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A Complete Guide to Preparing for Your Trade Show

A Complete Guide to Preparing for Your Trade Show

Attending trade shows is one of the best things you can do to boost your brand recognition and build connections within your industry. It’s not as simple as just showing up, though. To make the most of these opportunities, you’ll need to come prepared. Here are a few tips to help you get ready for the upcoming trade show season.

Why Should You Exhibit at Trade Shows?

Exhibiting at trade shows will help you:

  • Reach New Leads. Appearing at a trade show gets your business in front of an audience full of people with a definite interest in products like yours. Collect contact information from the people who visit your booth, and you’ll have plenty of leads to follow up on later.
  • Research Your Competition. Trade shows draw in countless businesses from the same industry, giving you the perfect opportunity to scope out what these competitors have to offer.
  • Network with Others in Your Industry. Not all professionals in your industry are your competition. Trade shows offer you the chance to get to know some of these people and form mutually beneficial business relationships.

Trade Show Displays and Banners: The Essentials You Should Know

When it comes to trade show signage, your options are nearly endless. Try the following types of signs out for your next event:

  • Trade Show Banners. Banners are one of the most versatile forms of trade show signage. They’re easy to put up and take down, and they can be placed high above the crowd for extra visibility.
  • Silicone Edge Graphics (SEG). Silicone edge graphics (or SEG graphics) are fabric signs that are bordered with a thin piece of silicone. This makes them easier to stretch across a frame. SEG graphics can be printed with crisp, vibrant images and can even be backlit for extra emphasis.
  • Trade Show Flooring. Did you know that you can use the flooring of the event space to promote your brand? Just get some removable vinyl floor decals and place them near your booth to make a big impression on anyone passing by.
  • Trade Show Signs. You should also have some sort of promotional signage posted directly on your booth. This can be anything from simple cardboard signs to full LED backlit signage.
  • Trade Show Tablecloth. A trade show tablecloth offers extra protection for your booth on top of powerful branding.
  • Trade Show Tent. If you’re attending an outdoor event, you can use a custom trade show tent to keep your booth protected and shaded while promoting your business.

Starting Steps

  • Create a Budget. You only have so much money to spend on your trade show appearance, so draft a budget to make every dollar count. Include things like booth fees, travel expenses, fees for show services like clean-up, and other costs in addition to the cost of signs and promotional materials.
  • Book Your Booth Early. Trade shows fill up fast, and some spots on the floor are more desirable than others. Book your booth location as soon as possible to avoid getting stuck in a low-traffic area. You’ll also want to fill out your paperwork at this time, including your exhibit booth contract, policy agreements, and more.
  • Book Your Hotel and Transportation. Unless your trade show is local, you’ll need a way to travel to it and a place to stay when you get there. Book any train or plane tickets you might need and a room at the hotel of your choice. You won’t be the only one looking for lodging during the show, so act early to get the best rooms and prices.
  • Line Up Your Team. If you’re going to take more than one person to the trade show, decide who will be coming and what their role will be. Giving them extra time to prepare will help them perform better during the event.

Prepping Your Trade Show Booth and Display

  • Decide On the Materials You’ll Need. Flags and pop-up banners are classic choices for trade show events, but are there any other materials you’ll need as well? Things like brochures, business cards, and A-frame signs can all make your booth stand out even more.
  • Choose the Right Design. Your trade show signage needs to be easy to see on top of promoting your company and brand. Create designs that are simple enough to be read from across the room while still leaving a big impression on the viewer.
  • Emphasize Visuals. The average trade show attendee sees so much text over the course of the event that they may not give each snippet their full attention. Focusing on images in your signage breaks through this mental barrier and instantly makes your sign stand out. For best results, use simple images with clear, bold colour schemes.
  • Engage Your Audience. Finding a way to connect with your audience goes a long way toward making your booth more memorable. Consider adding an intriguing question or catchy slogan to your pop-up banners for trade shows to pique viewers’ interest and get them to come talk to you.
  • Consider Additional Equipment. Adding things like chairs and display screens to your booth can help get visitors to stay longer and make your brand more memorable to them. If you want to use these items, figure out where you’ll get them and how you’ll transport them to your booth.

Setting Up for the Day of the Trade Show

When the big day comes, keep these things in mind to maximize the impact of your trade show booth displays.

  • Traffic Flow. People will likely be moving around your booth all day, so place your branded materials with this in mind. Your major signage should face doors, hallways, or other entrances where it could catch someone’s eye. It should also be at eye level to ensure that it doesn’t get overlooked entirely.
  • Freebies. Giving out a few low-cost free items at your booth is a great way to get your company’s name out there. Get some pens, mini calendars, or stickers made with your company’s name and logo and keep them in a basket to hand out.
  • Social Media. Social media is the perfect platform for letting followers know you’ll be at the trade show that day. Interested people may visit just to see you! You can also film the process of assembling your booth or write up a quick blog post about your plans for the day to create content for your feed. This allows folks who can’t make it to the event to get a taste of what it’s like to be there in person.

The Importance of Portable Trade Show Displays and Banners

Most trade shows involve travelling some distance from your company headquarters. You’ll need to bring all of your trade show signage with you on these trips.
Choosing signs that are easy to put up, take down, and move as needed will make things a lot easier for you. Small, lightweight signs like flags and banners can make just as much of an impression as bulky wood or metal signs. Save those heavier signs for shows where you have a large booth with a prominent position within the event space. In most cases, portable signs will be the far better option.

Get Your Audience’s Attention with Trade Show Displays

Ready to make a splash at your next big event? Order a set of custom trade show signage from our expert design and printing team. Whether you need a few simple banners or a fully illuminated sign solution, The Sign & Graphics Manufaktur will help you craft a display that your audience will never forget. Contact us today to get started!

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