The 9 Rules to Help Any Exhibitor Succeed at a Trade Show

6.  A scanner will come in handy.

This is not your average scanner, no.

This is a badge scanner and trust me you will love what it can do for you. You will not regret the extra dollars spent on this equipment, this a special equipment used to scan the badges at a trade show.

You might be asking,what is so important about this? Well every attendee’s badge contains all of their contact information from where they work, what they do, phone number, if they are a decision maker within their organization, the type of products they search for, so on and so forth.

The last thing a buyer wants is to be asked for their business card when they have a limited number to give out. Or you may not be able to find a pen to quickly take down their information, as they are trying to move on to the next booth.

If you can capture the information from each person visiting your booth, it will be invaluable for follow up after the show.

7.  Coverage

In your planning stages, you need know how many visitors the show has on average every year and figure out what type of coverage your booth needs.

No one ever goes to booths where people are not able and willing to provide answers to their questions. Yes, they might stop by and have some of your samples and simply walk away.

What a missed opportunity that was, or to only have one person at the booth at a national show is definitely not the best idea.

Do make sure that every attendee is serviced well, by providing all the information they request. Also make sure that the staff is well versed on everything to do with the product or service, there is nothing more annoying for a buyer than to be greeted by that one staff member that has no idea of what is being sold.

8.  Budget

Budget and be generous. Keep in mind it is not only the cost for the booth, there are many other expenses that you will incur.

The samples you provide are an expense for the company, the material you provide the attendees, cost money to make, and you will need to most likely have business cards made, paperwork, etc. The giveaways – people like a little something maybe a pen, a stress ball, or something related to the product.

Let’s say you are selling spices, give out a serving spoon with your company information printed on the handle.

If you are traveling out of town you will need to budget for hotel and meals, check out the number of days the event lasts and how far in advance you must arrive for it, how many hotel rooms you need. Are you traveling by car, airplane or train?

Keep in mind that anything at a convention center is priced at a premium whether it bean outlet, a cord, an extra chair or table, ANYTHING! So before you commit to that show, figure out what it truly costs and ensure you can make it happen.

9.  Design

Presentation matters, and not only personal but that of your booth.

Plan ahead, and decide with your team how your booth should be decorated, does your company offer a trendy service or product, then go lively. If your business is in taxation or finances, maybe the look should be more corporate.

Above all ensure the design is cohesive with your brand, let’s say there are colors that are specific to your brand, or a mascot, feel free to utilize them in your décor.


Which ever trade show you decide to attend to promote your product or service, plan ahead.

Figure everything out and budget for what you may need to make your show a success and most importantly, do follow up with every one of the contacts you make in order to close some deals, which in turn will significantly increase your ROI and the hard work you have put in will be worth it.

Related articles:

Making the Most of Trade Shows for your Business

Small Businesses and Events

Small Business Customer Lists Are Its Lifeblood

Andrea Giraldo
Andrea Giraldo
Andrea Giraldo, Partner, Director Translation Initiatives, has spent the last ten years helping people introduce their products to the US market, start new businesses as well as helping take existing businesses to the next level. A creative thinker and entrepreneur, she is founder/owner of Giraldo Farms, importing coffee that is in nationwide distribution. Giraldo has a degree in Business and Economic Development from Fordham University and considered an expert in international trade. She has been providing bilingual advisement to small businesses in the New York Metro area for the last six years.

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