How to Prepare for a Successful Exhibit

Whether you are cooking, choosing what to wear, or studying for an exam, preparation is a key element for success.

Likewise, when you’re responsible for setting up or staffing a booth at a trade show, make sure you take time for preparation and pre-planning. Here are some things to consider in advance of your exhibiting activities.

Know the Show
All tradeshows are different. Do research on your show’s rules and regulations. Find out who the other exhibitors are. Most importantly, learn as much as possible about the show’s audience. How many people have attended the show in the past? Is any demographic information available? Knowing the size and nature of the audience helps you plan the type and amount of sales/marketing materials you will need for your booth.

Booth Size and Location
When you contract for exhibit space, you will know the size and location of your booth well in advance of the show. Again, optimize your booth fixtures and hand-out materials for the size of your space. Learn where electrical outlets are, so that you can inform show management of any possible needs for electrical cords or power.

Your Materials
Plan the physical materials you need for your booth. Make sure you have necessary tables, tablecloths, chairs, lighting, signage, credit card equipment, and electrical cords. Also plan for and bring sufficient promotional materials, including giveaway items, business cards, brochures, newsletters, etc.

Appearance
Plan your booth for maximum attractiveness and visual impact. Make sure your signs and fixtures have a professional look. Make sure important items will be placed in the sight-lines of attendees. Avoid any set up which may be seen as “clutter” by show attendees.

Preparation comes before success – in the dictionary, as well as in the business world. If you take time to do proper research and pre-planning before you exhibit, it will go a long way to ensuring a successful trade show experience.

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