4 Smart Tips To Plan Your Next Trade Show Exhibit

One of the key elements of an effective trade show presence is your exhibition stand. If you don’t get what you need from it, your presence at an...

Trade shows are a great way to get out there and really interact with your customers face-to-face and introduce yourself to potential new clients. The industry contacts, new leads, media exposure, experience and feedback that you could gain from attending an industry exhibition is invaluable.

However, your trade show presence can be a hit or miss when it comes to various aspects including staffing, booth display, promotional items, materials and more.

One of the key elements of an effective trade show presence is your exhibition stand. If you don’t get what you need from it, your presence at an industry trade show can go unnoticed and become a costly exercise.


1. Exhibition planning is everything.

Work out what your objectives are (e.g., to meet existing customers, generate leads, or obtain product feedback, etc.) and establish how you will measure them. Once you have this is mind, it’s time to work out how your exhibition stand will work and flow to get you your results. There are some good tips here.


2. Consider various portable display sign types.

You can’t predict everything that will happen during a trade show, but with some planning, you can maximize your company’s visual impact by choosing a quality exhibition stand. 

Look at the floor plan, and see where your stand is positioned.

How do you want it to work? Do you want people to come into your exhibition stand and walk around, or is it a front facing affair where you will hand out information? Make sure people can get to you, but before that, you need to ensure they can find you!


Photo: Roller Banner Stand; Source: Mydisplays.com
Photo: Roller Banner Stand; Source: Mydisplays.com

Banner stands are portable exhibition display units that are designed to carry an eye catching graphic. Banner stands are ideal for use at trade shows and conferences since they are easy to transport and setup. For example, roller banners are a brilliantly flexible way of promoting your company; given they are self-supporting they can be put up anywhere to convey your presence clearly and positively.


3. Pay attention to banner display design.

People aren’t looking to read large blocks of text on a banner. Instead, think about images and keywords: What key terms do you want attendees to associate with your business? Keep the important branding aspects (i.e., logo, tagline, slogan, etc.) at the top of the banner, where they are clearly visible and not easily blocked by traffic. Your brand name should be large enough to be seen and recognised at a distance.


Photo: Exhibition Stand Kit; Source: marlerhaley.co.uk
Photo: Exhibition Stand Kit; Source: marlerhaley.co.uk

Think about your target market – and bear in mind that you may be reaching a different audience at exhibitions. For example, if you primarily sell direct to consumers, you may be at an event where you are dealing with retail distributors and buyers. Cater your display messaging to the audience.


4. Brief your staff on exhibition goals and pre-event tasks.

Fully brief the team who will be manning your exhibition – remind them why they are there, what their objectives are and who to target. Create a list of key questions that are likely to come up and make sure they are prepared.

Talk to your team about body language, how to make the booth area welcoming and smart communication tips to keep attendees engaged. Also make sure you have adequate marketing materials (e.g., leaflets, flyers, brochures, etc.) for easy distribution along with any promotional items or giveaways.

Meanwhile, get in touch with key contacts before the event and let them know that you will be there. Use social media to spread the word.

With proper planning, your next exhibition can be a huge success.


This article has been edited and condensed.

Cormac Reynolds works and writes for a variety of marketing and internet blogs. He loves all sorts of different aspects of blogging and also has a big interest in bludgeoning the culinary arts. Connect with @brightoncormac on Twitter.


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