Tradeshow 101: The Essential Dos and Don’ts for Beginners

The first time presenting at a tradeshow can be a very overwhelming experience. We are going to go over some of the dos and dont’s to get the best results and make your first show run as smoothly as possible. By following these tips you will be able to decrease the stress and increase the rewards!


The Dos

Set clear goals and objectives. What do you want to achieve?  this is the question you need to ask yourself before walking out onto the exhibitor floor. Are you looking to generate leads, network with potential partners, or learn about new industry trends? By identifying these goals prior to the show it allow you to better prepare a timeline and strategy of how you want to use your time and resoures.

Research the event and the exhibitors before you go. Due diligence is key to having a good game plan and performance in the world of exhibiting. by doing your research before hand, this will allow you to map out the booths you want to visit and allow you to have a breadth of knowledge regarding who else is attending the event to allow for better networking opportunities.

Dress professionally and comfortably. When it comes to exhibiting many people overlook the physical aspect. You will be on your feet all day, make sure you take comfortable shoes into consideration while choosing your outfit. Make sure you are also dressed professionally and your image reflects your brand so people can easily identify who you are associated with.

Invest in a high-quality booth and marketing materials. Your booth is your storefront at any show. Make sure you have a well planned and well-designed display that captivates the audience. when the audience members visit it is always great to have things that they can take with as a way to remember your business. things such as brochures, business cards, and other marketing materials are great to pass out to not only better educate, but to serve as a memento for the potential clients and partners well after the show has come to an end.

Follow up with the contacts you made. It is important to make a great first impression at the show, but it is even more crucial to stay in contact and follow up with the new contacts you have made. Keeping in touch and following up with new contacts can be easy with inc the present world of social media and internet connection. Following up with a simple thank you via email of LinkedIn can go a long way and be a catalyst for keeping the conversation going with prospective partners and customers.

The Don’ts

Over-schedule yourself. An easy way to set yourself for failure is putting too much on your plate. Make sure to have a set schedule with breaks included to keep yourself safe from burning out and keeping yourself fresh as it will be a long day.

Forget to bring snacks and water. Fatigue is a factor that many people do not take into consideration when attending a show. Make sure you have snacks and plenty of water to stay fueled and hydrated for the long day ahead.

Ignore the exhibitors and presentations. You will not always be entertained by all the presentations and products, but it is very important to show respect and be present for all presentations. These events are a great place to acquire knowledge, so it is always great to stay open minded and learn about as much as you can.

Skip the after-hours events. After a long day on the floor, it may be very easy to make the decision to call it a day and head home. Many shows have an after hours networking event or post show party. These are great to further connect and network with attendees and other exhibitors in a relaxed setting.

By following these dos and don’ts, you’ll be well-prepared for your first tradeshow and ready to make the most of the experience. Good luck, and happy networking!

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