8 Foolproof Ways to Make an Impression at your Next Trade Show

May 7, 2016

Ben Camerota

Ben Camerota is the President of MVP Visuals, suppliers of custom branded displays for trade shows, retail promotion and corporate events

Forty-six percent of decision-makers attending trade shows determine what to purchase during the course of the event. If you can deliver a strong impression during your next trade show, you stand a better chance of selling your products to those in attendance - making the trade show well worth your investment of time and money. To stand out from the rest, use our 8 foolproof ways to make a great impression.

1. Invest in displays and custom tents.

If you have a colorful, branded trade show booth, visitors will be drawn to your display. Investing in custom tents, banners, flags, and custom tablecloths or spandex table covers makes your booth look polished and professional.

If you are new to trade shows, this is one of the best ways to make your brand look bigger and more established than it is. 

2. Send your best reps. 

Put your best, most charismatic and knowledgeable people at the trade show to maximize your effectiveness and reach. This is simple, yet many businesses fail to do it.

To help your reps convince and connect, provide them with product literature and coach them on demonstrations. They will reward you by showing off your products in the best light. 

3. Practice your pitch. 

In the lead-up to the trade show, write your pitch - and practice it. When staff have a script for product pitch, FAQs, product demos, and more, they'll be confident and charismatic at the show. 

4. Have a freebie or giveaway.

Freebies or giveaways entice attendees to give you their contact information. They also draw crowds to your booth, which generates more interest. 

5. Make your booth feel welcoming.

Just as you might feel tired during the course of a long show, so do attendees. If you make your booth feel welcoming by incorporating a lounge space, you will naturally attract people who want a short break.

When people are sitting down, they'll take in more of your pitch or demo because they're comfortable, and they'll walk away with a positive impression of your brand. 

6. Keep the booth open. 

A rookie mistake is to set up your booth to actually deter users from coming inside. By putting a table across the booth's front you create a bottleneck. Make sure you have enough of an opening to welcome users inside. 

7. Don't overlook lighting. 

If you've ever walked away from a trade show booth because you can't even see the product on demo, then you know the harmful impact of poor lighting.

For peace of mind that your products will look their best in any convention center, buy inexpensive, bright LED lights. Use these to spotlight your booth or shine on your products. 

8. Post social reminders. 

It can be easy to ignore social during the event, when you're handling booth traffic.

Yet you can actually drive more traffic to the booth by tweeting with event hashtags, sharing demo videos, and posting trade show reminders on your social channels. 

Trade shows are time intensive, but high preparation rewards you with successful lead generation and sales during the event.  Leave yourself and your events team enough time to implement these 8 tips before your next trade show. You'll be rewarded with positive press.

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Partner Voices

As event professionals and destinations adjust, adapt and evolve in these uncharted waters, it is imperative that substantial resources be put in place for all of the people responsible for planning and executing trade shows, expositions and conventions. An example is Mohegan Sun, which built an industry-leading, COVID-19 Resource Center with a combination of pictures from recently held successful events (the property reopened on May 1, 2020) along with several widely available and informative documents, such as an evolving operational framework: