What You Need for a Trade Show Booth

Posted on 24, March, 2020

Last Modified on 25, August, 2023

A trade show booth is like a blank canvas, and it’s your job as the artist to turn it in to a masterpiece. But what do you need to make that happen? From your booth backdrop to a paper clip, here are five things you need for a successful trade show booth.

1. An eye-catching display: No two trade show booths look the same, and nor should they. Your booth should be unique and reflective of your company or message. Maybe you want to keep it simple with a standadrd aluminum banner stand and coordinating printed table throw. Or maybe you would prefer something on a larger scale, like a backlit pop-up display and podium. The most important thing is to know what kind of space you’re working with and plan your display around that. Try to avoid squeezing too much in to a 10 x 10 booth, especially if your goal is to invite people into the space. Conversely, if you have a large space you don’t want your displays to be too sparse so make sure you have enough to fill the space. Either way, you need to be able to draw attendees into your booth and an eye-catching display can do just that.

2. Visual aids: What is it that you have to offer at the show? If you’ll be displaying or selling products, you need to figure out where best to display them to offer maximum visibility to passersby. If you have a presentation, what medium will you be using to display it? Do you need a TV screen or an iPad? What about something to mount it on? Even if you won’t be providing a presentation or don’t have products to display, try adding visual interest to your booth by using literature displays or lure traffic with a charging station featuring a promotional poster.

3. Promo Items: Everyone loves free stuff – there’s no getting away from that. For the show, you’re going to want some good promo items with your logo or company information to get people to come over and to help them remember you long after the show is over. This could be standard items like pens, flash drives, mugs, magnets, or tote bags. Or, if you’re looking for something a little different, try multitools, first aid kits, reusable straws, or charge blocks.

4. Business cards: Even if the trade show has an electronic means of exchanging information, it always helps to have a stash of business cards with you. Simply handing over your business card to a prospect will help them better remember you when you follow up with them after the show. While it may seem like a good idea to make your card stand out with a unique shape or size, these types of cards don’t tend to make a great impression. Instead, try setting yourself apart with a bold design!

5. Supplies: A successful trade show experience starts with being prepared, which is why everyone who is exhibiting at a trade show should pack an emergency supplies kit. This should include pens, tape, rubber bands, stapler, paper clips, scissors, power strip and extension cords, zip ties, thread, and anything else you can think of. This kit should also include refreshments for your booth staff in case they get too busy to take breaks. Even if you don’t end up needing them, a neighboring booth might and if you’re able to help them out, you just might make a great new connection.

Whether it's your first time exhibiting at a trade show or your hundredth, knowing exactly what you need for a trade show booth will put you on the path to an excellent trade show experience. From your displays to your emergency supply kit, going into the show prepared will help you achieve your objectives and make a lasting impression on all those you meet.

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