The internet has made an impact on the tradeshow
market, but there are still instances where
setting up a booth at a tradeshow is a great
way to make contacts, sell merchandise, or
Finding the right show is still a challenge.
If you sell handmade weathervanes, you might
get lost in a craft show but be a standout
at a home improvement show. Find out where
the people who buy your products and services
go to meet regularly, and set up shop there.
Exhibiting requires some advanced
and focus. Here are a few hints:
- Create a exhibit that stands out from traditional
booth displays. Use large graphics and skip
the show-supplied signs. And don't hide behind
a table; lose it and get out front to meet
the people who walk by.
- Place your booth where show traffic is heavy
(such as on a corner, near a large exhibitor,
or along major thoroughfares. Avoid setting
up back in the corner, or directly next to
bathrooms or food concessions (the smell
and trash ruins your image.)
- Avoid the the pitfalls that plague exhibitors
such as wasting money on gimmicky giveaways
while skimping on lighting or backdrops,
or rushing to put a booth together at the
- If you have a big booth, you'll need show
labor to set it up. It's expensive in New
York, least expensive in Florida. Booth space
is similarly priced.
- Look your best (you and the booth!) Make
sure displays are neatly organized and literature
is not scattered around. Booth staff should
be attentive and listen to customers--not
aggressively "hook" them into the
booth. Of course, you shouldn't smoke, drink,
eat, joke loudly or act rudely while in your
- Take a break occasionally and walk around
to see what "the competition" is
doing. You'll get new ideas. Emulate the
booths where people are stacked three deep
waiting to see the presentation.
Finally, remember to follow up
on leads immediately
after the show -- no more than
a day or two
after your leads return home.