5 Tips for Getting the Most out of Exhibiting at Trade Shows


Exhibiting at trade shows can be a cost-effective way to generate business, whether you are a new or have been in business for years. Some exhibitors, however, do not experience the success of others.

The success of the exhibitor is the responsibility of the exhibitor, not the trade show organizer. The organisers responsibility is to promote the show, fill the exhibits and fill the show with large numbers of visitors. Being at the right show for your business is the first step. Attracting visitors to your exhibit is the next step and may be a challenge. Once the visitor is there, getting them to buy your product or service, or agree to a future contact is another challenge. Bring to mind a time when you either participated at a trade show or were a visitor at a trade show what attracted you to an exhibit, and what turned you off?

Here are 5 success tips that will assist you in enhancing your experience as an exhibitor at your first or next trade show.

  1. Seating. Sitting on a barstool will keep you at eye-level with most visitors. Avoid chairs at regular height as it creates a sense of distance between you and your visitors, thus breaking rapport with them.
  2. Create gender balance. Balancing the number of men and women on your stand will help ensure your visitors feel comfortable during their visit. An exhibit staffed by all men or all women may not be as inviting to the opposite sex. In addition to gender balance, when possible, have different ages of staff as well to ensure that visitors can relate to your staff and the company.
  3. Less is more when it comes to displaying your literature – it is better to replenish your materials frequently than have a disorganised surplus at any one time. Large piles of flyers or show-special handouts may appear to some visitors that no one has taken an interest in your materials. Store large quantities of your handouts and flyers under your table and only display short, smaller piles at any one time.
  4. Offer carry bags. Many visitors collect a multitude of samples, brochures, and business cards during the show. Offer them a carry bag that displays your company logo. Not only will you appear as the hero for giving them a handy carry bag, you will also have your name/logo displayed at the show while people carrying your bags are browsing the other exhibits.
  5. Use a photo. Put a head-and-shoulders photo of yourself or a photo of your product on your literature. These photos will help visitors remember you when they browse through your materials at a later date. Many visitors collect a multitude of flyers and brochures during the show and when they get back to their office, they sift through each piece, usually throwing away what they don’t need. Having your photo on your materials will help them reconnect with you again.