Dec 8, 2014


Whenever gearing up your brand for a big trade show, you want to make sure that you are well prepared. It’s easy to waste lots of money, time, and resources, so create a solid plan and checklist in advance. Being ready and well equipped to go out there and make an impression creates all the difference. Here are a few pointers on how to create success for any trade show experience.

Start with a non-complicated display booth.

Having a welcoming booth or signage is very important. Not only does it help you attract attention and stand out amongst other exhibitors, it helps deliver a visual of your brand’s message. We recommend a light portable booth with a hard case that is easy to set up/break down and ship inexpensively. A branded table cloth and good signage (retractable banner or flag banner) are also a good idea to help maximize brand exposure. 

Think ahead.

Location, Location, Location!!! Booths go very fast, especially at big shows or annual shows. Try to get one located near an entrance, exit, or the bathrooms. If those spots are not available look for an end or corner.

Make sure your booth is light-weight, lit well, and easy to set up and break down. Practice setting it up once or twice before going to the convention. Get a hard case to ship your booth so it does not get damaged in transit.

Create a cleaver hook, quick message or pitch. You get approximately 15-seconds to convince someone to stop at your booth. You’ll need this message elsewhere (e.g. banner) so you need to decide what it is early on. Remember the goal is to get people to stop in and engage. DO NOT explain everything about who you are and what you do! Boil it down. KISS (keep it short and sweet).

Create a banner, sign, and handout collateral. Create out the box ideas for your banner/sign design. Perhaps add a specific theme. Remember when printing - the colors on your computer screen aren’t going to be the exact colors on your products. To help prevent this specify exact PMS colors before printing.

Make your booth different so it stands out in the crowd.

Attendees will see all kinds of booths. Make sure they remember yours. Create large format graphics or banners; create a raffle and offer prizes, even give out free food or drinks that your customers would appreciate.

A well trafficked booth thinks outside the box to draw attention. Some companies go to the extreme. Not only should your trade show booth showcase your brand and look unique, it should also be warm and inviting! Here are a few examples of our favorite booths:

COOL TIP! Create a Tradeshow MacGyver box: (can be a tool or tackle box)
You never know when you will need some random supplies or tools. Your options will be very limited so we advise a misc. tool/supply box. You never know what you need and when you will need it. Here are some ideas of what we keep in ours: 

  • all-in-one tool (screwdriver, can opener) 
  • pens (multiple, different colors)
  • Sharpie
  • Scotch tape
  • masking tape
  • extension cord
  • power strip
  • post-it notes
  • rubber bands
  • stapler
  • highlighter
  • packaging tape
  • collapsible dolly 
  • travel case
  • clips/close pins
  • candy/peppermints
  • raffle item
  • balloons
  • lights
  • hand sanitizer
  • business cards
  • literature about products
  • external battery for cell phone
  • paper clips
  • binder clips
  • scissors
  • generic business cards (in case anyone runs out)
  • copy of itinerary and show appointment schedule
  • zip ties
  • bungee cords
Be sure to give potential clients something they want or can use. Giveaways like t-shirts and other swag are smart to do. THE ICEBOX can help you create something truly unique for a successful show! Allow at least 3 weeks prior to show for production.

Let us know how we can help you prepare and make the most out of your next trade show!


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