Make Your Trade Show Stand POP

One of the coolest things about business is the times where you get to share what you do with people. Some trade shows are open to the public, and others are only for B2B. You can still make your stand the best it can be either way – because the goal is the same. You want sales, contacts and to up your visibility. 


Of course, trade shows should be typically incorporated into your overall business marketing model, both in your cash flow (because most of them you’ll need to pay for the stand and your trade materials), and as a means to gaining exposure. 


When you think about how much you are going to spend on the trade show stand and your displays, it obviously makes sense that you are going to want to make it the best. Investing in the best materials will mean, in most cases, that you can keep your banners and other more significant promotional items for years. So when researching companies, make sure you check out somewhere like vivid


But what else can you do to make sure that you trade events are always enjoyable and impactful? 

Photo by The Ride Academy on Unsplash

Hey Good Looking

Buyers are attracted to pretty, well put together booths. Obviously showing that you have put effort into your display, will make it pleasing to the eye – but will lend itself to the fact that you clearly care about what you do. Meaning that you are likely to really care about other projects that you do too. 


Bright colors, clean lines, and if your purpose is clear, they will know if what you do applies to them, or now. 


You can use lighting in the form of portable LED lighting to highlight the areas you want to draw attention to. If you have the space and the cash, you can set the lights up in a really impactful way by having colored lights and better lighting equipment. Most likely installed by a professional. 

Give Goodies

Before you arranged to go to the trade show, you should have taken a look at where you can offer something unique to tradeshow attendees. Now, the idea isn’t to provide something so good you make a loss, or that you are taking a risk with not being able to fulfil orders. But, a discount code given to people who stop by your stand – might just be the ticket. 


It pays to have small boiled sweets on the stand too. People are typically happy to pick up a boiled sweet and chat if it isn’t forced upon them. You can order branded ones if you like, small things make an impression. 


Promotions & Giveaways

You are playing to win here. So have something available to attendees that is worth their time. You are going to exchange their details for a chance to win something. 


Ideally, you will have iPad set up ready to take details like :


  • Name
  • Company
  • Address
  • Email Address


Ensure that you have looked into the legality of having those details and the disclaimer you will need to have available for people to read. Then you will need to correctly store the details in a safe place – as described in your disclaimer. It is imperative that you pay attention to the laws about data protection


It is vital that you also ensure that you send the winner their prize in good time. There are always rules and regulations about that. It also looks good for you and your company if you are seen to do as you say you will. 


Getting the top stop is going to cost you. The prime locations sell out very quickly. So if you want to be a contender, you need to make calls early on to see what you are looking at in terms of cost. And, many times the best spots are booked before the end of the last trade show is finished. 


Typically the first booths on the left and the right of the entrance will get a lot of footfall, following that there are some more significant corners and inner circle spaces. The popular locations tend to get a bigger space – because they get so much traffic. So, if you didn’t splash out this year, take the time to walk around the area, and see what people are naturally drawn to and where they walk. 


If you have the location and the look, the only thing that will stop people gravitating to your stall will be you. If you are hiring in help, make sure that they are well versed in your products and services and that they look, on face value, approachable. 


There should be someone available to help at all times, and preferably someone who is smiling and welcoming. 


On the stand, it is better that you have a range of media. Some people like to touch a product and see it in action. If your products are too big for that, then have a video available. 


Having leaflets, catalogues, flyers and other easy to pick up material will mean that you are likely to end up in the right hands. Pricing is a big thing, too – not everyone wants to ask. In fact, what they would prefer to do is look at your pricing, then ask you about what you get for that money. 


Don’t have too much on the table in the way of flyers, if you are having a sweet bowl, place it behind brochures and marketing materials. People will feel inclined to get a flyer on the way to the sweet treat. Simple but effective placement. 


If you also struggle with being approachable and easy-going, hire someone. Models, entertainers, and even singers are used to grabbing the attention of their audience. They are natural at it. So, if you can hire someone to host the booth, that leaves you to answer all of the more in-depth questions. 


Ensure that the host has a branded item of clothing on – typically a t-shirt or a sweatshirt. So when they are walking around, they are mobile marketing units. 

Photo by Product School on Unsplash


While you are there, you really should take a few laps yourself. Introduce yourself, drop off business cards, have a chat about what you do and how you do it. Everyone who has a trade stand is there to network. For new suppliers, products, retailers and more. So make the most of what you are doing – research networking tips if you need them. 

Social Media

You would be remiss to assume that just because you are at a trade show that you don’t need to be advertising this on social media. Make an effort to follow all of the companies that you have interacted with, and say hi – compliment their stand or staff. You can ask have a hashtag on your materials that you can track the popularity of. 


In fact, you can combine your social media engagement with a giveaway. People who take a photo and share it with your hashtag and Twitter or Instagram ID can be entered to win a service or product. 


This is also an excellent opportunity to direct tweet people who have tagged the main trade show company and let them know where your stand is – and to come and say hi. 

Follow Up

Once the stand is broken down, and you have a bowl of business cards and a google spreadsheet full of contacts – it’s time to follow up. Send an email to each of the people that you spoke to, remind them who you are, where you stand was and something personal about the conversation you had. 


If they respond, you now have an opening to investigate the contact further and whether you can turn it into a business relationship. 


Trade shows are the perfect way to get your brand out there. The trade show events team usually put together a great team and their own in-house magazine that goes to attendees and other trade stand users – so the visibility you have is very high right now – so capitalize on it. 


Lisa Besserman, Founder and CEO of Startup Buenos Aires, has been named as Business Insider’s “Top 100 Most Influential Women in Tech”, and the 2014 “Business Innovator of Latin America” by the Council of the Americas.

Lisa moved to Buenos Aires from New York City to create Startup Buenos Aires, the organization that represents the startup, tech and entrepreneurial community of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Startup Buenos Aires has been one of the main catalysts for strengthening the tech ecosystem in Latin America, by bringing global startup initiatives, development projects and investment opportunities to the region.
Under Lisa’s leadership Startup Buenos Aires has been credited as “Top 3 Growing Startup Cities” by CNBC and “5 Emerging Global Tech Hubs” by Entrepreneur Magazine.

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