Exhibitor Tips & Best Practices for Trade Shows

Heading out to exhibit at a trade show? Check out these tips and best practices to make sure your team is expo-ready! And if you host a trade show, feel free to share this document with your exhibitors.

  1. Set Goals for your participation – What do you hope to get out of it? Do you want to raise awareness and build your brand? Increase your mailing list? Find new clients? Demo or show off a new product or new equipment? Get registrations or build an audience for the next season? All of these are relevant goals, but only you and your team can decide which are most important. Your goals will help you determine the best way to exhibit and how to measure your success. The right strategies can set you up to win!
  2. Determine the best way to reach your goals -What should your exhibit/table
    look like to best represent your business? How should your employees dress to reflect your brand? How will you make it interactive and/or attention-getting? Who from your staff should attend to ensure you achieve your goals? What collateral materials and how many pieces will you need? Do you want to provide some type of giveaway with your logo and contact info? Do you want to distribute a coupon with a value-added or discount offer so you can more easily track results? Determine how will you measure your success, in advance.
  3. Ensure Your Success – Invite your own clients and prospects to attend! One of the best ways to ensure your success is to make sure your top leads are invited, when appropriate.. Remind whoever will be working the booth to interact with people passing by, and not to simply sit behind the table interacting with a cell phone.
  4.  Capture the contact info of your visitors, then follow up after – Decide in advance how you plan to follow up and who will do it, so you capture the information in the best format (you may want to do it electronically, in addition to collecting business cards, so no one has to type info into a database). You may also want to ask some “qualifying questions” for follow up, so you have a better sense of what to send each (i.e., Are they already familiar with your business? Are they interested in a particular product or service?). Add a note to your capture mechanism detailing what you spoke about to keep your communication relevant. FYI, numerous studies show that companies neglect to follow up on approximately 75% of expo leads, meaning exhibiting probably wasn’t worth the investment.
  5. Wear comfortable shoes and have fun! If you’re enjoying the experience and having a good time, that will come across, and attendees will be more likely to engage and have fun too!


By Carol White Llewellyn in collaboration with Elena Oyer of Visit Rochester.

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