Exhibiting at a trade show can be a costly investment, especially for a small business. Smart pre-show planning can increase your ROI generated from the event. Often, gaining a new client will pay for the cost of your booth! Think about your participation as an event.  Consider your prep work.  Building a “mock” booth will enable you to gauge your installation time and finalize any additional pieces you may need to acquire prior to the show day.   Focus on what should you need to do before or at time of installation, during the actual event, and in prep for your 5PM break down.  Please remember show hours are from 12PM-5PM.  Take notes for future shows. Details that will ensure you are reaching your goals.

A few important tips for consideration:

Increase traffic at the show. Success for The Bridal Showcase is success for our vendors!   Send out a mailer or brief email to your past, current and potential clients informing them about the upcoming show. Post a banner ad on your web site or other industry sites. Advertise in industry publications. Invite them to come visit you at The Bridal Showcase.  Include our website www.thebridalshowcase.com or send them to our Facebook page for additional event information. Post on social media that you’ll be at the show. Tag us at #TBSJan2017 on Facebook @TheBridalShowcase, on Twitter @bridalshowcase, on Pinterest @carwedandevents, and on Instagram @carwedandevents.

Does your exhibit represent the same company image you are trying to promote as your other marketing pieces (your web site, direct mail, magazine ads, etc)? Consider your booth space a temporary “store front”.  Consistent branding throughout your marketing is imperative to recognition.  Steadily increasing the exposure of your brand will help embed it in your potential client’s “database” (memory).

Are you catering to your target audience?  Focus your marketing efforts to attract your desired potential client.  When considering your client type…  are you appealing to the budget conscious, or high end.

Who are you?  When creating your “store front” make sure that your brand is clearly identifiable.  For example, use a banner or place your logo in a stately frame.  Make your brand stand out!  This will help the potential client qualify you as a serious vendor.  Don’t just sit behind the supplied table and wait for the guests to come to you…  Greet them at your booths edge, invite them in for conversation or to simply get your marketing piece in their hands.

Are you trying to say too much?  Make your graphics clear, clean and large enough so the passing attendees can identify your company name. Go for impact over information. Use big, bold images and concise copy.  More detailed information can be provided to your guest by giving them your brochure, a handout or by speaking to your a qualified team member.

Are the words on your exhibit legible? Avoid text that is too small, has low contrast to its background, a font so “creative” it can’t be read, or is hidden by other exhibit components.

Are your graphics sharp? The digital graphic file that was sharp enough for your brochure may be too small to create high resolution large format exhibit graphics.  Make sure you get help in producing artwork if necessary.

Do you create a welcoming environment as to provide interaction with visitors? Provide free samples of your product if applicable (if not, have a candy bowl), show a video demo playing on loop, give out promo items, give a brochure, a mailer and/or business card, have a small seating area for conversation. Make sure they remember you!  Make sure they know how to contact you!

Who will staff your booth? Too many staffers will crowd a small booth.  This may ruin the “welcoming atmosphere” and detour prospective clients from entering into your “store” (booth).  An unmanned booth is incredible detrimental to your success.  Think of having 2 or 3 at the most per 10×10 space.  Consider a split shift.  Staff for breaks, especially bathroom breaks, meals, beverages.  Another staff tip for your booth…  Show attire!  (logo’d “uniform”, all black, dressy, casual, comfortable, etc). Discuss staff attire pre-show .

What to do with your extra stuff? The show floor does not have the extra space to store vendor equipment.  Vendors carts, extra literature, giveaways, staffers’ bags, coats, etc. Please make this part of your pre-show consideration.   Make sure that you have time to store the pieces you won’t need again until breakdown in your truck,trailer or vehicle used to transport your equipment.  If you have extra pieces that are necessary for use at the show, storage is available under the table(s) or bring a disguise to hide these pieces in your booth design.

How will you measure success? Can you track post-show sales? Consider a show promotion where leads will have to mention or show that they received your promo.

How will you follow up with leads after the show? Send a thank you card or email to show attendees. Add them to your email marketing campaign. Call those who visited your booth or you actually talked to. Offer a show promotion.

For more information or questions regarding your booth design, please contact us. Our graphic designer will be glad to help you with your exhibit graphics, banner stands, printed marketing material, advertising, email marketing, web site design, web banner ads, and more.