5 Essentials You Need for Your Next Trade Show

According to Statista.com, trade shows continue to be one of the most profitable ways to market a business, generating nearly $13 billion in revenue in 2016. Whether you’re planning on exhibiting at a large event, or something that’s smaller- to mid-size as trade show management companies like Alliance Exposition refer to as “Boutique” or “Ballroom Shows,” these essentials are a must to achieve the highest level of success possible. 


One of the keys to a successful trade show appearance is to make sure you have multiple signs such as banners and posters that can be seen from a variety of different angles to draw attention to your booth. A poorly designed booth that doesn’t have enough or has inferior signage is unlikely to attract much attention. Some of the best types of signs include retractable banners with sturdy aluminum bases and pop-up displays, both of which only take seconds to set up.

The trade show booth itself should be used as an advertisement that shares your brand and call to action. 

Presentation Media

While signs will help get attendees to your booth, presentation media can keep them interested in staying there, such as demonstrations using visual aids, slide shows and short video clips. Videos can quickly tell your story, packing a punch with visual impact. Think short, splashy videos that get people to stop as well as meatier videos for demonstrating products and/or telling client stories.

Business Cards

Bringing business cards is an obvious must, helping clients to remember and engage with you in the future well after the event. Don’t use odd-shaped cards that will be difficult for prospects to carry. They should be standard, pocket-accommodating size with images or graphics that spark conversation by showcasing your products. Highlight social media sites where your business is active such as your Facebook page, YouTube channel, etc.

Promotional Items

Trade show attendees look forward to picking up promotional items – who doesn’t like free stuff? If you have something good to give away, it’s likely to draw many, which will then introduce them to what you really have to offer them: your products and/or services. Trendy gadgets like selfie sticks, USB drives and portable power banks for phones tend to be some of the most popular swag. Other ideas include lip balm, t-shirts, and even blankets. Just be sure that the items are branded so attendees will remember you long after the show is over.

Food and Drink

Exhibiting at trade shows can be like running a marathon. It can be hard to get away from that booth and you won’t want to miss any opportunities, so be sure to bring the necessities to keep yourself fueled and hydrated so you can make it through the day. Stock up on bottled water so that you’ll have plenty, and you can help your potential customers stay hydrated as well.

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