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Getting the most out of trade shows

It’s no surprise that with the economic events of the last few years, trade show attendance is down. Still, chances are you’re going to be participating in at least a few of them.

With all of the resources it takes to be an exhibitor, why not spend those dollars as wisely as you can?

Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Make your exhibit inviting. Research reveals that three to five seconds is all you typically have to attract a prospect’s attention to your exhibit on the show floor. Get that attention by using a dramatic visual element, accompanied by a strong headline or positioning statement. In contrast, mounting a bunch of informational bullet points on a display board just doesn’t cut it. Best to save those for your literature and handouts.
  • Heighten interest by emphasizing “new” or “improved” products. If you’re using giveaways to entice people into your booth, make sure they’re not just perceived as worthless trinkets. Instead, offer something that ties into your marketing theme. And don’t just pile them on a table. Hand them out individually as a “thank you” for their time.
  • After making the commitment to a trade show, be sure to publicize your participation before, during and after the event. For most companies, having a great booth is only the first step to success. Don’t fall into the trap of being “all dressed up with no place to go.”
  • Consider your total costs in relation to the value of the show. For most companies, the cost of marketing, custom graphics and other elements that change from show to show often add up to more than the basic booth exhibit. If the cost/benefit seems hard to justify, you may be better off participating in a smaller number of events, instead of doing a half-baked job on all of them.


Contact Mullin/Ashley

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