How to Effectively Run a Trade Show Booth

Attending trade shows is a great way to get your business in front of other businesses in your industry, make connections, and network with potential customers and business partners. However, if you’re getting a booth at a trade show for the first time it can be overwhelming to figure out what you need and how to manage it. Here are some tips for effectively running your first trade show booth.

Give away something unique and useful to get attention

Trade shows and conferences are high-traffic events that should be your target market. While everyone loves free stuff, as a smaller business you will be competing for attention with big, well-known brands.  You should have the classic pens, stickers, even mugs, but try to think outside the box. For example, you can get mini Bluetooth speakers with your logo (buy in bulk to save on shipping and the overall cost). Once, at a trade show, there was an infertility booth with very clever stress balls – getting creative with common marketing materials can also go a long way.

Create a big impact with eye-catching signage

Even if you have a small booth or company, an eye-catching custom banner can make a huge difference. If you are at a high-tech event, make sure to call ahead to see what your options are for signs, banners, televisions, etc. Definitely bring multiple banners with your logo and a digital slideshow for your product/service. To get more attention, have a large giveaway, think iPad or Beats headphones. Gain contact information with either digital or business card entries.  Make sure to advertise and all giveaways on your custom signage.

Only bring employees who know your business

While hiring interns and contractors may make your business seem physically large, it may also be intimidating. In addition, and I’ve seen this before, if you bring the wrong team, they may not understand your business enough to answer questions. For most events, 1-2 people are definitely enough.

Bonus Tip: Don’t forget business cards! You’ll need them for every interaction you have, and you’ll end up looking unprofessional if you’re asked for a card and need to write down your contact info.


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