If you’re making your trade show debut, you’ll need to brush up on these trade show tips for new exhibitors:

  1. Set Clear Goals
  2. Register Early and Create a Schedule
  3. Create a Budget
  4. Use Giveaways to Remain Memorable
  5. Brush Up on Industry Dress Codes
  6. “Boothsmanship” Tips

From your booth design to your attitude, it’s important to make a good impression. You’re not only representing your own business but the industry as a whole, so your exhibit and your staff need to be in tip-top shape.

Many exhibitors see their first trade show as a “practice run.” But in reality, there’s no reason why a first trade show can’t be just as successful as a fiftieth! To make the most of every trade show, get started with these simple trade show tips for new exhibitors.

Trade Show Tips for New Exhibitors

Whether you’re a veteran exhibitor or a rookie, there are a few key things you need to know if you want to succeed at a trade show. Read on to learn about our top 6 trade show tips for new exhibitors.

1. Set Clear Goals

It’s impossible to consider a trade show successful without first setting clear parameters for success. Before planning begins, determine which goals are the top priority. For example:

  • Are you launching a new product and looking to generate excitement for it?
  • Do you want to expand the reach of an existing product or service?
  • Are you looking to develop a new customer base?
  • Are you trying to get feedback from previous customers on a current offering or new product idea?

Write your goals down and, when possible, keep them within the SMART Goals parameters: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

2. Register Early and Create a Schedule

Many exhibition spaces offer lower prices for those who register early, which could allow for bigger budgets in other areas. However, this isn’t the only benefit of registering for a trade show early.

Early registration creates more time for planning things such as exciting booth designs, staffing the show, organizing booth entertainment, and even arranging sponsorship. It also allows exhibitors to create a detailed schedule of benchmarks leading up to the exhibit, making it easier to stay on track from start to finish.

3. Create a Budget

A successful trade show is one that creates additional exposure, interest, and engagement for a product or service—and eventually leads to more profit. But profit becomes more difficult to achieve if the trade show itself drains significant funds.

Avoid this problem by exploring options for great trade show booth design on a budget and creating a strict budget. Be sure to also set aside ample time to research the most affordable options for exhibits, including booth rentals and sponsorships.

4. Use Giveaways to Remain Memorable

Branded pens, bags, and other merch. Using giveaways is a great trade show tip for new exhibitors who want visitors to remember them after the show.

The success of a trade show isn’t measured only by the day itself, but also by the long-term results. Use the money saved in previous steps to fund simple giveaways such as branded pens, bags, stress balls, or even snacks.

This way, whenever attendees use the giveaway, they will be reminded of the products or services you displayed at the trade show. One great option during the pandemic is a branded face mask. Not only is it useful, but customers will be reminded of your business whenever they put it on! 

Don’t forget to include a booth number in pamphlets or other paper giveaways so that attendees can easily locate a booth or provide its location to their peers. This way, your giveaways have an impact on customers both on and off the sales floor.

5. Brush Up on Industry Dress Codes

Every industry is different, and each industry has its own trade show style of dress and presentation. For example, exhibitors in the medical field may dress up a bit more for a highly professional and polished event. But those in the automotive industry may dress more casually, choosing something they can wear to demo cars and get their hands dirty.

But whatever your profession, be sure to dress appropriately. One tried-and-true crowd-pleaser is themed shirts with company logos.

Not only are they versatile, but golf shirts for men and women in company colors offer a simple solution to trade show dress. They help build brand recognition by using the company colors, displaying the logos clearly on the shirts.

6. “Boothsmanship” Tips

A group of friendly, appropriately dressed exhibitors. Another important trade show tip for new exhibitors is to train your staff so they are professional and engaging on the trade show floor.

Once you’re at the trade show, you need to know how to engage the attendees while remaining professional. Listed below are some of the best quick and easy trade show tips for new exhibitors, offering must-knows and talking points so you don’t get caught unprepared.

Check out these quick tips for a successful first show:

  • Know your product or service.
  • Know your prospects’ needs and relate your product to those needs.
  • Know your competition.
  • Be well-groomed, dress industry-appropriate, and wear shoes that are comfortable and professional.
  • Be excited, enthusiastic, and smile!
  • Work with ALL prospects, even those not from your territory.
  • Be ready to talk and demonstrate. 
  • Stay honest about your products or services and be prepared to talk cost/investment.
  • Know the show and the technical sessions offered there.
  • Keep the booth neat, clean, and attractive. Vacuum when necessary!
  • Know your way around the booth.
  • Be nice to on-lookers, but be aware of negative body language.

Contact Cardinal Expo to Learn Trade Show Tips for New Exhibitors

When it comes to the success of a trade show, staying organized, planning carefully, and having the right materials are the key trade show tips for new exhibitors. Everyone can benefit from these trade show tips for new exhibitors, not just newbies.

And while it may seem daunting to plan it all on your own, you don’t have to go it alone! Reach out to the experts at Cardinal Expo through the form below. We’ll help prepare your booth and your team for your trade show debut. 

We’ve been in the trade show business for decades. Each trade show is an opportunity for us to share new ideas in design, graphics, logistics, and trade show strategy. Our job is to provide you with an excellent exhibit and do everything we can to guide you through the maze of trade show rules, regulations, planning, and behavior at your booth.

We provide end-to-end trade show management services, including production management, artwork, graphics, print production, fabrication, logistics, shipping, third-party show services, booth installation and dismantling, onsite supervision, storage, and inventory management. If you’re interested in affordable, custom-made trade show booth rentals and management services to save money for other expenses, contact Cardinal Expo today!

Contact Us Today

We at Cardinal Expo are here to answer any questions you may have, provide you with additional information, and create an effective solution for your exhibit needs.

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