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Expert Advice for Trade Show Rookies

Those new to the exhibition scene can often feel overwhelmed with things to learn, glossaries of complicated terms and the sheer amount of advice that is offered. Below we have compiled our top five tips for trade show rookies.

Getting the swing of exhibitions is a steep learning curve, and there are always going to be people with more experience than you, whether you are at a small local trade show or a multinational conference event. The following top tips can help new exhibitors to find their feet in the hectic world of exhibitions.

1. Read the Manual.

It sounds like a chore, but at every event, those taking exhibition displays should read the manual or services leaflet provided by the organiser. This will prevent big problems arising on the day of the event, and will allow those exhibiting to get a feel for what is permissible, what rules and regulations there are and what to do if assistance is required. The guides generally cover everything from height of perimeter exhibits to the rules on serving hot drinks within an exhibition display; if you have a burning question that isn’t covered in the manual, make sure to ask.

2. Look After Your Own

Getting your sales and exhibition staff on side is crucial to a successful event. Include them in any important exhibit decisions that need to be made, and keep them informed of the planning process working up to the event. Outline their participation before the show, and conduct personal briefs if necessary. They need to be educated in proper exhibition etiquette, they must understand their targets and they should be invited to give feedback if necessary. Members of staff should also be kept happy; assign reasonable shifts, keep a stock of fresh snacks available for them, operate a rotational system whereby no member of staff spends more than two hours on the stand at any time, and give reasonable breaks.

3. Have A Back-Up Plan

When working trade shows and exhibitions, there is a common mantra that will become almost like law: if something can go wrong, it inevitably will. Whether it is a graphic being torn in transit on the way to the show, a counter which won’t stand up or mass traffic accidents causing sales staff to be late to the event, have a contingency plan for every possible situation. Back-up graphics, back-up banner stands and back-up staff members could save an exhibition one day.

Have any questions for your upcoming exhibition? Leave a question in the comments below and we’ll be happy to help.


One thought on “Expert Advice for Trade Show Rookies

  1. I’ve worked dozens of trade shows. I think that the most important factor to keep in mind is to HAVE FUN! People are always drawn to those who are having a good time. So I make sure that I’m having a great time when I’m working the booth. I’m talking to everybody I see. I’m handing out cards, I’m chasing down leads and just loving it.
    All the points above are great. Especially the back up plan. All you can do is just roll with the punches and smile.

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