A Quick Guide To Preparing For Your First Trade Show

Trade shows are important to any business, and they can really help your business to generate new leads and clients, as well as allowing you to network with people within your industry.

They can be a little bit tough, however, as not only do you have to justify the expenses associated with exhibiting, you have to make sure that once you’ve paid for it that it is worth your while. It can seem difficult to stand out with so much competition there, but with the right tools and preparation, you can definitely use a trade show to your advantage.

We thought we’d help you out by putting together a quick guide to preparing for a trade show if it’s your first time doing so so that you can make a success of it.

Prepare your team

Running a trade show booth on your own is something that you do not want to attempt. You’ll be on your feet all day, sometimes for multiple days in a row, and you’ll want to be able to leave the stand a few times for food and toilet breaks if you’re going to survive.

You should have at least one other team member with you, but ideally, a team of three works best. Having a team means you can all be more relaxed and professional, rather than scrambling around looking fatigued which does not give visitors a good vibe.

It also means you’ll miss fewer opportunities, as people won’t bypass your stall upon seeing that you’re already stood speaking to somebody if there are other team members available to chat with them.

Dress code

Dressing the part is important at a trade show. Not only do you want to look professional and smart, but you’ll want to make it easy for visitors to identify who is a part of your team. If there is a group of people congregated at your stand it can be tricky to figure out who is a part of your team and who is just stopping by, and it is also good to be identifiable if you are doing the rounds yourself.

We spoke to Stitch Embroidery, and they told us ‘getting your branding right when you’re heading to a trade show is very important. Your dress code should be comfortable and fit in well with the other branding across your company.

Keep logos, colours and fonts consistent, and be sure to get the opinions of your team before ordering any clothing to make sure that they will be comfortable in the garments you choose.

Design your exhibit

If this is your first trade show, you’ll need to design your exhibit. We don’t recommend going overboard with a super expensive fancy stand to begin with until you’ve got a bit of initial experience and know what you can expect from a trade show.

Simple printed banner stands are a good and cheap option along with some printed material that people can take away with them. The last thing you want to do is shell out for an elaborate and expensive stand and put yourself at financial risk!

However, there are plenty of really cool things you can do to stand out, and this article from Inc. helps to give you a few ideas!