Tips for Attending Your First Trade Show

Tips for Attending Your First Trade Show

Trade shows are full of opportunities. They bring so many potential clients, business partners and investors together in one space. They’re great for growing awareness of your brand, gaining insight from customers, promoting your products and services and getting leads. They pay off, too. U.S. companies earned $12.81 billion from trade shows in 2016.

And all you have to do is show up, set up a booth and let the money roll in, right?

The truth is, how you approach a trade show has a massive impact on how much you get out of it. With so much going at these events, though, getting it right can feel overwhelming — especially if it’s your first show.

With the right trade show tips to help you prepare, you can attend the event with confidence. Here’s what to do if you’re going to your first trade show.

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How to Attract Customers at a Trade Show

If you’re like most trade show exhibitors, you are always looking for ways to improve booth traffic and generate more interest in your products or services. While creating an eye-catching display is an excellent start, you can do more to draw attendees in and hold their attention. Use the following ideas to attract visitors to your booth:

1. Inform Trade Publications of Your Show Attendance in Advance

Trade journals and publications can provide an effective platform for publicizing your presence at an upcoming show, enabling attendees to plan to stop by your booth. Sending a press release or contacting an editor to pitch a new product can lead to an article where you can mention your promotional plans.

2. Hold a Contest

Everybody likes to win something. A trade show exhibition is a perfect venue for a game, quiz or contest that engages visitors and makes them want to spend more time at your booth. Of course, you will want to offer prizes as a way to entice attendees to stop and play.

3. Offer Better “Swag” Than Your Competitors

Most trade show attendees expect to accumulate a sizeable collection of giveaways. While pens, mugs and T-shirts are the preferred option for many exhibitors, veteran trade show attendees may view them as uninspiring.

You can stand out from the crowd by offering more imaginative giveaway items such as laptop skins, headphones or novelty gifts emblazoned with your logo or marketing message. The word will spread quickly among the attendees that your booth is the place to visit for the best swag!

4. Be a “Politely Aggressive Host”

Most exhibitors sit back and wait for attendees to stop by their booth. Taking a more proactive approach can generate additional visitors and make them feel like invited guests. Use a friendly costumed character to greet passersby and escort them to your exhibit. The character can also roam the floor and hand out product samples or giveaways, too.

Pedestal Source can offer additional ideas that can boost trade show traffic and maximize your return on investment. Contact us to learn more today.

How to Design an Impressive Trade Show Booth

Are you a regular trade show participant or attendee? Does it seem like there are always one or two displays that attract more attention than the rest?

Knowing how to set up a trade show booth that stands out from the crowd can make a significant difference in your show results. The following trade show booth design tips can help you create that “wow” factor that will make a memorable impression on visitors and help you achieve your marketing objectives:

1. Create a “One-Of-A-Kind” Booth

The best trade show booth designs are the ones that exude creativity. Gather the most imaginative people in your organization and brainstorm for unique trade show booth ideas that will set you apart from your competitors.

2. Integrate Bright Colors

A bland trade show booth that is devoid of color will fade into the background and probably won’t get a second glance. Using bold colors is an excellent way to attract attention on a crowded exhibit floor.

3. Make Your Display Interactive

Trade shows provide an opportunity for attendees to get a break from the daily routine and have some fun. Using tools such as monitors where visitors can play interactive games related to your product or staging product demonstrations can attract more people to your booth and hold their attention longer.

4. Incorporate Brand Messaging

If yours is a startup company, most visitors probably won’t know who you are and what you do. Trade show exhibits provide a golden opportunity to get the message out by prominently displaying your brand, logo or marketing slogan all over your booth. Giveaways also enable you to deliver your branding message — and allow attendees to take something with them.

5. Use Tradeshow Display Stands to Highlight Your Products

The effective use of attractive stands, pedestals and tables can draw more attention to the products you wish to feature at the show and help you project the desired image.

Pedestal Source is your headquarters for beautiful, well-constructed trade show stands that can help your products get noticed. Contact us for more information and to receive additional trade show booth design tips that will improve the results at your next exhibition.

Why Trade Show Exhibits Are Important for Your Business

Creating the most attractive, practical, technologically advanced or innovative product won’t mean a whole lot if no one knows about it. Getting the product in front of the people who are most likely to purchase it is an essential component of a well-crafted marketing strategy.

Trade show marketing is a powerful promotional tool that brings buyers and sellers who share a common interest together in one location. Knowing how trade shows work can have a positive impact on your business in so many ways.

What Are Trade Show Exhibitions?

A trade show is a gathering of company representatives in a specific industry for promotional purposes. Usually held in large exhibit halls or similar facilities, the typical trade show setup consists of rows of individual booths.

Each company uses its allotted booth space to create an eye-catching display to attract visitors, giving the representatives the opportunity to pitch their product or service and generate interest. Exhibitors can demonstrate their products if applicable and hand out free samples or promotional giveaways.

Understanding the Importance of Trade Shows

Attending trade shows and understanding their importance can provide numerous benefits for your company:

  • Access to your target market: Because trade shows are industry-specific, they offer the perfect opportunity to reach the people who are most likely to purchase your product or service — trade shows often provide the biggest bang for your marketing buck.
  • Networking: Trade shows enable you to meet and interact with customers and “players” in your industry, which can set the stage for future business opportunities.
  • Promoting your brand: The trade show forum can help you generate brand awareness and trust, which is especially important if your company is a startup venture.

Trade Show Marketing Tips

Tips to help you maximize your trade show results include:

  • Consider paying extra to get a prime booth location that will heighten your visibility.
  • Make your display as interactive as possible.
  • Staff your booth with friendly, sales-oriented people who have a thorough understanding of your products and company.
  • Use samples, giveaways, contests, demonstrations and the like to capture and hold visitors’ attention.
  • Gather contact information and follow up after the show.

Contact Pedestal Source to learn more about trade shows and how they can help you reach your business goals.

Custom Made Affordable Trade Show Displays

We custom make affordable trade show displays to fit your every need. Our items are American-made hand crafted in Colorado. Our affordable displays are trade show ready.

The vinyl-clad finish is long-lasting and durable. Our affordable portable pedestals and custom trade show collapsible cabinets literally take minutes to set up and take down. There is a how-to video available for extra guidance.

Easily clean the displays with a damp cloth. Storage and transportation are easy because of our custom palletized crates. Multiple displays conveniently and tastefully go together. Choose between classic colors black or white.

Here is what our customers are saying:

“The units you created for us fit the bill on so many ways. The appearance of the displays was beautiful-clean lined but with enough detail to make them interesting.” -Kit Heath Jewelry, Trade Show Booth, Las Vegas 2010

Our Affordable Portable Pro Pedestal features a decorative shaped edge and is vacuum sealed with a coat of vinyl that is resistant to scratches and dings. You can be assured your items will be displayed with the elegance and sophistication they deserve.

Also, our unique ballast system provides added weight. Our displays are wind tunnel tested to insure stability. Of course, our heavy-duty ballast bag, that can be filled with water for added support, is included at no additional charge.

The best thing about buying our affordable trade show displays is that you can use them over and over. Renting displays is costly and inconvenient. Don’t risk it. Go with the number one pedestal source.

Custom Pedestals: Nimbus Data and NYE Lubricants

Here at Pedestal Source/Xylem Design, we just finished up two custom jobs recently that we wanted to show you.

The first was a job for Nimbus Data. The customer needed a sleek “eye catching” pedestal for an upcoming trade show.  They requested a high gloss black laminate finish with their logo cut out and white light illuminating out the front panel. They also needed the top to be fully lighted with a blue tint. A blue filter was installed on the top to illuminate blue tint. Here’s the finished product:

The second job was for NYE Lubricants.  This customer requested an over-hanging pedestal with recessed lighting underneath the overhang. The sides included brochure compartments along with a toe kick on the bottom. In addition to having the ambient lighting on the top we provided directional corner spotlights to enhance their displays. Here is the finished pedestal:

Both of these custom jobs required quick turnaround schedules of about two weeks, and both of our customers were thrilled with the results!  Do you need a custom pedestal? Give us a call today at 1.800.333.9953. Our design engineers will work with you to develop your idea into an attractive custom fixture you need.

Buying or Renting Trade Show Pedestals: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself

The start of the trade show is 2 hours away. The set up is going great. Everything so far is looking spectacular. Everything except… Except the fact that the pedestals never arrived from your exhibit supplier. OK, don’t panic. Take a deep breath. You can just set the product up on the floor. Um, no. I know! Steve can hold them, he is sometimes called the human pedestal around the office anyway… Wait! Boxes! Cardboard boxes will hold them! No… the product weighs 40 pounds – an accident waiting to happen. Alright Steve, get your haz-mat suit on we’re down to dumpster diving – just find something we can use as a pedestal!

Has this ever happened to you? Maybe it’s a slight over-dramatization. Or maybe not. Either way, no one wants to end up in a frustrating situation like this. That’s why renting vs. buying display pedestals has turned into one of the classic dilemmas for trade show planners. The lasting impression that you want to present is one that is aesthetically pleasing. Having all of your pedestals show up on time should be the least of your worries. So naturally when considering all aspects of your exhibit the question arises: should I rent or should I buy the display pedestals for the upcoming trade shows? Whether you’re a large Fortune 500 company or a small company with a local and regional focus, budget concerns will figure prominently in marketing decisions, especially where the ROI can be somewhat tricky to assess. There is no doubt display pedestals play a significant role in the look and feel of your trade show exhibit. But is it really necessary to invest your money in purchasing your pedestals? Here are five questions every event exhibit planner should ask themselves when considering whether to rent or buy the display pedestals for a trade show.

1. What are my quality requirements?

You put so much time and energy into the planning and preparation of your trade show exhibit. The aesthetic quality of the display pedestals must be top notch. The last thing you want is for this to be a wild card in your exhibit setup. So how do you ensure that the pedestals you will be using meet your high standards? Renting can offer you a tremendous amount of flexibility if your shows are seldom and if it’s acceptable that the quality and style vary a bit from show to show. However, if you have very specific needs for style, color and size, buying will allow you to control all of these aspects. It also allows you to inspect the pedestals for quality control days or weeks before the show to ensure the condition. It can be incredibly frustrating to realize at the last minute that there are damaged or missing pedestals in your rental inventory!

2. What are my time constraints for the upcoming show?

We’ve all had the last-minute trade show entry. Perhaps you have overlapping shows or need additional pedestals for a larger space. The reality is that you just may not have the time to put in an order to purchase pedestals. In these cases, renting gives you the flexibility to work on very short turnaround times. However, many quality pedestal manufacturers have pedestals in stock or pedestals that can be custom-made and shipped within a couple of days. This allows you to remain consistent with the style and color of your other exhibit pieces.

3. What do I need to consider as far as storage?

Let’s be honest: storage is an added long term cost. Sometimes it feels like you need a small warehouse just for your trade show materials! For some, this is just not an option. You can’t keep overhead costs down if you have to figure out how to store bulky trade show exhibits. Renting, however, alleviates this problem altogether. Allowing storage space to be the rental company’s concern solves a big headache. With that said, it’s probably worth the time to really consider just how much space you need to store your pedestals. Many pedestal manufacturers are aware of this problem for businesses and offer portable, collapsible pedestals that allow for easy storage and travel. Suddenly, space will become a non-issue.

4. How often will I be using the pedestals?

This question is really the crux of the issue regarding renting or buying your trade show pedestals. Do you have only one show per year that you attend? Or occasionally do you have two or more shows happening simultaneously that you need to add additional pedestals to your stock? Then renting may be the best option for you. There is simply no need to purchase and store pedestals that get so little use. But maybe you are the trade show king, a real road warrior attending multiple trade shows a year. Perhaps your pedestals do double-time and you need them to display items in your office. Then buying would be the best option. Your pedestals will pay for themselves in no time, and as stated before, you get to control the quality, style and color.

5. What’s it going to cost me?

This is where the rubber meets the road and obviously goes hand in hand with Question 4. Many portable trade show display pedestals can be purchased for as low as $75 and will pay for themselves within 3 or 4 shows. Renting pedestals does offer flexibility especially where storage is concerned, but can become expensive over the long run. Again, the question of cost will be answered by analyzing how much you will be using your pedestals.

The question of renting vs. buying spills over into many aspects of your business, especially when it comes to your marketing materials. In addition, perhaps there are some general philosophical questions that need to be asked: How important are trade shows to your business? Are they part of your long-term marketing strategy? If so, the materials you use will say a lot about your company on the big stage. Consequently, your pedestals will say a lot about you as well. Hopefully, these guidelines will serve to aid you in making the best decision for your unique situation thereby resulting in achieving the right balance between aesthetics and economics.