Trade Show Tips

Find redemption with these devilishly effective trade show tips.

(Psst. There’s a nifty offer at the bottom of this post).

So you’re in charge of your company’s trade shows and events. What fun! The frantic planning, the logistical nightmares, the 11th hour changes to the messaging. The staff shirts you have to wear.

It’s the devil.

But when you pull it off, even the smaller ones, it’s a pretty cool feeling. Right? Job well done. Check that box. Onto the next. So how can you make your trade show life less crazy? How can you more efficiently manage (and with fewer headaches) your aggressive trade show schedule?

Here are 5 heavenly tips to help make your trade show schedule less hellish. 

#1 – Plan Ahead. 

The more ahead of the curve you can get, the more cushion you give yourself to fight those last-minute fires… which will happen. Order the show services as early as you can. Get the attendee list. Lock down messaging with your marketing team. Secure the hotel rooms and book travel. And, it wouldn’t hurt to bake in some insurance policies, too. Like clocking a local print shop for any emergency print needs.

#2 – Keep It Simple. 

Simple doesn’t mean boring. It means absolutely nailing a short list of critical to-dos. And realizing that you don’t have to do everything. Design, messaging, give-aways, marketing material. The more complicated the set-up, the more things can go wrong. So have one main message on the booth graphics. Develop one big take-away for booth visitors. Procure a single, non-cheesy give-away. Design-in a comfortable, non-claustrophobic area to hold meetings. Create an inviting space for attendees to notice, visit and stay awhile.

#3 – Follow-up. 

Do you have a plan in place to follow-up with those prospects? You should. That’s the ultimate reason for trade shows, right? Lead generation? So following up is super important. And, it does not have to be super complicated. A simple, email that goes out a day or two after the show, thanking them for their time, and giving them the option to click on a few links to learn more is all you need. If you have an email platform (we use MailChimp) you can craft the email ahead of time and schedule it to go out automatically. You would just need to add the prospects to your list before the send.

#4 – Get Social. 

Create a landing page for the event. Link to this page from your your social media channels. Create an event on the company Facebook page. Hook into the official event hashtag. Use @mentions (on Twitter and Facebook) to call out customers, prospects, and partners. Insert a “Book a Meeting” widget on the landing page to capture meeting requests. Once you create your own content (the landing page), it makes it easier to promote socially. 

#5 – Consider a Rental Booth. Why?

1Make your CFO happy. Rental exhibits are, well, rentals. So there is no capital expenditure to account for. You don’t actually buy anything. Less financial administration is needed. And that makes Phil from accounting very happy.

2Don’t sweat the storage. Shipping, of course, will be added to the cost of the project. But it’s not you worrying about the timing, freight, delivery, drayage et al. And, once the show is over, the booth is no longer a concern. You (or your booth staff) can get out of Dodge as quickly as you please.

3. Customize without the cost. Since you do not own the structure, you can put your energy (and dollars) into the creative aspects of the booth — Graphics, give-aways, perhaps even a larger or better booth location.

Speaking of rental booths, how about this rent-free offer?

A consultation with our creative team and a custom rental design concept for your next trade show! 100% free. That’s right. Just schedule a call and we’ll brainstorm a few ideas for your next rental exhibit (or exhibit series). From impactful 10x10s to customizable modulars to compelling flooring, display and graphic options — details that could make all the difference.

And if you decide to partner with Highway 85, you’ll get 10% off your first booth rental!

Call us at (623) 582-9760 or email Todd Kruge, our Sales Director, and ask about the Free Design Concept offer.