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Trade Show Ideas

Updated on March 29, 2011

Trade Show Ideas

Having a successful conference show, expo show, or convention show takes planning to develop good trade show ideas. This does mean that you consider all aspects of the exhibition, not just one aspect. Just because your office has a display stand doesn’t mean your ready to win your convention show. Presented are some areas you should cover and the best trade show ideas that come with them.

Ideas For Trade Show Booth - Staff

The most important tip of these trade show tips is to consider your staffing heavily. This is more important than booth location, exhibit display design, etc.

First consider which staff will best serve in manning the exhibit booth. Then take your staff list and make sure your best people are available during the convention show. Look at the agenda and know the best people will be working during the most likely high traffic times. Early and late in the show are likely to be the slowest time. During general sessions or main speakers will be slow times also.

It is also best if you have minimal staff working so everyone can trade off often. Having a full-team working twelve hours at a display booth, just wears everyone out. They will wind-up grouping and talking to each other, which in turn turns possible visitors to your trade show booth off. One person is inviting, two or more clustered, talking to each other says stay away. Minimal staff trading off every one-two hours, will keep everyone fresh all day long. Since everyone will be trading off, keep everyone standing. Make a rule that everyone stands while working the conference booth if one of the greatest trade show ideas.

Trade Show Booth Design Ideas

Heavily focused among trade show ideas are displays. Which is best? There is no right answer, as there are banner stands, island exhibits, modular exhibits, table top displays, etc. I guess the best is a stand-up display that will serve as a backdrop for exhibit booths. Like anything, because it will be in back do not worry too much about trade show graphic ideas. Keep the graphics plain. Let trade show graphics simply highlight name and what your company provides. Do not get too ornate or detail, a full stand-up display sits in the back, people will not stand and read a display. They will read a banner stand that stands in front of the booth (but to a side). Also, move to the side any trade show tables. If you do not need them, ask events show staff that they be removed. The over riding concept in trade show ideas for the booth design is to keep it simple, neat, and clean.

Trade Show Promotional Ideas

Trade show ideas abound for booth promotion. Giveaway of promotional products is always a hit. But a decision has to be made before the trade show to decide what the object is for the company to be attending. If it is just branding and the setting is massive like an expo show, then inexpensive promotional items with a unit cost under a dollar is in order. Place them out front where people will not be self-conscience about picking them up and taking them. If you put them to the side or in back of the booth, then people will be looking for permission to take them and most will give up, forgetting your booth by the next aisle.

If your purpose is to get hot leads or draw people in for a long discussion (sales presentation) with a specific audience like a conference show, then offering a premium promotional product with a unit cost of five to twenty dollars is in order. Do not place them out but reward visitors with them who have been screened and are deemed qualified leads. Of course get their contact information, before trading the premium gift. One of the trade show ideas for lead generation is to do the qualifying, then grab the premium and say- "I would like give you this but I need just a bit of information." Then get contact info for follow-up.

Trade show ideas to stay away from are candy for a giveaway. Or more specifically, any generic candy, this does nothing to get your business in front of the audience. Doing candy branded with your company on the wrapper is fine and often is much cheaper than any other give away item. Stay away from trade show game ideas. They are fun and brings tradeshow traffic, but they do nothing for getting your business in the mind of the audience. Know how many golf putts I have taken or how many spin the wheel for a prize I have done? Yet, I cannot tell you one company that sponsored any of those "creative" trade show ideas.


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    • SmashHitDisplays profile image

      SmashHitDisplays 7 years ago

      You had some great tips. With only 3 seconds to grab the attendee's attention as they walk by, having an effective trade show display design is so important. I like what you said about the graphics. Simple graphics are much more effective than "busy" graphics. Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      Shaun Nichols 7 years ago

      Some good tips here - soon to be employed at the GMCVO/NCVO Conference in Manchester this November!

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      Kayla Moosik 8 years ago

      I agree that everyone should be standing. It's more inviting than a closed off group of people sitting and talking.