Best Practices for Industrial Trade Shows

  1. Claim your booth space early and in a strategic exhibition hall location

To reserve a spot in an ideal location within the exhibit hall, you should plan to sign up for the following year’s booth space as early as one year in advance of the event. Many tradeshows hold registration signups on-site for their next year’s show during the current year’s tradeshow event.

When deciding where to reserve your booth in the exhibit hall, keep a few proximity approaches in mind. Pick a booth close to the trade show floor entrance but not right at the entrance as that is the area most prone to uncomfortable congestion levels. Select a booth near a café where traffic proves steady throughout the event as attendees grab a coffee or bite to eat. Avoid renting a booth space adjacent to a competitor. Finally, reserve a booth near other companies targeting similar demographics to take advantage of this high-quality attendee traffic.  

  1. How to choose the best trade show booth size and type to boost exhibitor traffic for your needs

Booth size is an important aspect to consider when signing up for a booth space at your company’s next event. To calculate the amount of space you will require, be sure to consider the size and quantity of the products you plan to display in your booth. According to one trade show display company, you may assume that exhibit properties such as banners, tables, and chairs will take up half of your booth space.

Exhibit space types:

  • Linear inline booths: typically 10’ x 10’ or 10’ x 20’ in size, only one side is open to aisle traffic, and is arranged along a straight-line series of booths in the center of the exhibit hall
  • Corner booth: typically 10’ x 10’ in size with two of four sides open to aisle traffic
  • Peninsula booths: usually ≥ 20’ x 20’ in size and open to aisle traffic on three of four sides
  • Perimeter booths: only one side is open to aisle traffic and is arranged along a straight-line series of booths on the perimeter of the exhibit hall
  • End-cap booths: usually 10’ x 20’ in size with three of four sides open to aisle traffic
  • Island booths: usually ≥ 20’ x 20’ in size with all four sides open to aisle traffic

  1. Determine trade show goals and develop success tracking techniques

The main motivation for an exhibitor to attend a trade show could range from getting the word out about a new product to generating new qualified leads or maintaining strong existing customer relationships. If generating new sales is your main goal, set an overall sales revenue target tied to the event. An example of building brand awareness at your event could be to promote a prize wheel at your booth. This giveaway promotion could be advertised in advance of the show on social media and through email campaigns with a branded hashtag. To track this brand awareness effort, you could require game participants to toss their business card in a fishbowl in order to spin the wheel to track overall number of participants. Solidify your company’s goal for exhibiting prior to the event to best analyze the success of your efforts upon event completion.

  1. Find out which prospects and customers will be attending the show and set up a time to meet

Use trade shows as an opportunity to gain valuable facetime with your top prospects and loyal existing customers. Set up networking meetings or entertaining opportunities with your contacts in advance of the show. Meetings can be informal such as making a reservation at a restaurant or taking them out to a sporting event. Alternatively, you could set up a private client meeting or product demonstration at your booth during trade show hours. These efforts are all about relationship building to further discover the true needs of the customer and how you can best meet those needs.

  1. Follow up with leads promptly after the show via a personalized, meaningfully message

It is important that you are collecting business cards and utilizing mobile lead scanning apps to collect lead contact information throughout the event. Within one week of the final day of the show, be sure to follow up with all trade show leads via a phone call or customized e-mail. The follow-up interaction should reference the conversation you had in your booth to best custom tailor the conversation with the individual. You want to make that person feel special to keep the relationship growing for years to come.

When planning for your company’s next trade show, it is important to select the appropriate sized booth in a strategic location and to set trade show goals prior to the start of the event. To make the most of your time spent while attending the show, be sure to schedule time to meet with your prospects and existing customers either on the trade show floor or out on the town. Lastly, remember to follow up with your trade show leads after the show via phone or e-mail.

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