The ultimate trade show checklist.

If you’ve committed to take your company to a trade show, it’s essential to ensure it’s successful.

Trade shows can be an extremely powerful marketing and relationship-building exercise but don’t come cheap, so doing all you can to guarantee the experience delivers for your business is critical.

Planning for exhibiting at a trade show or convention is best done well in advance, as there’s much to consider.

    1. Plan & Prepare Early

      Booking your space early gives you more time to plan and design a memorable trade show booth set-up and marketing campaign.

      It also helps you snare early bird booth rental pricing, cheaper hotel, airfare and car hire rates and reduces shipping and printing costs, as you won’t need to pay extra for rushed services.

      You also need to set your trade show goals and budget and determine how to attract your target market while there.

    2. Lock-In Your Staff

      Arrange your trade show booth staff well in advance so they can prepare themselves mentally and physically (trade shows can be exhausting!) and help you plan to make a big splash.

      You also need to ensure they’re fully trained to answer any questions potential customers may have when visiting your booth.

      Top Trade Show Tip: Knowing who’ll be manning your booth early enough allows you to arrange exceptional branded apparel that looks incredible, helping grab attention.

    3. Design A Brilliant Space

      Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better, and keeping it simple is still ideal, but it’s vital your booth attracts attention – from a distance – as trade shows are phenomenally busy spaces.

      Printing large format posters and banners with captivating imagery is a must to help place more eyes on your exhibition booth.

      Other things to think about include:
      • What audio-visual needs you may have
      • If you want an interactive display
      • If you need to arrange power or rigging
      • If there are any height restrictions, etc.

      Top trade show tip: Make your booth comfortable as well as informative. Add a branded couch or chairs and complimentary refreshments because a comfy booth can help your team connect with more customers while they rest and learn about you at the same time.

    4. Driving People To Your Booth

      Pre-show marketing is often overlooked, but it’s a big part of what makes a successful trade show booth and helps you best cater to visitors.

      Start pitching your trade show presence online before the event. Hence, potential customers plan to stop by your booth, make direct contact with attendees (you can often buy pre-show registration lists) ahead of the trade show in creative ways (like sending a fun, printed postcard, lanyard or bookmark), and investigate extra branding opportunities, such as sponsoring awards or speaking sessions or advertising in the show directory.

    5. The Make or Break Details

      Once people are at your booth, they’ll want to know what makes your product or service a must-have.

      Well-designed, informative brochures, catalogues, and price booklets are essential, so ensure they’re created by graphic design professionals – and plan to have a lot of printed promotional materials; there’s nothing worse than running out at a trade show. Full of potential customers!

      Top Trade Show Tip: Don’t forget to make a compelling offer – you can print stylish business cards or vouchers with specific discount codes or give away handy merchandise like water bottles, hats, bags, stickers or t-shirts with your company logo printed on them.

    6. Shipping Ahead & Save

      Shipping your brochures, catalogues, giveaways, banners and signage too late can add many unexpected costs and impact your success when exhibiting at a trade show.

      Design, print and ship your materials to the show site or your hotel early to avoid needing to pay extra delivery costs.

    7. After The Show

      It’s true that trade show preparation is essential, but so is after-show follow-up with connections. Trade shows can be a whirlwind of business cards, brochures and freebies, so taking the time to check in with those you met can make all the difference in landing a new client.

      Good luck!

      MBE. Your local trade show printing & shipping partner.