your  trade show booth - your home away from home

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Think of your trade show booth space as your home away from home, your temporary office in the field.  It's where you will be "living" for the next week during the show, and it represents you and your company.  It should be professional and inviting.  The first thing most prospects will see as they approach is the portable trade show display you have set up in the back of your booth.  The display should have full-size color trade show graphics that say who you are and what you do, and get that across quickly.  The graphics should also draw attention to your booth space. Remember that trade shows are essentially a huge competition. You've got to distinguish your tradeshow booth from all the other trade show booths. Your trade show display needs riveting graphics and a clear message that will stop prospects in their tracks, instead of letting them continue down the aisle to talk to your competitor four trade show booths away who's done a better job.

One's trade show booth the space should be open and uncluttered, though I am a big fan of renting plants as few other exhibitors will do this so it can create a tranquil "oasis" for your prospects (this is also an easy  way to make your booth a more "green trade show booth", which is increasingly popular today).  Another thing I liked to do when the budget allowed was to get a 20ft space (instead of a 10ft space) and then rope off or curtain off half of the booth space to convert it into a "private" office with a small round table, four comfortable chairs, and a pot of hot coffee handy.  You'll find by day two your prospects will love the idea of sitting down for a while, thought you may then find the challenge is to get them up and moving after you've finished talking business.  And of course, for this idea to work, you need at least two people working your booth space at all times.  For more ideas about maximizing the potential of your trade show booth, I invite you to check out some of the following articles below.  - George

UPDATE: Helpful hints, suggestions, tips, advice, and important factors and variable for successfully deciding on, choosing, selecting, and fully understanding trade show booths...


! LOCATION - "Where" your booth is at the show is a huge factor to your trade show marketing success. While the three most import things for your trade show display may be graphics, graphics, and graphics... the three most important things for your trade show booth space are location, location, and location. Sign up early to exhibit at the trade show and try to get a high volume, high visibility location. Avoid being be the bathrooms. There may be a lot of traffic there, but it is the wrong kid. Think front and center, and try to be as close to the entrance as possible. Corners can be very good. Be sure to look at a map of the booth spaces and layouts, and get the best spot you can. There may be small premium on the better spaces, but the premium is well worth it.

! Promotion - Don't just sign up and show up. You need to do pre-show promotion. Get a list of people who will be attending the trade show and send out a flier (or two) before the show, and tell people about your trade show booth. Give them a reason to stop by, and include a small map of where your booth is on the trade show floor. Offer a free trade show giveaway if they stop by and fill out a questionnaire. Whatever you do, you must promote your trade show booth, or it will become just one of many ignored trade show booths at the show.

! Staffing - Trade show booth staffing is pretty basic. Have enough staff to properly man your booth space. Dress professionally. Smile. Ask questions. Show interest. Be professional. Stand. Don't sit. While staffing a booth can be grueling, it doesn't go on for ever. Get a good night's sleep and eat a good breakfast. Drink water. Stay happy. Treat every prospect as if they were your best gold-plated customer. Remember the people in your booth can make or break it.

! First Impressions - The only impression that really counts is the first impression people get when they approach your trade show booth. What is the overall impression your booth creates. Is it cluttered? Is it dark? Is it small? Is anybody home? What do your graphics say, and how do they look? If the first impression your booth creates is a bad one, you probably won't get the chance to make a second impression. The first impression will be the last. Trade show marketing can be brutal. Make sure it is the other trade show booths that get brutalized, and not your trade show booth.


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