How to set up a trade show booth

Whether its your first big trade show or your looking for ways to improve your display, here are some easy tips I’m sharing after years of experience creating booths at events!

  1. Have your display at multiple levels. I’ve set up so many booths and have noticed that customers will definetly linger longer when my display is at muliple heights. This can be done inexpensively by covering shoeboxes with wrapping paper, finding objects you already have at home or by visiting a display store to purchase some items of varying heights before your event

2. Choose a colour skeme. Keeping a booth streamlined with your branding materials and logo covers will not only look professional but will also look inviting to those passing by!

3) Consider your booth location in advance. By far, the best value is always a corner booth, no matter what the event as customers can view your items on two angles. I learned this quickly as an organizer when my veteran vendors would call and send me multiple emails to make sure they had a corner booth! And when I finally had my own corner booth at an event, I saw how correct they were. Always opt to be in the main room rather than a smaller room.

4) Signage and marketing materials: Don’t forget to clearly advertise your prices or services. Many people feel intimidated or just don’t wish to engage if they don’t know a) how much your items cost immediately b) don’t know what your booth is for! Think of something quick and eye grabbing to get your point across. Make your offer attractive with some self reflection-if you were walking by, would you want to stop?

5) Lighting! I can’t stress this one enough. Bad lighting not only makes your products harder to see, it sends a subliminal message to your customers to keep on walking by! Some dollar store string lights that are battery powered will go a long way. One of my best purchases from amazon are LED rechargable lights that are not required to be plugged in and last over 12 hours!

A well lit market booth in my town, Kelowna, Canada

5) What can you give for free? A bowl of chocolates, lolipops, personalized pens or products with your logo will always entice potential customers or clients to stop by! If children are attending the event, think what you could put out for them while you visit with parents (perhaps an inexpensive colouring station with stickers!).

6) Draw: This is by far the best bang for buck at any trade show and it will virtually cost you nothing! Have a draw for one of your products, services or even a restaurant gift card in exchange for a name and email address. Have a box to tick “opt into receiving promotional emails”. After the event you can add these emails to your list! This is so valuable as you can let all of your customers know about your future events or product promotions and new releases.

7) Personal appearance: Remember to dress in a way that reflects your business or services! Customers want to buy into the entire marketing story and that story begins with you! Really think about the look and style of your booth and how your outfit and appearance can match just that!

Visiting my friends 1940s style bridal booth at an event!

Some additional tips include setting up the display at home before the event (if space allows). Arrive as early as possible to set up your booth so you can have it looking the best you can. Do a walk by your booth and ask yourself “does it look inviting? Does what I’m selling or displaying look clear to the customer? Are my price points easy to see and read”? By stepping into your customers view you will have a whole new perspective of your booth and can work towards improving it at future events!

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