10 Show Floor Tips to Navigate Any Trade Show

You’ve finally made it to the trade show! Now what? Hopefully you planned out what you are going to do and how you’re going to do it. It’s important to have a plan before the show, during, and after. Here are some tips to get you started on preparing to work the show floor.

Introduce yourself to show organizers

Alright, so your booth is all set up with your displays and signage. Now what? Go introduce yourself to the show organizers. It’s nice to meet them and to have them meet you. After all, this is their show and it’s nice to recognize all their hard work. Thank them for allowing your business to have their own booth and promote, and show some appreciation. It’s a nice, friendly, professional thing to do.

Attend panels / workshops / presentations

Don’t just stand at your booth the entire time! Make sure there are team members that are staying at your booth so you can go check out the other programming like the panels, workshops, and presentations. You already know everything there needs to know about your company, so why not go learn about another? You never know, you could learn some things that will help you with your company in the long run.

Promote products

Where is there a better place, besides your building and the internet, to promote your products? There are hundreds of people attending these trade shows whether they are business owners or consumers. So, that means there are hundreds of people that will be seeing your booth. Why not put some of your products out to show what you can do? If you’re a small business owner that sells work shoes, bring one of each shoe to show the consumers. This will allow them to physically hold your product and see the quality, instead of looking at a picture.

 Scope out the competition

It’s okay to get nosey! Take turns walking around to look at the other booths on the show floor. It won’t hurt, and you might even learn something new. You’ll also be able to see how many visitors every booth is getting and how it relates to your own. Is there something you’re missing? What are you doing that they’re not? Take a walk and scope out your competition!

      Use social media

We’re confident that social media is being used by almost everyone at the trade show. What is the best way to grab attention? Social media! Create a hashtag that people can search and use on their posts. For example, our hashtag might be: #DAatABC, or something along those lines. This way, people will be able to see what you have posted and what others have posted about your booth easily. This doesn’t exclude those at home that couldn’t make it to the convention! A hashtag or some type of social media action will allow them to track what is going on and make them feel as if they are there.

      Take pictures and videos

Event coverage is great for your company, as well as your clients at home. Once you get to the convention and you’re all set up, have one of your employees walk around the convention and record a video and take some pictures. Imagine how awesome it would be to edit the video and send it to your clients when you get home. Posting the video and pictures on social media will keep your clients that didn’t go to the show included.

Make your booth approachable

Would you want to approach a booth where the employees are playing on their phones, not paying attention, and or giving you dirty looks? No way. Make sure your booth itself looks fun and friendly, which starts with your employees. Standing near the booth with a smile on your face is a little tactic that will work wonders. Show that you’re happy to be there and that you’re happy to answer any questions, or chat about your business to anyone. The friendlier you look, the more visitors will approach.

 Offer show specials

Most booths will offer specials. For example, they’ll have a raffle to give away something for free, or they’ll have a discount on services if visitors sign up. If you’re doing something like this, make sure you have an employee near it at all times to answer any questions on what it might be. If your booth visitors want to enter your raffle to win something from your business, explain further to those people about what you’re giving away and how it would be helpful to them.

     Food and snacks

Wouldn’t it be convenient if you were thirsty by the time you reached our booth? Offering snacks and drinks will be much appreciated by visitors, and yourselves. Your water bottles and snacks should be in line with your company culture or theme. The water bottles can have your logo on its wrapper instead of “Poland Spring,” and your snacks can be have your logo on a sticker placed on the packages. Not to mention, you might get hungry or thirsty. If you supply snacks for others, you’ll benefit from that as well!

      Assign a booth host

It wouldn’t hurt to assign a host to your booth. Have yourself, or one of your experienced and knowledgeable staff members, present at your booth. This will be the initial person that visitors will talk to and get to know first. Make sure they are very friendly and know everything about the company. Having a host ensures that the booth is always covered by someone to answer questions, chat, help with raffles, and more. Other employees can work on the snacks, the models, and presentations, and wander around the trade show, and anything else that requires extra work. If you have a booth host, you’ll always feel safe leaving it.

Having a plan set in stone before you get to the show will only help you. You’ll know who is supposed to be where, how you want to set up your booth and displays, and be able to pull it off in an organized manner.

Don’t forget to check out our tips for pre-show preparations and post-show follow-up to help you plan a stress-free exhibiting experience.

10 Pre-Show Tips for Trade Show Success

The trade show you’ve been waiting for is finally here. Do you have everything prepared? You don’t want to just pack up and leave for the show without a plan or some kind of strategy. These pre-show tips will help you prepare and organize!

Have your business cards ready

Print is not dead. Business cards are an easy way for people to remember who they talked to and what your business is about. Who knows? It might help you gain a new client! Before going to a trade show or convention, make sure you have an ample amount of cards to give out as you network. Some trade shows have a big bowl to drop your card into and pick someone else’s up. It’s almost like mystery marketing, and you don’t want to miss that!

Eye-catching set up

First impressions are everything. Make sure your display is noticeable and eye-catching. You don’t just want to have a fold-up table with some business cards and a poster. Present your business to showcase your brand in a way that won’t go unnoticed. Sit down pre-show and determine a banner to print, maybe a retractable stand, and even a table drape to proudly and properly display your business. (And don’t forget that Digital Arts can help you with that!) People love colors! Combine two colors that go well together, or, if your logo has specific colors, pull some from that and continue with the theme.

Freebies

Everyone loves a free pen! Freebies are a great way to get people over to your booth and give attendees something to take home a little something from your exhibit. Print your business logo and information on pens, pads, screen cleaners, or anything that will be easy for people to grab. Freebies are a great way to market your business as well. While you’re making people smile with a shiny, new, free pen, you might be gaining a new client.

Raffles

Raffles and contests are always fun at conventions. Plan a raffle pre-show with your team for your booth visitors to participate in when they stop by. For example, put a bowl out and have people drop their business cards into it. Whichever card you draw first will be the winner of the giveaway. If you’re a consulting company, the winner could have a free consultation. Raffles create excitement, drive traffic, and make your business stand out.

Models or examples that demonstrate your business

An example of what your business is all about is something important to showcase at a trade show. Before the show, be prepared to bring some models or displays that will show off what you can do. If you own a printing company, print your logo or some images on the products you offer. If you own a landscaping business, bring large photos of the work your business has done, along with a tiny model of what a yard could look like. People would generally use their imagination if they don’t see an example, but why make them imagine it? Visuals are key.

Bring a team of knowledgeable employees

Before going to the trade show, make sure you have a team of employees that will benefit your booth. Make sure your employees are able to attend and make sure they know what their job is when you get there. Employees with extensive knowledge of your brand are important to have at the trade show to properly represent your brand. They should be prepared to answer any kind of questions that could come up at the show and represent your brand in the best ways from start to finish.

Discuss a plan with employees before the event

After you have gathered a group of employees that will go represent your business with you, make sure you come up with a plan before you get there. A well-organized trade show is a successful trade show. Come up with shifts for each employee so someone is always at the booth ready to answer questions and help visitors. If you are having a demonstration, assign an employee or two to help with that while the others manage the booth or walk around handing out business cards. A strategic plan will keep everything organized and everyone will know what to do when you get there.

Advertise that you’ll be at the convention

Spread the word! Let your clients, fans, friends, and competitors know that you’ll be attending the trade show or convention. Blast everyone with an informative email about the convention, what it’s about, and that you’ll be attending. Advertising might encourage more people to come see your booth and explore the convention. Not only will it encourage more to attend, but also your email blast might cause the recipients to check your website and social media platforms to see what’s new. Also, don’t forget to include a sneak peek picture of what your booth will look like in the email! It’ll be a nice preview and those who are coming to the convention will know how to find you.

Research what other businesses will be there

Do your research. Finding out who will be at the convention with you is good to know. You’ll want to know which competitors will be there, and what other businesses will be your convention floor neighbors. Once you find out who will be there, you’ll be able to research a bit more about them and check out their websites and portfolios. You never know, learning something new about your competitors might make you think of doing something different at the convention.

Have a travel plan

Traveling can be a headache. Creating a travel plan before departing for the convention is a smart idea. Because we don’t have the ability to see the future, traveling can go wrong in many ways. If you decide to take a few company cars, check the maps and traffic apps before you leave. Also, leave a good amount of time earlier just in case traffic develops or an accident happens while you’re en route. If you would rather take public transportation, pay attention to the schedules, and again, leave early. Having this all planned out pre-show will help alleviate unnecessary stress.

Having a strategic, well-organized plan before you set off to your trade show adventure is important. There are other things you can do to get prepared, but hopefully, these tips will help you get started. Show up like you own the place! You’ll have everything organized, and with these pre-show tips, it should be a smooth ride.

Now that your pre-show plans are set, don’t forget to map out what you’re going to do during the show, and post-show! Luckily, we’ve got tips for the entire convention life cycle.