one trade show might not have the same appeal at another event with a different demographic. Ask yourself what value that prize will have to attendees, as well as what relevance it has to your business. Choose a prize that people will want, but do your best to find something that reflects your company’s message.


Lastly, you should avoid doing any promotions of giveaways if you don’t have a specific reason for doing them. Generic promotions that attendees see at every show don’t help you stand out from the crowd. You need to reevaluate your strategy if you realize you’re only doing a giveaway because everyone else is. If you want to people to remember your business or product, then your promotion should be a unique reflection of your company’s message.


Finding the right promotion for your next trade show may be time consuming, but the potential ROI is something that you can’t afford to miss out on.


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6 Ways To Get Results From Your Next Trade Show

Use these tips to improve your trade show performance and get the most out of your next show.

Your trade show booth is an investment in time, energy, and money. The more you put in, the more you should be getting out of your investment. But what if you aren’t quite seeing the results that you’re hoping for after each show? You might need to reevaluate some of your strategy. That doesn’t mean change everything, but taking another look at your trade show booth could benefit you at your next show. Below are a few tips that can help boost your ROI from your next exhibit.


Businessman drawing ROI (return on investment)

Before The Show

  • Set a realistic budget and goals. This may seem like a no-brainer, but measuring the success of a trade show is a lot harder if you don’t have objectives that you can look back on and evaluate. Did your booth and staff generate the number of quality leads that you had hoped? How much traffic did your booth attract, and was there a noticeable difference between your trade show booth and your competitors’ booths? Having this information available will let you make an informed decision about any changes to your booth or staff.
  • Take a second look at your booth. Is it still in good condition? Could it benefit from an upgrade or a different style? The booth is the first thing that catches an attendee’s eye. A small investment in the quality of your booth can end up paying dividends after your next show. You may have an incredible staff, but give them the tools they need to draw in leads.
  • Use social media to your advantage. You don’t have to go overboard promoting yourself, but you should have a noticeable social media presence before exhibiting. Let your followers know where your booth will be located inside the hall, as well as any promotions or giveaways you’re doing. You already have a leg up if a potential customer walks into the building looking for your trade show booth.


During The Show

  • Make time to get your staff together and have a conversation at different points during the day. Express what you want to accomplish, make sure everyone is on the same page, and listen to any feedback they may have. Keeping up to date on what is going one ensures you can have a quick and smart solution if a problem arises or a change needs to be made.


After The Show

  • Stand back and take measure of your performance during the show. Check back to your original objectives and set them side by side with the results from your trade show. Knowing that you excelled in one area, but may need some work in another is instrumental to developing a trade show plan that gets results.
  • Follow up on your leads. Believe it or not, most trade show inquiries are not pursued. You don’t want to lose potential customers simply because your company didn’t contact them in a timely manner. You’ve worked hard on your booth, and you wouldn’t want that hard work go to waste after the show.



Trade shows are still an excellent opportunity to market your company and build your customer base, and a well run booth will accomplish both of these objectives.


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Trade Show Booth Design Do’s and Don’ts

Our tips on what works and what doesn’t work will help you with the overall design of your trade show booth.

There are plenty of things to think about when trying to make your next trade show exhibit a success. You need a great staff, proper planning, and good follow up work if you want to capitalize on the opportunity that a trade show provides. These are all easy ways to maximize your ROI, but one thing you absolutely cannot forget about is the overall appearance of your booth. First impressions can be deal makers or breakers in a crowded convention hall. If you want to have a successful trade show, you can’t neglect any aspect of your booth. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to help you craft the perfect booth for your next show.

Helpful tips for your trade show booth


Use materials that fit your company’s image. If your company is pushing new technology and innovation, you may want a sleeker design that incorporates less material. Even the color scheme that you choose for your booth can have a big impact on how people perceive your company and their product.


Have a cohesive look and feel to your booth. There shouldn’t be any part of your booth that looks forced, or like it doesn’t belong with the rest of the booth. A smooth, clean feel to your booth projects a clear image that attendees will pick up on immediately. Take the time to look at your booth and be honest with yourself. Does this booth send the message that I want potential customers to see?


Use lighting to your advantage. This is something you can easily do that will help your trade show booth tremendously. Sometimes the lighting in your venue just won’t be up to par. Be sure you have your own lights that put your booth in the spotlight.



Have anything in your booth design that doesn’t fit the message you are trying to send. Yes, you may not want to spend money on new banners or graphics, but if you are going to make a change in your booth display, you should go all out. Don’t keep old pieces of your booth if they don’t gel with the new image you are trying to project. Your booth will end up looking like it was thrown together, no matter how much hard work you put into the setup.


Have an unclear message. There are a lot of ways this can happen if you aren’t careful with the design of your booth. Your booth should project one, clear message. Attendees are going to pass by your booth if they can’t figure out your product or service within a few seconds. You are at an immediate advantage if potential customers know exactly what you are all about with just a glance. Attendees shouldn’t have to work to understand your business; your booth should do all that for them. Keep your message simple and straightforward, and you will see higher traffic at your next trade show.


So much goes into a successful trade show, but at the end of the day the appearance of your booth is going to determine who stops and finds out exactly what your company has to offer them.


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Technologies You Should Be Using In Your Trade Show Booth

Take a look at some different ways you can use technology to enhance your trade show booth and produce more solid leads at events.

Technology is advancing at an incredible rate, and your business needs to be using these advances to get the most out of your trade show booth. From tablets and monitors to social media, there are multitudes of different ways you can use technology to get a leg up on your competitors at events. It might be tempting to keep doing what’s always worked before, but you risk getting left behind if you don’t move with the times. Here are just a few ways you can incorporate technology into your trade show booth.

Use tablet or smart phones to help you take notes at tradeshhows

Tablets and Smartphones

Let’s say you’ve had a pretty successful day at your latest trade show. You’ve been getting the contact information for plenty of leads, and you’re all set to follow up. The only problem is the poor handwriting that is showing up all over your contact sheet. You won’t be able to follow up if you can’t decipher the contact information you’ve been given. So instead of guessing at poor handwriting, try using a smartphone to take a picture of a customer’s business card, or have them type in their information on a tablet. There’s no reason to let poor penmanship cost you the loss of a potential lead.


Video Monitors

You probably already have an eye catching trade show booth, but putting up a video of your product or service can take it to the next level. If you are considering a video loop for your booth, just make sure it is professional and concise. Catchy music, colorful images, and even customer testimonials can do wonders at turning heads. If the options are between a booth with a poster and one with a video, which one do you think will get the most traffic?


Social Media

It’s hard to overstate how important social media has become for companies in recent years. Simply put, if you aren’t using social media at events, then you’re letting customers slip through your fingers. Trade shows are great opportunities for your business to enhance it’s social media presence-before, during, and after the show. Tweet updates about your booth, post photos and product reviews on Google+ and Facebook, and encourage attendees to check in at your booth. Social media allows you to easily interact with your customers, and also quickly let them know when you have a new product or update. An active social media presence shows customers that their business is important to you.


Interactive DisplaysUse interactive displays at trade shows to help bring in visitors

A customer may enjoy watching a video about your product, but the next step is to let them interact with that product virtually. Touch screens are a fantastic way to keep potential leads entertained and informed about your product or services. Games can be used in a variety of ways, but just make sure that in the end it ties back into your product. You want attendees to remember your booth, but also your business.


You don’t have to throw away everything you’ve worked on and start from scratch to incorporate more technology into your trade show booth. However, you have plenty of new tools at your disposal, and it would be a shame not to use some of them at your next trade show.


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