Trade show attendance is usually accompanied by strict schedule, including limited time for set-up and tear down. Since time is often of the essence when setting up for trade show exhibition, learning some effective shortcuts can take minutes off the clock put money back into the company wallet.
Before the Show
Benjamin Franklin said it best with the famous quote, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” When planning your company’s trade show attendance, proper due diligence and accurate planning are essential to the process, even as important as the event itself. Some key items to keep in mind when preparing for your exhibit include:
1. Register early. Many trade shows offer a hefty discount for early birds, which can save hundreds of dollars in registration fees. Keep an eye on the calendar throughout the year and make sure your registration fees are in by the early bird deadline.
2. Carefully choose your booth’s location. Although other exhibit’s locations may not be available, a booth’s location can be selected based on locations of the entrance/exit, concessions, bathrooms and main stages. Recognize how your company’s products could play into any scenario and choose your space wisely. Booth tables near concession areas may become littered with empty food containers, and spaces near bathrooms may be overlooked. If other exhibitor’s booth spaces are available for your perusal, make sure you’re not choosing a booth right next to a competitor.
3. Plan for shipping costs and delivery. Avoid the risk of damage to your display or products during travel, and also cut out the hassle of lugging around boxes of stuff by arranging to have all items shipped to the trade show location. When you arrive, all items are already there, and most trade shows have arrangements with shipping companies to offer lower costs to exhibitors.
4. Know your set-up time. This seems like a no-brainer, but arriving too early or too late can cost precious time. Have a printed schedule for the day and plan set-up and teardown accordingly.
5. Prepare a show kit.
Although many trade shows will have these items available, don’t risk being without what you need and put together your own toolkit with electrical tape, duct tape, safety pins, power strips, hand sanitizer, business cards, breath mints and more.
Setting up for the Show
6. Check all electrical outlets and lighting immediately upon arrival. If anything isn’t working, locate the show promoter and arrange to be moved to another booth. Don’t set up anything until every utility has been checked; otherwise you will have to tear down and set up again somewhere else, or, worse, be stuck in a booth that isn’t functional.
7. Add special touches to give your booth the ‘wow’ factor. Use real tablecloths instead of plastic, set up fresh flowers when available, use interesting lighting choices rather than fluorescent. Consumers are visual and will be drawn more to a booth that is aesthetically pleasing.
8. Make sure all visuals are at the proper eye level. Research has proven that the level at which products, signs and merchandise are placed is directly related to whether or not a sale is made. If your booth is incorporating a demonstration, make sure that it is visible from any angle it can be seen by show attendees.
9. Make business cards and freebies available and easily reached. Don’t make attendees go looking for your contact information; if they have to look too long, they might give up and move on to a competitor.
10. Meet your trade show ‘neighbors.‘ It’s always in good fashion to make nice with your surrounding booth-mates, and friendly conversation during set-up could lead to a recommendation or referral later in the show.
11. Set-up giveaway or other form of lead capture. Give away a service or product by asking people to register to win. This is an excellent way to capture leads and boost your mailing list.
With careful preparation before the show and knowing the ropes for setup, your trade show experience can be memorable and profitable.
For making the most of your trade show set-up, make sure it includes a colorful and creative display by Northwest Creative Imaging. With a mission to provide a wide range of products and services on every budget, Northwest Creative Imaging is your ticket to trade show success.