Trade Show Checklist for First-Time Exhibitors

checklist for trade show exhibitors

Trade Show Checklist for First-Time Exhibitors

Setting up a booth at a trade show is an exciting opportunity to grow your business. However, if you’re new to trade show planning, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed—especially with all of the recent changes exhibitors have had to make to adjust to the pandemic. At Mousegraphics, we can ease your pre-show anxiety with high-quality exhibit materials and helpful tips for a successful event. We’ve put together this checklist for first-time exhibitors to assist you with your trade show planning. 

Trade Show Checklist: Six Helpful Tips for First-Time Exhibitors

1. Plan In Advance

The best way to be prepared for your first trade show experience is to begin planning well ahead of time. Around six months before your show, start developing your marketing strategy and set clear goals. It’s also a good idea to assign your booth staff early so they can have plenty of time to complete any necessary training

2. Do Your Research

Before you even book a trade show, you should make sure that it’s the right fit. Look into the event’s customer base, past attendance statistics, and whether or not previous vendors have done well at the event. It’s also important to find out which Covid-19 precautions the event will implement to guarantee the safety of attendees. Then, after you’ve decided to book an event, you’ll need to do a little more research to help make your booth as successful as possible.

Reach out to the event organizers to find out the floor layout and determine the best location for your booth. The sooner you reach out, the better the position you will be able to reserve. You should also find out how many other vendors have booked the event, which promotional tactics the organizers plan to use, and whether the event is easily accessible. All of this information will help you set realistic goals for your booth. 

3. Pick a Winning Booth Team

The people operating your booth will be representing your business, so make sure to put together a talented team. Trade show interactions are key if you want to generate new leads and create trustworthy relationships with your customers. Your staff should be friendly and knowledgeable. They should not only listen to booth visitors but also be able to ask them engaging questions. 

It’s also important that your staff understand your business’s overall goals as well as your goals for the specific event. Your employees can’t help you achieve these goals if they don’t know what they are. Similarly, they can’t sell products that they don’t understand, so make sure your booth staff is fully familiar with your products and services. 

If the trade show is a hybrid event, your staff also needs to be familiar with any technology you use to complement your virtual booth. For instance, if you plan to live stream your display, your team should know how to operate the equipment and interact with your virtual audience. It’s a good idea to have someone on staff who is experienced in audiovisual technology and can quickly fix any technical issues. 

4. Create a Memorable Booth

Your sales staff can’t do their job without plenty of booth visitors to engage with. You can use your booth design to attract more attendees to your exhibit. For example, vibrant colors, clear messaging, and interactive games and displays are all essential elements of an engaging booth design

When designing your booth, don’t forget to keep Coronavirus precautions in mind to show your visitors that you value their safety. For example, consider incorporating plexiglass dividers, hand sanitizer dispensers, and multiple entry and exit points to your display to help visitors safely navigate your booth. Meeting attendees’ needs will make your booth more approachable and memorable. 

5. Design Relevant Materials

High-quality brochures help trade show attendees better understand your business, products, and services. Design an effective brochure that’s easy to read and durable. Leave brochures on your booth table for attendees to take and peruse, and make sure your staff also knows to hand them out to booth visitors when relevant. If you’re also running a virtual booth, make digital files of your materials easily available for your online visitors to download. 

Another important trade show material to have on hand at an in-person event is your business card. Bring plenty of business cards to hand out to potential leads so they can contact you after the event. It’s also a good idea to collect contact information from any potential leads so you can follow up with them a few days after the show. One way to do this is to offer an email signup sheet that encourages attendees to leave their contact info by offering incentives like contest prizes or special promotions. 

6. Arrive Early

You should always arrive as early as possible on the day of the event to give yourself plenty of time to set up your booth and test your technology. Arriving early also allows you to introduce yourself to other vendors who may turn into leads. Make sure to stay until the end of the event to maximize lead generation. 

Trade Show Exhibit Printing in Tempe

With this checklist for first-time exhibitors, you’ll be properly prepared for your first trade show experience. You can ensure a successful exhibit with high-quality durable trade show materials from Mousegraphics. From banners to business cards, we offer all of the printed materials you need to create an eye-catching display. Call (480) 470-7438 today to discuss our offerings. 

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (2/2/2022). Photo by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels