Everything a First-Time Exhibitor Needs to Know about Trade Shows

Trade shows are exciting to participate in. They present the perfect opportunity to drum up interest in and showcase your products and services to willing customers and clients.

However, you don’t just simply go to one and spread out your products and services on a table. There is an art to trade show exhibition to get a successful turnout and achieve your goals. If this is your first time exhibiting at a trade show and you don’t know where to start, here are some tips and tricks to a successful trade show exhibition.

Prepare for it like you’re going into battle

For exhibitors, it’s like a battlefield out there in trade shows. You have to fight with other businesses for the same thing: people’s interest, prospective leads, and improved brand and product awareness. In order to stand out, you need to strategize how best to capture people’s attention.

Participating as a trade show exhibitor can also be costly from the exhibition space rental down to booth display setup and giveaways. To maximise returns, you need to strategize how best to capture people’s attention. It is why we recommend that you spend at least 6 to 12 months getting ready for your first trade show exhibition. Among the following things you need to address are:

  • Your business goals for the trade show: The goals that you establish should be measurable and achievable. This will help you determine if your participation has been successful and which factors of your exhibition need to be improved.
  • Which of your staff members are exhibition-ready: Selling at a trade show is a whole different ball game than what your staff is used. Train and prepare them to be ready to answer any questions about your company, products, and services and how to engage people.
  • What you can get out of the trade show: Do your due diligence and research opportunities the trade show can offer for your business. Will you get something out of it? You can’t join just any trade show, you have to know if it can contribute to your bottom line.

Keep costs down as low as possible

As we mentioned above, exhibiting in a trade show can be expensive. Aside from the space rental, you also have to pay for booth materials and construction, electrical work, storage, product shipping, promotional giveaways and more. Not all companies have a flexible budget. Try to get discounts wherever possible. Some trade shows offer discounts for not-for-profit organisations, early-bird registrants, or for those that pay upfront in full.

Another tip is to find a promotional products provider that will deliver your promotional giveaways on time at no charge. Here at Brandconnect, we provide free shipping for metro areas. We also offer other freebies that you usually have to pay for with other providers, such as artwork design and samples.

Find the best location for your trade show booth and maximise it

It’s all about the prime real estate in trade shows. The best spots always cost more since you get more foot traffic and visibility in those areas. There are four types of booth configurations:

  1. Inline: only one side faces the aisle
  2. Corner: two sides face the aisle
  3. Peninsula: 3 sides face the aisle
  4. Island: all sides face the aisle

The more sides that your booth face the aisle, the heavier the foot traffic is. Therefore, the best spots are those booths that have more sides that face the aisle. If all you can afford is an inline booth, don’t fret! You can still find a way to attract people to less desirable spots with strategic booth design and attractive setup.

Set up your trade show booth with the attendees in mind

You have to ensure that your trade show booth and display captures the attention of the people. Appeal to their senses by making sure that your booth is engaging to the sights, sounds, minds, and tastes of the attendees by doing the following:

  • Arrange your products in a visually engaging manner
  • Give away lollies and confectionery to attract people and get them to stay
  • Set up a screen to showcase your products or services
  • Give away functional promotional products so that they’ll have something to remember you by after the trade show

Present your brand and products/services the best way possible

It is your main job as an exhibitor to showcase and highlight your product or services as best as you can. In choosing the staff that will man your booth, make sure that they have a thorough knowledge of your company and products/services that they can communicate enthusiastically and engagingly.

Practice the 80/20 rule: spend 80% of your time listening to your booth visitors. Take the time to find out their needs. This way you’ll know how your offerings can help their business. The remaining 20% should be spent on talking and addressing their questions and concerns.

Trade Show Essentials

These trade show promotional products are necessities to have a successful exhibit. Here are the top trade show essentials to spruce up your booth and serve as giveaways.

Trade Show Essential #1: Lanyards

Trade Show Essential #2: Table Covers

Trade Show Essential #3: Banners

Trade Show Essential #4: Exhibition Totes

Trade Show Essential #5: Lollies and Mints

Trade Show Essential #6: Giveaways

Ready to Order Your Trade Show Starter Pack?

Getting ready for a trade show exhibition can be nerve-wracking but it doesn’t have to be when you partner up with Brandconnect. We can prepare a trade show starter pack that includes everything you’ll ever need for a successful trade show exhibit. To get started, you can call us on 02 8072 3350 or email at sales@brandconnect.com.au. If you already have a list of what you need, you can fill us in through this online form and we can send you recommendations - FREE OF CHARGE!