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Here are some things you can do to make your trade show displays work harder for you, and a few of our favorite sales tips for increasing success.

If you've exhibited at a trade show or convention before, you know how hectic it can be, how anything that could go wrong may, and how important it is to plan ahead and consider all the factors that make for a successful trade show experience. These tips are for trade show novices, yet also may be helpful to convention veterans as well. 

1. Get to the exhibit hall, convention center, or exhibit location early.

Even though you have most likely been given the dimensions of your exhibit space, and know the location on the floor, and filled out all the paperwork, it's a great idea to survey the hall before you set up your tradeshow display. Check into your hotel room early, be sure to bring your cell phone (and that it works in the exhibit hall), and get to the exhibit hall or location as quickly as possible. If your exhibit requires electric or phones, or has other unique requirements, confirm that these are installed and/or are scheduled to be installed.

2. Know the convention center and any trade show union rules.

Various convention centers and various cities have various rules, regulations, and policies regarding set up, tear down, what union workers must do, and what you can do on your own. Many of our portable displays pop-up or snap together without tools. In cities where unions must be employed if tools are required, union labor may not be required. Also, there are almost always very specific set up and tear down days and times and schedules that you must be aware of.
Our portable displays set up quickly, making it easier to work within the set up and breakdown schedule, and get into and out of the exhibit hall or convention center quickly and easily.

3. Survey your exhibiting neighbors in adjacent booths.

Look around your area at the types of tradeshow displays others are setting up. Will yours be lost in the crowd? If so, make adjustments to bring more attention to your booth. Be aware that there are typically rules about not blocking your trade show neighbors, however, there may be additional attention-getting things you can do to make your exhibit stand out and stop passing traffic.

4. Assign a greeter to stand in front of your exhibit space.

Have someone standing in front of your area to greet visitors - instead of behind a counter. If you've been to a trade show before, you realize that you don't want to be too overwhelming, however, you also want to be sure to welcome traffic into your booth or exhibit space. Think of your exhibit space as a store. If the store help is too pushy, you may be turned off. If the store help seems friendly and attentive, smiling, happy and excited about the products and services shown, yet respectful and polite, you are more apt to go inside.

5. Offer free samples, or have a trade show or convention drawing or contest.

If possible, offer free samples of your products in your trade show exhibit booth. Free samples always draw a crowd, plus help sell. A trade show drawing or contest is another option. If you've been to trade shows and conventions before, you've seen how exhibitors ask that people have their credentials scanned, or drop business cards into a bowl or container for a trade show exhibit drawing or contest. Sometimes the trade show contest or drawing requires the contestants to be at your trade show booth at the time of the drawing. This causes trade show attendees to visit your booth twice - once to enter your trade show exhibit or contest, and again to be present at the time of the drawing for your trade show exhibit or contest. The more often you can get trade show attendees to your trade show booth, the better.

6. Add some excitement and a festive atmosphere to your trade show booth.

Visit a nearby store and buy lots of colorful, helium balloons to use in your booth, or flowers, or other decorative items that will make your booth look exciting, festive, and stand out. Be sure anything you bring into the hall is fire retardant.

7. Give away items that promote your business within the convention hall.

You might also consider giving away balloons, bags or other items. If you've been to a trade show or convention before, you've seen how trade show attendees walking around with items from various trade show exhibitors help promote that company as the trade attendees walk throughout the convention hall - and even outside the convention hall.

8. Give away trade show specialty items in your trade show booth.

Trade show giveaways - like pens, pencils, flashlights, business card holders, buttons, pins, and other items - are known as 'Specialty Items'. If you've been to a convention before, you know how some specialty items are unique and 'keepers' while others you take yet later discard. Try to find the most unique specialty items and think carefully about how these might remind trade show attendees of your products and/or services. Be sure that your phone number or web Site address is clearly printed on these trade show and convention specialty items and giveaways.

9. Have people sign up and ship them specialty items.

Specialty items can be costly, and some do get discarded when trade show attendees get back to their hotel rooms, weed through all the literature and specialty items they picked up, and pack to go home. The alternative to in-booth specialty items and providing better specialty items that are 'keepers' is to have trade show attendees sign up - or give you their business cards. By shipping items to trade show attendees 'post-show', you have the opportunity to capture names and addresses, make a second impression after the trade show or convention - ship better specialty items - like coffee mugs, t-shirts, caps, business card holders, candles, chocolates, and whatever else you wish - even product samples if too costly to give away  - to their home or office - along with your literature and other promotional items and marketing materials. A portable banner (we provide) can be set up near the front of your booth to promote the sign up. This often works more effectively than giving things away during the actual show or convention, plus it gives you the opportunity to phone or email the trade show attendee again to see if they received your gift - and begin a sales dialog.


10. Have a backup plan - and even a backup booth - in case of logistics problems.

If you've exhibited before, no doubt you've seen the 'other guy' (hopefully it wasn't you) with an empty exhibit space and nothing to fill it with! Just the sign on the back curtain. Nothing strikes fear in the heart of an exhibitor like hearing, "I'm sorry... the shipper must have lost your boxes." Now what?! Portable tradeshow displays from Trade Show Display Depot are lightweight, easy to transport, and affordable. We also provide many styles. You can carry an extra display in your car, or check it as baggage when you fly to your new destination. This way you can be sure your event will go off without a hitch - even if your primary exhibit is lost or arrives late. If you have a large orbital truss or other display that must be shipped in crates, having a backup portable display will assure you that your trade show convention will be a success, and give you peace of mind.

11. Have professionally designed displays - and make the best impression.

Trade shows and conventions are interesting in that the impression your booth or exhibit makes on attendees can be equivalent to how large, stable, and reliable you and your company appears to be. Sad but true, in nearly all cases, the larger and more impressive your trade show exhibit is, the more confident customers feel about you and your products and services. Trade show and convention exhibit space is typically expensive, and going 'all out' with a professional and well designed trade show display will meet your exhibiting goals and objectives. This is not to say that you must forego the 10 foot space for the larger 20 foot space. Even in a small space, Trade Show Display Depot can make the most of that space with a professionally designed tradeshow display, the finest and most eye-catching graphics, various components like tables, banner stands and round and square towers, dramatic lighting and other effects, and more.

12. Use a variety of sizes and components to create the most intriguing space.

To create an eye-catching booth or convention exhibit, choose several sizes of trade show displays and display components. Use one for a backdrop; add pop-up displays on tabletops; and create an entranceway or border for your booth with banner stands. The more creativity and imagination you put into your displays and exhibit, the more traffic you'll stop. If you've attended trade shows or conventions before, no doubt you've seen one booth with no one in it, while across the way a crowd has gathered. With years of experience in trade show exhibit design and engineering, and from attending hundreds of shows and conventions, we can help you create a booth that will draw the crowds.