Top Tips for Attending Trade shows and Exhibitions


Are you planning on attending trade shows and exhibitions? It is very likely you are attending an exhibition or trade show to make as many people as possible aware of your products, brands or services. Here are my top tips for attending trade shows and exhibitions:

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You will spend a lot of money on your stand, promotional brochures and most importantly your time so below are a few tips which will help you get a better return on your investment.

Trade Show and Exhibition Tips

Exhibitions are hard work and very tiring. The most stressful side is the planning and setting up, but once you have got these nailed you can then enjoy the experience.

1. Don’t do it all alone

Running a trade show stand is full on and more work than a full-time job. You must never leave your stand unattended. If you have spent a fortune to be there why would you leave your stand alone? Even popping off for a coffee could lose you significant amounts of money.

So whatever type of business you are, even if you are a sole-trader, take someone with you or hire an experienced exhibition person from a promotional agency.

Recommended reading: Trade Show Giveaway Ideas: The Ultimate Guide

2. Get your stand display right 

You probably have ideas of what you want your stand to look like, but be mindful of these basics:- 

  • Keep your stand tidy. This means don’t leave empty coffee cups, magazines or other rubbish.  Keep all your stock, material, etc in order. 
  • Don’t try to put everything on display. Too much can overwhelm anyone visiting your stand.
  • Make sure you do have some things on your stand, you need to look professional and you mean business.
  • Have something the public can experience, samples of your products or a short video of what you do.
  • Make sure anyone passing your stand can see what it is you do instantly, even if they just pass by. Don’t just put your company name especially if it doesn’t relate to what you do.
  • Themed well planned out displays always attract more attention, don’t just throw it all together.
  • Practice putting your stand together or laying out your items BEFORE the show. It will save you time on the day and you will become quickly aware of any equipment you need or if anything is missing. 

3. How to engage with visitors at your stand

Most people visiting an exhibition normally have a good idea of what they are looking for. So if you don’t scare them away they will tell you. For those who don’t know what they were looking for have a friendly chat but make sure you don’t pounce on them.

Try, where possible, to qualify any visitors to your stand so you are not spending a lot of your time with people not interested in what you have and just fancy a chat. What is very important is that you do not judge anyone on first appearance. 

Just make sure you spend your time on the people who have a genuine interest in what you do.  

4. Write it down

Capturing the details of everyone you meet at the show must be your main focus as you can use this information to market to after the show has finished. If you are not confident in asking for this information then hiring a professional data collection person is ideal. They do not need to know about your business in depth as anyone who ask lots of questions they will direct your way. 

5. After event follow up 

So you have handed out lots of materials, spoken to a lot of people and got potential customers details, now the hard work begins. Most business that comes from exhibitions is done AFTER the show. So you must follow up every lead you have within a week of the show, then do it again. 

6. Consider using an experienced promotional agency

You could consider using an experienced promotional agency where they provide professional experienced staff to support businesses at trade shows and exhibitions. Their goal should be to help you close business deals at the show and to meet people who pass your stand and draw them in. My own company Envisage will be happy to give you a quote.

Over to you now. Have you attended trade shows and exhibitions with your business? Any tips to share? Tell us in the comments below.


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Wednesday, 11 December 2019
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