There are literally thousands of trade shows across the country every year.  No matter your industry, you can find hundreds of shows to attend, each with their own ROI.  With great trade show planning, you can select the show(s) that are most worth it to your business and successfully grow.  Try the following tactics:

Trade Show Planning Idea 1: Booth Selection

They say it’s all about real estate.  Where you choose to rent your trade show booth space is as important as the size.  There are multiple reasons, including visibility.  If you’re on a corner aisle, you’ll obviously be more visible than shoved in between a row of small exhibitors.  If you start your trade show planning early, you can select a space that won’t be in the shadow of the industry giant or shoved in between every other competitor.  With a little trade show planning, you’ll get the spot you deserve and the foot traffic you’ll need to grow.

international exhibit house trade show exhibit

Trade Show Planning Idea 2: Size Matters

Many small businesses simply don’t have the budget to go big.  In the trade show planning stages, it may be tempting to acquire a larger space, but many small businesses forget they then have to fill that larger space with something impressive.  You can’t just stick a table and chairs in a 20×20 trade show exhibit or larger. Instead, it’s smarter to graduate slowly from a 10×10 trade show exhibit to a 10×20 trade show display.  In spaces such as a 10×20, exhibitors will be able to capture more traffic than a 10×10 space they left behind and have the budget to include light boxes, custom elements, and signage to attract more attention to the brand.

MJ Biz Con trade show exhibit

Trade Show Planning Idea 3: Rent, Don’t Purchase

While in the trade show planning phases, keep in mind that it’s cheaper and smarter to rent a trade show exhibit than it is to purchase one.  There are many reasons, but a trade show rental is generally offered as all-inclusive, including storage, shipping, installation and dismantling.  In contrast, a trade show exhibit purchase is generally not offered with any of these services, requiring your business to outsource them all separately, and later to find a place to store the exhibit without damaging it every time you pull and pack the items.  In this case, trade show booth rental is a much better option for small businesses. By renting something and starting the process early, businesses can take advantage of any special pricing, brainstorm some unique ideas and even gain insight into an experiential event to draw traffic to the booth space.

Snappy Gifts trade show exhibit design

Trade Show Planning Idea 4: Work the Trade Show Attendee List

What if you just showed up to a trade show and nobody knew you were there? To draw more of a crowd and potentially grow your business at a trade show, it’s important to engage in marketing.  Let the trade show attendees know that you’ll be there.  A complete marketing plan should be discussed in the trade show planning phase, including how to reach out the people you want in your trade show booth.  There should be a multiple pronged plan, including email marketing, social media engagement, and contacting customers.  This will increase the crowd at the trade show booth, encouraging more leads and potential business.

inbound marketing trade show booth rental

As your small business grows, there will be more opportunities to expand your footprint on the trade show floor and grow even larger.  In the beginning stages, it’s important to get it just right.  With proper trade show planning, your business can grow at a manageable pace and with a manageable spend.

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