7 Easy Steps to an Effective Trade Show Exhibit


Will this get attention? Will it generate interest? Will it produce sales?

It wasn’t the largest trade show but it was a good turnout of the broadcasting profession of some 6,000 of our closest showbizzy friends. Each attendee was a professional who was part of a select community, or tribe, as marketing guru Seth Godin would say.

Our goal: to get email addresses and permission to contact.



Each trade show attendee was there to learn and to expand their network of contacts and colleagues. They were looking to do their jobs better. This is why people go to trade exhibits.

Were they looking for you?

Exhibiting at a trade show requires commitment, attention to detail, and follow-up. Here are a few simple steps to an effective trade show exhibit.

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1. Why Are We Here?

Sales and marketing professionals know how to be an active participant in the exhibition hall. The trade-show is where marketing meets sales. The best reason to buy that 10 x 10 foot exhibit space is to meet decision makers and key influencers face-to-face. Good marketing will bring prospects to the booth. And sales experts know that the first step in the sales process is to establish rapport with prospects – this is best done IRL (In Real Life).

Timothy Carter is the Digital Marketing Manager for the trade show display exhibit company, Nimlok. Carter reminds us to “create a clear goal for the trade show” in his must read 4 Trade Show Tactics For Small Business Success.

Professors Dhruv Grewal and Michael Levy from Babson College write in their popular text book, “M: Marketing,” that trade shows are “major events attended by buyers who choose to be exposed to products and services offered by potential suppliers in an industry. Trade shows also offer an excellent forum for finding leads.”

The attendees want to be there. And so do you.

Remember, the person-to-person sales practice also has the best close rate. The only reason people are anywhere near the exhibit hall is to pitch or be pitched. Or get coffee or SWAG (Stuff We All Get).

2. Logical Logistics

The seasoned trade-show event planner knows the floor plan and traffic patterns. The exhibitor knows where the foot traffic is headed—from the entrance to the refreshments and places the booth strategically on the route. The additional cost of location may be worth the expense.

Be sure to rent thick carpet to cover the concrete floor; get candy — M&M’s in a dispenser are my favorite and have a flat screen monitor running continuously a movie—movement catches the eye.

Manning the booth is hard work. Watch the heavy lifting: many convention centers are run by union workers (do NOT call them “union thugs”). Some companies will require staffers who work the booth to be able to lift 45 pounds.

Your event planner will know what is forbidden and what is permissible. Be sure to get a trashcan and order the nightly vacuuming.

Don’t eat at the booth. (Decades ago we used to say ‘Don’t Smoke’ at the Booth.) Stand in the booth — sit someplace else. Electrical outlets needed? Special lighting? Parking passes?

3. Get Professional Help

Assign a point man, a go-to guy.

  • Large Business = event planner
  • Medium Business = marketing guy
  • Small Business = consultant
  • Thinly Capitalized Tiny Company with no budget = free consultant.

To get advice and ideas, use an expert at no charge. Schmooze the advertising and promotional products sales representative who’s selling you your imprinted promotional SWAG. That rep makes a living designing programs that sell. His advice is not free. It comes with the cost of the goods sold. But you can get a lot of advice and ideas with no “budget.”

The point man or booth captain will set manning schedules to work the table and scope out the other exhibits. Once you master the attention-to-details you can then be the…

4. Center of Attention

Not all trade show attendees show up to get drunk. Especially not at religious conventions. Except, maybe the Episcopalians. Anyway, the biggest (claimed) reason to attend is education. To learn what’s new in trends. Learn in-side how-to secrets. Learn from the Big Dogs. If you have the budget, sponsor a class. But even better would be to be the teacher, panelist, moderator, or discussant at a seminar or breakout session. The perceived expert, class leader will get the leads.

Trade shows can be used to launch products and to manage the corporate image. This is sober work. The meeting and greeting is warm and friendly and spontaneous. But being extemporaneous demands practice.

The sales presentation should be memorized. Exhibitors should take no more than three minutes to perform a sales presentation. Once you start with a single person, a crowd will gather.

But be careful about …

5. Propaganda

Take aways to take home? No. Do not hand out literature at your trade show. It won’t survive the airplane ride home. Remember, your purpose is to make a friend. Make an appointment. Make a deal. All that paper only makes a mess.

If the prospect is in real pain for (your) solutions, he can retrieve the info from your website and blog. But you make an appointment to see the prospect. And continue with …

6. Follow Up

Most trade shows will have technology where the attendee’s badge can be scanned if there is interest. But the exchange of a handshake and business cards remain the personal standard of small business etiquette. A hand written thank you note with a fountain pen on fine card stock delivered by snail mail will astonish your new friend. (This may be the best value today for the United States Postal Service.) Then follow up. Follow up to meet.

This will improve your…

7. ROI

Return on Investment. The purpose of the trade show and of all marketing is to sell. Run the funnel with numbers and dollars. For example, if the trade show had 6000 attendees, and your booth gets 600 visitors, generating 200 leads, getting 100 sales presentations, then producing 25 sales. If the trade show cost $25,000, then each sale ‘cost’ $1,000.

Would the trade show be worth it? Maybe not.

You need to justify the marketing expense with sales numbers and results. With this information you might spend the budget on other marketing and sales strategies. Even if you have to miss some great speeches at the event.

Non-profit trade shows have a slightly difference emphasis. They are selling the improvement of the human condition–without profiting. This is the selling of an intangible service, which is always more of a challenge than selling a tangible product. Here the prospect is a potential donor. The trade show purpose might be to gather email addresses for the non-profit mailing list.

Other goals of any trade show exhibitor could be to strengthen market share or to re-position the company offerings. But these marketing goals may have different measures of success.

Yes, I am an enthusiast for small business attendance at trade shows. However, the purpose is to sell.

Marketing is what you do when you don’t have anyone to see and sell to. But trade shows are sales and marketing vehicles.

Make sure the vehicle is convertible to sales.

The staff worked the exhibit booth and had a blast with the broadcast industry attendees. We were able to get over five hundred email addresses to add to our small business mailing list. After all, we were part of the same tribe.

Trade Show Aerial Photo via Shutterstock

180 Comments ▼

Jack Yoest


Jack Yoest John Wesley (Jack) Yoest Jr., is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Management at The Catholic University of America. His expertise is in management training and development, operations, sales, and marketing. Professor Yoest is the president of Management Training of DC, LLC. A former Captain in the U.S. Army and with various stints as a corporate executive, he also served as Assistant Secretary for Health and Human Resources in the Administration of Governor James Gilmore of Virginia.

180 Reactions

  1. Hello Jack,

    Thank you for this great post. While I definitely agree with the value that a hand-written card can bring to a new business relation, I must say this method isn’t the one I would choose.
    Exhibitions prospects typically meet hundreds of people on fairs. Hence, they forget very quickly what they have discussed and who they’ve met.
    Consequently, the faster you follow-up after an event the better.
    I strongly recommend exhibitors to use a digital solution for collecting prospects details on fairs (myfairtool for example) and send a thank-you email immediately. Within 3 days (max!) there should be a more complete follow-up email sent to your new friend with remarks about the earlier conversation and notes about the next steps.

    Thanks again for the insights!

    • Jack Yoest

      Julien, You are right–the faster the follow-up the better.

      The hand written card delivered by snail-mail should be one of the many small touches that sales and marketing professions will use to build rapport and trust.

      And you are right — the note would not be the only communication from the sales representative to the prospective.

      Good observation,
      Jack

  2. I have attended the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas. As I was reading the article I kept thinking about my experiences there. Trade shows are 110% marketing and CES was no exception. You’re either pitching your product to exhibitors and attendees or vise versa. Many trade shows also have panels and keynote presentations. For example CES had a panel on disruptive technologies and had a keynote presentation by the tech giant Samsung. Trade shows are always a blast and a wonderful opportunity to network and do business with the best in the industry.

    • Jack Yoest

      Hans, Your experience at the CES is insightful — It is always best to sell face-to-face and trade shows are about the best forum to meet.

      The “roof constitutes an introduction.” The best part about trades shows is that you can walk-up and talk to anybody wearing the event’s name badge.

      Well said,
      Jack

  3. At a Trade show I think that it is essential to pay attention to the details. Including the location, of course it is worth the extra money for a bigger space or even right next to the food and beverage center. You want to be noticed and you want all six thousand people to at least see your exhibit. At an event this large, people can get lost between all the different booths, but there is always at least one exhibit that stands out. The more people that pass your booth increases the odds of making a sale. It becomes a numbers game that can easily be won by attention to small details that include: not eating at the booth, not sitting down at your station, and having a clean atmosphere all around. Movement as well catches the eye and can draw people away from someone else (your competition).

  4. Victoria Principato

    Truthfully, I had never heard of them before, but I find the concept of trade shows to be extremely interesting. They grant marketers a “vehicle” to sell their product or idea. To that affect, it is important for marketers to promote not only their product, but themselves as people. It is key to make connections at these trade shows, and to meet other likeminded business people to network with. Overall, for me, the take away message of this article is that “Marketing is what you do when you don’t have anyone to see and sell to. But trade shows are sales and marketing vehicles.” It is crucial for marketers to take advantage of the opportunities afforded to them from trade shows.

  5. Having a sister recently married, I have attended trade shows relating to weddings, and was able to view them from the prospective of a consumer. The first thing I noticed was location, location, location! There were a large number of booths that led in to the main exhibit hall, but I noticed no one was stopping for them because they were rushing to get into the main hall. SWAG was also a crucial part of what sold my sister for some aspects of her wedding, mainly the cake. Bakeries that had samples of cake to try draws you in and literally gives you a taste of what they are all about. I left with a delicious buttercream frosting taste in mind I couldn’t shake, and it is by no coincidence that my sister used that bakery. Lastly, I think it is so true that you have to be an engaging trade show presenter. You cannot wait for people to come to you (unless of course you have to die for cake), but rather must draw people in and make a connection. My sister found a photographer at a trade show who knew the exact church she was getting married in and was able to show her pictures of a past wedding he had photographed there- he made a sale that day! Trade shows are a great way to drive a business if you are taking the necessary steps to be a successful exhibitor.

    • I’m very jealous of your trade show experience, I hope to experience one similar because who doesn’t love free cake! Although I haven’t been to trade shows personally, I’m eager to attend them now after hearing about the success your sister received! I think it’s important that trade shows and companies participating focus on their target audience before planning the event. For instance, they must make sure their marketing directly relates to possible sales. Building a connection during a trade show seems extremely beneficial, because common experiences can create rapport and a connection between the customer and seller.

  6. I do not have any prior or personal knowledge regarding trade shows. However, after reading the article, I can imagine that these events require a lot of thought and careful attention to detail. Since there are many constraints, it is important that businesses carefully plan out how they will market their products or services. As a consumer, I think that it is especially important for businesses to find a way to market and present their products or services in a way that will immediately catch others’ attention. It is clear that trade shows are a great way for a business to market their products and services, given that they carefully plan out how they will present such. Catching the attention of others is key to optimizing sales because in order for a business to be successful, people should display interest in such initially. If a business has an exhibit that is dull and boring, it is likely that they will not gain as much attraction, and people will walk by to another exhibit that demonstrates more excitement.

  7. After reading this article, I learned a lot about trade shows and how they reflect both marketing and sales. Trade shows are almost a test of a company’s marketing and sales strategy. I found that it’s extremely important to plan ahead for trade shows. This includes making decisions for the layout, location, and organization. Although companies want to build rapport with potential customers, I think it’s important for the product to grab attention. With hundreds of brands, it’s necessary to stand out and differentiate from the crowd. To do so, I love the idea of incorporating candy or visuals. I also found the ‘propaganda’ section quite interesting. Usually, I would believe that customers would want to take something from the brand home with them to remember the product and business. However, I learned that most potential customers will not remember the product just by paper alone. With so many handouts, it will get lost or thrown away most likely. Instead, it’s even more crucial to build a connection with the individual on a personal level and follow up with a thank you to highlight the new connection. Overall, I’m eager to attend a few trade shows and experience them personally!

  8. Thanks so much for sharing your advice on being successful at a trade show. I really like how you mentioned not handing out paper. Like you said, it is better to actually talk to the person than to just hand them a brochure. When making connections like that, you make your business a lot more personable and approachable. Plus, I am sure that talking would be a lot more enjoyable for the business owner as well!

  9. As my mum is self-employed, I had to work with her in the past at trade shows and so I have my own understanding of how a trade show works. Through my own hands-on experience it is clear to see that a successful event like this does not happen by accident and so it is essential to take extra care in planning. I completely agree with point 5, mentioning propaganda. In the past we found that we were wasting more money on leaflets and flyers to hand out to people, in reality we were just another page on their pile. It took us 2 years to realise that we needed to spend more time talking to and getting to know our potential future clients and what they expect from us and what they would like to see from us in the future, rather than trying to reach every single person that walked past our booth.

  10. I thought that the whole article was well written and pointed out some of the main components that someone involved in a trade show should pay attention too. For me, it was the logical logistics part of the article that really stood out, because it is the location that can make or break you at a trade show. The whole point of being at a trade show is to be seen. Consequently, it is the location that can allow you to make an impression on a whole lot of people in a short amount time. Also for follow up I agree that a handwritten note can make a huge impression. I know that I personally always feel much more important when I receive a hand written letter, then some auto response email.

  11. I have never been to a trade show before, so I do not have much expertise, but I am very interested in the different marketing tactics that are involved in selling a product at a trade show. The comment about having M&M’s at the table stood out to me, because regardless of where I am, I am always more inclined to look at a product that involves free food. I am, however, curious as too what methods are best for considering the ROI. The articles talks about different ways to invest in your success at a trade show, such as paying extra for a specific location or hiring a professional to help. I am curious as too how you would rank these costs in priority. Obviously a lot of that is subjective to the product and the company, but in the experience of others, which particular investments were the most beneficial for marketing a product?

  12. This article was truly fascinating. It was very interesting reading over the previous comments and how much I agree with everyone’s insight. I truly believe that location is the biggest part of reeling someone in. Being located in a location where everyone can see you when they just walk in the door is prime. Indeed I also think it is very important to make your stand better than everyone else’s. If your specific location is good and you look very open and easy to approach, you’re more likely to have people walk up to you and look at your product. Lastly, I think human interaction is very important when dealing with business. In this case, physically making a deal with someone face to face and shaking their hand once the deal is done is much more acceptable than committing to something over a computer screen.

  13. I believe the first step in your trade show is having a good location. You want a lot of traffic and movement going on so people will stop at your show. Like in the article, sales presentation should be memorized and once you start that presentation with one person, a crowd will form. Therefore, if someone passing sees you have a crowd, they will be intrigued to know what is going on. I like the idea of no paper work at a trade show. After a day at a trade show what does the attendees even do with all that paperwork? If the attendee is that interested, they will want to reach out to for your information. The purpose of a trade show is to market what you have. If you follow these 7 steps, you will succeed in your trade show.

  14. Having been to trade shows, I can relate to all 7 of these tips and I completely agree with all of them. Presentation is a big part of a successful trade show. If you have a good presentation, people are going to be attracted to you and want to hear more about your product or service. If you do not have a good presentation, people are going to be turned away before even say a word. Out of the other key points, I think that follow ups go a long way. It shows that you really cared about someone or something. Also, I reminds the person of who you are and they will want to contact you back.

  15. Although I have never attended one of these trade shows I am intrigued by your experience at these shows. I enjoyed how you came to develop a seven step process on how to spend your time at these trade shows and how to achieve a positive impact from the show. Since we all know that time is a variable in which we could never get back. So that’s why I agree that it’s important to get a more inter personal relation with the clients or audience that you are reaching out to. Anyone can read a brochure, that’s a basic article people expect but when someone persuades you and asks you questions challenging your intellect that’s the attention grabber and persuasion that grasps people. That element changes the atmosphere of the show and gets people interested in what you’re talking about slowing drawing them in.

  16. I learned many tips from this article. The found several tips that I thought was important to keep in mind. First is the location because the aim is to attract most people as possible to market well. The more people you grab attention to the more likely to sale. I also think the person that is presenting must use simple terms, so everyone could understand and not to make the presentation to long people tend to lose interest when presentations are long. You need to be ready to pitch so people return to invest or come to buy the product. I agree that people make a lot of connections at these trade shows.

  17. I found this article to be very informative. I have no idea just how crucial participation in a trade show is to sales. My only experience with a trade show was something that seemed much less professional than what was described here. Last semester I was able to go to a trade show for student organizations at college campuses. I witnessed a lot of people eating at their booths, which I learned from this article is highly unprofessional. A lot of the sales people also came off as pushy rather than someone who was well informed and driven to sell their product because they believed in it. I hope now to attend a trade show geared towards business professionals rather than college students.

  18. When I was in the 6th grade I began attending a trade show with my dad. I attended the event with him the following 5 years and I have to say I agree with this analysis. I agree with the 2nd point. It is important to look professional. I also remember the presentations of some of the booths. While a number had carpet, others had other things that helped the booth pop. For instance, one might use red curtains or linens instead of white to make the booth pop. Others might, as the author suggests, use candy and M&Ms. And still others used video games with simulated golf to draw in people. The point was all the same, get people to the table first. A person cannot sell their product without first having a person to sell it to. So bringing a person to the table initiates the conversation. I also agree with the 5th point about propaganda. It’s true that papers are going to just be lost in the shuffle. Even people like my dad, who prefers paper, may be overwhelmed by the volume of papers. Almost all the booths have them and if a person grabs more than 10, it may be difficult to find yours if they do intend to do so. And the fact is most of them will likely be thrown out. A better strategy would be to perhaps to collect emails and email slides of your product after the trade show. The outlier to this is if a person can be will remember your trinket or paper. For example at the trade show my dad would go to was for financial planners. One of the booths was MetLife. They always would have Snoopy. These little stuffed toys would be dressed as an astronaut, a blimp, a fisherman and so on. These were incredibly popular and people make it a point to go to the MetLife booth annually to collect their Snoopy. So unless you know people will want your trinket, don’t bother with one. Finally, follow-up, follow-up, follow-up. If someone likes your product but loses your business card, how are you going to reach them. Something as simple as emailing them a few days after the trade show (perhaps the email with the slides which you used instead of the paper which you knew was going into a round file receptacle) you can seal the deal or even establish a connection with a client when there wasn’t one to begin with.

  19. Jack Yoest

    Matt, you are right — the challenge in marketing is to get through the noise to transmit your signal. We must first have the prospect’s attention to do this. Read http://smallbiztrends.com/2015/12/first-step-in-the-sales-process.html

    A well reasoned comment,
    Jack

  20. I like the 7th point the best. When deciding whether to participate in a trade show you definitely need to access the return on investment and the cost-benefit analysis. For smaller companies this could be very helpful because they do not have as many resources as the larger companies. Also bigger companies products are more well known and they are out in the public already. Big companies can advertise by commercials. In my opinion, it is more beneficial for a smaller company to rent a booth and show off their products. When getting a booth, a company needs to make sure its presentation is spectacular and there salesperson knows everything about the product and the company. The salesperson needs to be confident in order to insure that the customer will be confident and the customer will be more interested in the product if the sales person truly believes in it also.

  21. This was a very interesting article that brought up many good points. I have not personally attended a trade show; but the seven points that were made applied to my job that I had over the summer as a sales representative. Two of the most important things that I took out of my job this summer and this article were: marketing face to face and building rapport with the customer. Although you are selling yourself as well as the product I feel that it is most important to build a relationship throughout the process. By that I mean regardless of if you made a sale or not right then and there, that individual may be able to help you down the road. I do also agree with the points they made about knowing where you are on the floor and managing who will be where during it. Being organized is a big part of success in marketing because I feel that it shows people you truly care about your business. Overall, I think building rapport and making relationships with individuals is important because you never know who your next boss will be one day.

  22. I think in order to have a successful business the business must market itself in an efficient way and be personable with consumers. When a business is personable with the consumers the consumers are more likely to invest in the business in some way. The same thing is true for the trade shows; it is important to be approachable and look like you’re actually interested in talking to people and answering questions for them. I also never realized how much location mattered in having a successful trade show. Location is an important aspect to a trade show because you want to be in the best possible spot where most people are going to be. Talking to people and being approachable at the trade show is the best way to improve a business. This approach is much better than the stereo-typical approach of just handing out fliers and having people write down their email addresses.

  23. This trade show seems to have been completely marketing and getting recognized, but thats with any trade show. The idea of marketing, which was touched upon in the article, is to catch the clients eye and make a valuable relationship, because it will allow the client to remember the company and want to do business in the future. Trade shows are fantastic events because they allow many different companies to “give a taste” to the consumers and try to hook them to do business. These shows are fantastic to meet people and learn about industries and most importantly how to market.

  24. I believe that in order to have a successful run trade show you must interact with your potential buyers as much as possible. This article touches on this subject very much so and I completely agree that there are different factors that come into play during a trade show but in the end the final person-to-person contact is the best outcome you could get. You could have some fancy presentation or wild set up for your trade show but none of it will matter unless you interact with people and make the deals in person. As #4. states you should be the “Center of Attention” I believe this to be true but being the center of attention should be used for the sellers advantage to not only attract potential buyers but also to sell to potential buyers.

  25. This is a great starter guide for a business trying to make the most out of their trade show exhibit. What stood out most to me was the tip to minimize or eliminate propaganda such as flyers or pamphlets. The general idea behind them would be to try to give your prospect a good deal of information about your business so he/she can make an well informed decision. The reality is that anyone worth selling to would be too busy to sift through all that literature. Opting out of making propaganda for your company will save time and money, as well as a few trees.

  26. I agreed with the first six points and the seventh is the reward for being right about the first six pointsPoints one through six are marketing skills which are aid for person to person business. Following the advice for placement and setup for each booth is just a helper for your marketing skills which, if they are good enough to sell your idea then you make the ROI as the reward. Im not saying that everyone that comes to the booth is going to make a sale, so you have to be able to further present your product after the initial interaction. Since not every transaction works out and you could potentially encounter a loss, which is why I say it is a reward for having mastered your job and conducted it correctly. I also agree with the note on no pamphlets since no one ever wants to carry paper around all day.

  27. Reading Point 3, Get Professional Help I was intrigued by what the writer said about sizes of businesses and what kind of person each needed. I work for a women’s golf apparel company that is a small business and I am in charge of marketing and cold calling different country clubs around the world. I noticed that the writer said that for a small business, the professional help that is needed is a consultant. I feel like this is very accurate because small business are usual short handed due to the size of profit they make annually. This being said small businesses should not just settle for a consultant, it would be in the companies best interest to also get a marketing guy so the company can be heard and introduced to people that do not know who they are. Once a company can get the attention of people they can try to sell their product easier by showing the customer what they are all about. this article was very informant and spot on when it comes to important points about operating a successful trade show.

  28. Personally, I’ve never been to a trade show, but after reading this article I’ve learned how detailed everything is down to the point of explaining not to eat (or as mentioned in the earlier decades smoke) while attending the stand. Also, I think this article can give the business owner perspective on whether or not renting out a space in the trade show is for them. As mention in the article, and I believe to be true that location, presentation, and direct communication are key when attracting people. If the presenter is just reading off a pamphlet and then hands the pamphlet off the potential customer, most likely the customer will either lose the pamphlet or just throw it away. Having direct communication like sending personalized handwritten letters, or even a personalized email will develop a relationship with the customer and would probably have a higher chance of making business together.

  29. I do not have personal experience of a trade show but i am eager to attend one now. I think it is very interesting and would find great interest in attending one. I think what makes trade shows so special is the personal stories and experiences the vendors share with the consumers. Like previously stated in posts above, the vendors share experiences such as showing pictures from the exact church the consumer would be getting married at. I think this shows great connection between the two parties and would definitely push my decision to go with a certain vendor over a different vendor.

  30. Having a sister in the marketing profession I have heard numerous stories about trade show disasters and successes. For her first trade show she wasn’t aware that carpeting was a necessity. When the salesmen showed up at the site the day of their tradeshow she woke up to numerous phone calls and emails asking where the carpeting was. Sometimes you are too busy thinking about the bigger aspects of the tradeshow that you forget about the little things, such as carpeting or outlets for your technology. The idea of getting professional help for an important trade show is a great idea. They are well trained in this and know all the nooks and crannies to these events. This will then give you, the salesman, the ability to focus on the bigger picture; how to sell your business.

  31. After attending trade events with my mother, I couldn’t agree more with points 2 and 5. Propaganda and Logical logistics are two key ingredients to grabbing a prospects attention. In order to obtain prospects a company needs to be able to understand a certain type of consumer. The company’s product or idea should be able to scream out a solution to a person in need.

    Point 2: “M&M’s in a dispenser are my favorite and have a flat screen monitor running continuously a movie—movement catches the eye.” This reminds me of the kids’ event I attended with my mother. We used the prospects’ children to get attention on our booth. We handed out crayons, little toys, and set up games to play with the kids. This had not only helped make business but also created friendships.

  32. As a junior in college I have never attended a trade show before, but after reading this insightful article I think it would only benefit me to attend one. This article shows us that getting the experience of a trade show would open up many doors. Not only connecting with other professionals, but practicing your speech and also being able to broaden your business terminology by learning from other professionals. Another fact reinforced in this article was the importance of location. Although I already knew location was important when buying a house, it was cool to learn that location is still a big factor at a trade show. It made sense because it affects the people that pass by your exhibit. Of course you want as many people, but also the right people to pass and hopefully stay and chat about what you have to show.

  33. This article shows some significant steps to how to be an effective at trade show. One of the most important steps I have found are RIO (Return on Investment), this step shows the efficiency of an investment. It’s fundamental that you go to just those trade shows that net you a positive return on investment since these trade show usually cost you a week of your time between traveling and setup.

  34. I have never personally been to a trade show before, but after reading this it has come to my attention just how much thought goes in to them. I never would have thought that the companies location was crucial, but I now understand that having a larger space, or being conveniently near the food would make you more popular. A trade show could really help a startup company get some popularity. Small companies whose products are not well known could really benefit from a trade show. If the small business markets well and interacts well with possible consumers the trade show could be a huge sucess.

  35. Abdulaziz Almuhanna

    Trade shows are one of the valuable investments in the marketing world. I believe that choosing the right trade show for you is one of the most important things because you want the right people to have a good understanding of your business. Also you need to set a target of people so you can invite them for a business lunch of even a dinner to get in contact with businessmen.

  36. I personally do not have any experience in attending a trade show. However, from my understanding of them, I would agree that the points made in this article especially points one, two, and six are undoubtedly the steps to take for an effective trade show. Humans are naturally sociable beings which is why person to person contact is crucial; ones ability to convince someone of anything has to do with personality. Point two highlights the importance of location, which is completely true because location and placement plays a big role not in grabbing someones attention, but also it is more likely to get more attention if it is in a place that is accessible. Finally, following up is a nice touch, especially if it is personalized because this shows interest and also demonstrates ones manners and etiquette.

  37. Mary Margaret Sheridan

    This was an interesting look into how to work a trade show. I think the most interesting point to examine is the return on investment. If the company can afford to have the exposure of the trade show and they use their time and space wisely, they can stand to make some important and meaningful connections. This would make their investment in the trade show worthwhile. I think that attention to detail is key in a trade show because you only have a limited amount of time and space to stand out among hundreds of other companies. If a company were to invest in participating in a trade show, and they followed the steps you provided, they could benefit greatly from it.

  38. The first point resonated with me the most, and I think this point applies to applying for jobs as well. I have never been denied a job when I approached the hiring manager face to face. I think approaching someone face to face is simply a form of pressuring someone; people have a difficult time saying ‘no’ to you. I believe if you follow the process like everyone else (fill out an application and merely hand it in), then you will be easy to reject like everyone else. It’s much easier to try to sell someone something over the phone, and its also a lot easier for a prospective customer to hangup and deny you over the phone.
    I also couldn’t agree more completely with point number 5. The first thing I think as soon as I get a handout in any scenario is, “how quickly can I rip this up and throw it away?” I believe in today’s world, the least amount of interaction with the customer is the key element. I think giving handouts would be a deterrent for most customers. If someone wants to learn more about your product, they’re going to google it or ask you questions about it.

  39. This article was very informative in regards to how a trade show operates. You clarify and demonstrate how detailed oriented these shows are. I do believe if a business follows these seven easy steps, they will experience a substantial ROI. The ROI might not be immediate, however effectively participating in one of these shows might increase the company’s market awareness, which could be a positive long-term outcome.

    I also agree with the hand written thank you note as a means for following up with a new or potential client. It may not be the fastest way of communication with modern technology, however it will relate to the individual on a more personal level, essentially establishing a friendship.

  40. I thought this was a very interesting article showing the ins and outs of a trade show. I think the seven takeaways are an accurate representation on how to run a successful trade show. Although I have never attended one of these events, I am much more informed on how these trade shows operate. I think the two most important assets to have during a trade show are the location and the presentation. If you have the right location this will attract many consumers, and with a very good presentation then you should have no problem getting addresses and permission to contact. I think it would be quite interesting to actually go to a trade show and see how these businesses address consumers and how they operate.

  41. This article shows how to run a real life trades show. Its shows how important it is to be located and placed in the right areas, and it also shows how to market yourself and your business or the business you’re representing. Trade shows are an investment for companies and could benefit them with new young talent. After reading this article I myself want to attend one of these trade shows to see if I can make any connections or even get a job/internship.

  42. I think that the most important part of being at a trade show is to set yourself apart. What makes your product or service unique from everyone else? The first trick is to get people to even look at you, which is where the flashing lights, tv with a movie, or nice recliners come into play. The best ways to sell business people on a product are to tell them how this will solve a pain they have (all the while building a relationship), and how much of an ROI they will have. People want to know that they are not just flushing money down the drain.

  43. Trade shows seem to be the best networking event for a salesperson. The trade show is a place not to just get your name out, but is an event to learn from others as well. This being said, it seems very hard to separate yourself from your competition. With everyone else in the room selling products, advertising and promotion are essential. As a new company, the main goal of a trade show should be education. This is where you learn what the “Big Dogs” do.

    One thing I found interesting about this article is to not hand out literature about your product. Instead of handing out literature that will get lost, establish rapport and make a friend. This relationship will last longer than any pamphlet. But, at the end of the day ROI is important. At these trade shows it is essential to get email addresses to add to your mailing list, which will lead to sales.

  44. Until this article, I did not pay much attention to trade shows or the elements that go into them. However I learned there is a strong connection between a trade show and a traditional sales pitch (for lack of better words). One of the most crucial components of a trade show is also one of the most crucial component of a sales dialog…attention. Grabbing onlookers attention at a trade show is one of the ways to make a lasting connection with a perspective buyer. Just like talking to a customer in a store, it is important to pay attention to detail and understand the buyer through these details. For trade shows, attention to detail comes before the dialog so it is important to do acknowledge and act on this beforehand. By doing this, many people will be directed to your presentation and the ripple effect will only bring more.

  45. I have heard of Trade shows before, but I never truly understood what it was before reading this article. If you are trying to get people interested in your business I believe the location of your booth is very important. You want your booth to catch peoples eye, but also be pleasing to the eye. Your mannerisms when people are at your booth or when people are not at your booth is important. Remaining on your feet the whole time is important, because if someone sees you sitting down they will either think your booth is not interesting or they will be nervous to approach your booth because they don’t want you to put you out. You want to engage in conversation, and so location is important because you want everyone to have the opportunity to see what you have to offer.

  46. I have never attended a trade show before, but have only heard about them through ads and friends. They seem to take a good amount of work prior to the actually event, for it to be considered a successful trade show. This article is a great outline of the dos and don’ts and explains the reasoning behind the explanation. Technology must have to be a key feature in achieving a successful trade show since it is always evolving but everybody has it. Being the “loud” booth at an event like this doesn’t seem like a bad thing, since the objective is to get the traffic and attention of the people their looking at your booth.

  47. Career fairs have the same sort of vibe. Swag abounds and the recruiters dress in their best uniforms to impress us. However, they routinely break the rule on propaganda. At times, questions are a convenient segue to pass out a pamphlet referring to their website. This breaks up the flow of the conversation entirely. No good salesperson at a trade show would deliberately distance themselves from a potential client. Rerouting people to a website does not relay any passion about the business to the person on the other side of the booth. The career fair has the marketing part locked down, but still needs some catching up on the sales.

  48. Christina Breisler

    Before reading this article, I always associated trade shows with those television programs where a lot of funky things are displayed, but they aren’t the most practical approach to daily living, or the product is so prohibitively expensive that there’s no point in even knowing about it. However, this makes me realize just how important they are to bringing new products to the consumer through connecting with other businesses who would carry the product. They are also a great way to make connections between the business and the consumer, whether that consumer is another business, or the end user. And, of course, the attention and the swag are always a bonus, too.

  49. This article shows how the principles of good business exist in many other areas of life. To be successful at a tradeshow, one must work hard to develop personal relationships with potential clients, listen carefully to needs, ask questions, and have an interesting product or proposition. These things are all true of operating within a business. The example of the tradeshow frames these valuable skills in a practical setting that proves the value of good business acumen. These skills are foundational for being successful, and when paired with research and preparation (like choosing a particular spot in the tradeshow to get the most exposure, for example,) can yield great results.

  50. Whenever I think about shows like these, I immediately think that they are flashy and that everyone is there to literally show-off their products. This is true, but now I see all of the thinking and planning that goes on behind that. For example, the purpose of having a nice carpet with candy and monitors is to attract people to your booth so that you can then get an opportunity to give a sales presentation. Those attractions are not just there for the sake of it. Another point that is important is comparing how much money you put into the show to how much money you make out of it. Lastly, no pamphlets.

  51. There were a lot of things that caught my attention, much like one must catch the attention of trade show attendees. There were small details in this article that can lead to big results. For example, in one example there was a mention of adding small things like refreshments and candy, and other small things that will attract people. We consistently learn these details in all of our MSBA courses in that, attention to detail leads to big results. Making your customer feel important, will usually lead to high customer retention rate and this was present in this article. This article voices the same sentiment about attention to detail, and I think this is extremely important in all areas of life, often that lack of detail and attention, leads to poor results.

  52. The article gives us very specific explanations about how to make a successful trade show. It is very important to focus resources on achieving the right purpose of attending trade shows, especially when considering that small business only have limited budgets. The purpose should be “sell”, but “sell “does not exclusively refers to the on-show direct sell. It is also important to educate the customers, learn from industry competitors and conduct face to face real world communication with important contacts, all of which are the booster of future sales. Companies cannot achieve ideal ROI without proper after show follow up, and proper follow up methods will strengthen the relationships developed on trade shows.

  53. I have worked in groups at three trade shows in my life before and there are a few of these steps that are so true. “Don’t hand out literature” is true, not because literature is bad but because it truly is about the connections. People won’t remember a pamphlet but they will remember a person they met or someone who said something truly impactful about the service they are advertising. Similarly, ROI is a huge metric at events like these. The effort you are putting in at this moment has huge potential yield rates.

  54. This article compliments the AIDA process. At trade shows there are a number of different products being advertised so what will make one stand out? Is it reading out the specifications of the product? No, the best way to make a sale in ANY scenario is to develop a relationship. People are more likely to buy a product if they trust someone or something. Trust can only be developed once rapport is established. Reading off product specifications are not going to grab my attention or gain my trust. Grabbing my attention will have to go further then handing out a brochure. Engaging the customers will immediately grab there attention to see if they will be interested. One piece of advice for salesmen is that selling is based the transference of emotion, not just the numbers!

  55. This article made valid points about the importance of tradeshows.
    1. Know why you are there and what your plan is: This is important because if you or your salesperson does not know “why” then neither will the potential customers.

    2. Know patterns: Recognizing the moving patterns of tradeshows can help you strengthen your placement and for you to make likely to make the first sale. Use your knowledge as your competitive advantage.

    3. Memorizing Presentation: Having a strong presentation will determine if you or your product is memorable. You can be a nice as you want but if you don’t sell what you have to offer than the person is not going to learn anything other than about who you are. Make the presentation your focus and believe in it!

    4. Make a new Friend: Go into the tradeshow looking to make some friends. Friends are going to be the ones who become invested not only in who you are but also your product. If they believe in you then the chance of them believing in your product is even stronger. Build the rapport and make the connection. Time will tell.

  56. It’s interesting you recommended that you don’t hand out literature. I know I mentioned this in previous posts, but people are used to bombarded with things. At trade shows, I assume, individuals expect to be handed paper. In this instance you are making more of a splash by not handing anything out. Perhaps people will remember you for that on its own. If your goal is to make more ‘friends’ or appointments I would recommend bringing and handing out more business cards. Something of that nature, that is to say more personal, will resonate more with individuals. With that level of rapport people are more likely to follow up.

  57. Exhibit at a trade show is a perfect opportunity to expand a company’s network. I feel that the seven steps addressed in this article are all important. The smallest detail can give tremendous impact. I want to pay close attention to ROI. After all the hard work and careful thoughts spent on other steps, it is essential to measure the results. This step will help a company justify the worth of the investment. In addition, this step is a tool to analyze what work and what doesn’t.

  58. Adriana Del Castillo

    I hadn’t considered the importance of attending trade shows and how much detail goes into it. Most of the selling I have learned about has been through sales calls, door-to-door selling, pitches, or in retail. What stood out to me in this article was the importance of always building relationships and following up. Also, step #5 was interesting to me, since it says not to hand out literature. It is true that more often than not, flyers get ignored or thrown away. It is better to build relationships and speak to prospects in person.

  59. Follow up is one of the most important, and too often overlooked, aspects of sales. When in apartment management, following up with prospective residents was required by the company, and with a number of good reasons. It gives the prospects an opportunity to change their mind about not getting an apartment, and it helps foster a positive reputation of the company. It is also just a nice thing to do: you make sure they had all their questions answered and you show them that you appreciated meeting, or speaking, with them previously. The best result is for them to come back and buy, or lease, but the key is not to be discouraged if they don’t. It is still the right thing to do.

  60. Many important points here. First is the strength of in person communication and sales. Seeing someone’s face and their expression and emotion is so much more powerful than over email or phone. Also, the part about not handing out literature but instead establishing a connection that will warrant a follow up reminds me of what we have learned about selling ourselves (during an interview, networking event, etc.) While it is good to give out your business card, unless you make a memorable impression on the person, they are not going to do anything with it. Relationships are crucial to everything in business– sales, management… etc. It’s interesting to think about this in the context of trade shows.

  61. I really like the idea and practice of a trade show. Not only is it fun and different from your day-to-day, it seems from this article that you really get to practice your sales skills. Every part of the trade show builds off of one another to help you create the best pitch for your company. Also, you need to pay attention to the little things like not eating in the booth or sitting down. Make sure you have everything you need ahead of time. To go off the little things, selling something in person is so much more gratifying and satisfying and including a hand shake an a smile goes miles. What can even take an event like trade show further is a hand written follow up letter. Everyone loves to be recognized and thanked. To do that at a big event like a trade show is awesome.

  62. The idea in common that most of these points have is that you want you make sure the person attending the trade show has something to take home with him. And that’s not in terms of just handing stuff out. Like you said, those things won’t even make it to the plane. What WILL make it home Are the ideas, business connections and those hand written thank yous. After getting hundreds of business cards, chances are he’ll never find it again later. But that thank you will leave an impression. I completely agree with your sentiment on that. A major take away here is to make sure you make an impression on your prospect, if you don’t how will you ever make that sale?

  63. This article raises several important points about trade shows. First, if you are attending the conference, then there is a reason behind your appearance. The organizers recognize that you have a certain skillset or belong to a certain membership/network that they view as valuable. Parlay this value into connections with the other attendees of the conference. Make a goal to use the conference to grow your network or to make several new connections. Second, first impressions are lasting impressions. The appearance of you and your display will be the first contact the other attendee will have. If you are unprofessional or disheveled then this will be an automatic turn off to the attendees. It will not even matter if you have something great to say or exhibit because the attendees will have already written you off based on how you initially presented yourself. Third, invest your resources to get the most from the event. Go out and ask for help to put together the best possible exhibit, attend all the events and take advantage of the information presented. Finally, follow up and build off the connections gained from the conference.

  64. Alexander Ruhling

    Trade shows are a huge opportunity from any business, whether it is just a startup or a well-established business. The same basic principles apply across the board for businesses of any size: they all have to do a lot of research to see exactly why they are being requested at the trade show (i.e. what the trade show selection committee identifies as the business’s value proposition) and how they can meet and even surpass the reasons behind that request. Lastly, it is extremely important to be able to establish some sort of return on investment for this; in other words, how the benefits of the trade show outweigh the costs of appearing at the trade show.

  65. I personally didn’t know much about trade shows until I read this article , but after I read this I realized just how vital they can be for a company. Trade shows are where a company can really exhibit their value to costumers and it is very important for people to leave remembering the name of your company or your product. I do agree that giving out pieces of literature are not the best way of going about this. I know that I personally would not feel connected to a company or a product just from pieces of paper that I will end up throwing in the garbage. In today’s day we need to have people leaving with something more useful than a piece of paper like a website or email address. If people can leave a trade show impressed with your company or product it could go a long way in terms of profit for the company.

  66. Teddy Bridgeman

    Trade shows are extremely important. In my internship I got the opportunity to go to the Fancy Food Show in Baltimore. It was so cool to see all of the new companies and their products. Something that I thought was very interesting was how different booths in different locations costed more money. Stands like La Croix and Chobani had great locations compared to some of the newer younger companies.

  67. I can’t tell you how many brochures, paper coupons and deal offers I got when going to my last trade show. What I CAN tell you is that I threw pretty much all of them away as soon as I got back to my hotel. Like you said, making the deal and leaving the paper out of it is more important than putting something in their hands – only to have them throw it away hours later. Thanks for sharing.

  68. Jack Yoest

    Rachel, you are so right — especially these days when nearly every bit of content is digital.

    Well said,
    Jack

  69. I thought that this was a very interesting approach to trade shows. Granted I have yet to attend a trade show, the seven step formula given in the article does make sense. The first step “Why Are We Here?”, this lets the attendees know who you are and what you are promoting. The second step “Logical Logistics”, trying to find the “sweet spot” for the placement of your company’s booth, and what to put at your booth to entice people to want to make the trip over. For example, M&M dispensers as mentioned in the article. Along with providing the free candy, you also have to make sure that the booth is clean and neat to make it look [and maintain] professional. The third step “Get Professional Help”, you should always take advice and seek help from someone who as been to and worked a trade show before. These individuals will tell you what to do and what not to do to make sure that everything goes smoothly and is successful. The forth step “Center of Attention”, you have to make sure that your company’s booth is memorable and will educate the attendees about what it is promoting. Along with it being memorable, it should also be in a friendly environment. The fifth step “Propaganda”, do not spam the attendees. This is a major mistake that many companies do to try and get their promotion across. By spamming your potential customers and potential networks, they may feel pressured and this could turn them off from wanting to do business in the future. The presentation and the employees’ demeanor should be what attracts potential relationships, not a piece of paper that states everything that was already told to them. The sixth step “Follow Up”, by commuting with individuals after the trade show, the interest level from both sides will rise. They have taken time out from their schedule to reach out and want to continue their conversation from before. They will become better connected. The seventh and final step “ROI”, as stated in the article, the goal of trade shows is to market your products to sell them. The trade show will prove to be worth it if the company generates higher sales because of attending the show; if not, the company may need to rethink about attending the next one, or re-arrange their expense, or find an alternative market route.

  70. Jack Yoest

    Tim, a very good summary — remember: the purpose of all marketing is to generate sales. The booth should help us produce numbers to get there.

    Well done,
    Jack

  71. Trade shows are extremely important when it comes to having a business. It will help you in so many different ways, for example you are having trouble selling your product and all of your old ways to market the product are not working anymore, so now you would go around and ask to see what new marketing tactics you could use in order to improve selling that product. These are very useful to, because if you are a new company that not a lot of people have heard of or a company that is very well known, it is the prefect to launch and advertise your new product so that people can see. By going off what you said in the article, by giving out handouts to people to read about your company, most people are not going to read them, they are just going to get used as trash. So by having things are your stand like M&M’s and a TV with a movie playing, it will attract the eyes of people walking by and they will become interested in what is going on, so they will walk over to ask what your company is about. Trade shows are also great for expanding your branch of communication with other people, because it will help you when maybe you are thinking about going to selling this product one way and after asking a company that did they same thing before you, you might get a better feel on what you would want to do after asking them. Trade shows are important, because by going to them and walking around, it can only make your company better.

    • Jack Yoest

      Andrew, and remember, Trade Shows have more than customers and prospects — there are competitors to benchmark, talented staff to recruit and alliances to form.

      They are good investments.

      Cheers,
      Jack

  72. I actually just got back from a trade show in Las Vegas, it was the IPCPR, which is basically the cigar industry. I was working in a booth and what I would take from it is that the main goal at a trade show is to build a relationship make potential buyers feel like a friend and if that is set than the sale becomes the easy part. We have around 10 different kinds of cigars and all of the sales reps have their own way of presenting them to their clients but, these guys smoke a cigar every hour they know very well what they are selling. At the trade show is where we release new products and news about the company and it is also where we give certain discounts to boost sales. But after the show we stop the discounts because they tend to harm the brand name.

  73. What exactly are the types of companies that would be at trade shows. I get it is a great way to market a product or to get some new people into what it is you are selling. I also feel though at a certain point there is no more need to go to a trade show. Big company that has made a name for itself won’t need to. It will host it’s own show with it’s own backers or even people just interested in a product that they heard about. Is it not safe to say also that such websites like kickstarter.com have taken away the need for trade shows?

  74. I think that trade shows can be highly beneficial for companies, if done correctly. Not only are they useful to get your brand and contact information out, but you can also see what other innovations are occurring in your business field. Trade shows are also a great way to scope out the competition. They also generate business due to certain discounts, especially with new customers. I remember going to trade shows as a kid every year because my dad would have a space for his business. I loved it because of all the free candy and SWAG, but now I realize its true importance. Trade shows are a great way to advertise because it creates human-to-human contact in real life. Trade shows are great for businesses because worst comes to worst, you get your brand name out there for potential sales.

    • Jack Yoest

      Renee, you are right, trade shows help businesses establish personal relationships in an atmosphere where ‘friend-finding’ is expected.

      ‘Glad-handing’ at its best and most profitable.

      Cheers,
      Jack

  75. I found this article extremely interesting. At first glance, trade-shows seem like events that are easily put together, but it’s interesting to see that’s not the case at all. A lot of thought and planning goes into the event; from thinking about the type of carpet, to the flow from entrance to refreshments, every little thing matters. What I found especially interesting was the no-paper tip. I always thought flyers would be a no-brainer at a booth, but Professor Yoest brings up a great point. It can be lost in the shuffle of the trade-show and it isn’t necessarily memorable. Having someone use an iPad to sign up for an email list rather than writing it on paper? That’s memorable. It also forces the prospect to pay closer attention to the salesman. If they are given propaganda, they may tune out or not think about it as much since they have the propaganda to reference. By not using paper, the salesman forces the prospect to pay attention and think more about the booth once they leave. An added bonus is that the salesman saves money by not printing out hundreds of pamphlets and flyers. Business is in the digital age, and by having a booth go digital the company will make it clear that they are advanced and innovative.

  76. Trade shows are important for small businesses for a number of reasons. First off, it’s a place to display your product and allow customers to physically see what it is your selling. A lot of people like to try something before they invest their money into an expensive product. Trade shows allow people to have this experience and they also build relationships between the consumer and the company. Consumers can put a human face and personality to a product. Consumer relationships are extremely important especially with small businesses. Most people prefer doing business with smaller companies specifically for this reason, they can create a personal relationship with the company. Lastly, Trade shows can benefit companies through benchmarking. Companies can bring their product to the show, put it on display, then compare it to competitors products that are also at the show. This can highlight areas that might need improvement, or where the product is ahead of competitors. In any event, trade shows generally always benefit companies. It’s crucial to expose your product to the market and get your name out there. I’m a fan of trade shows and I think this a great article.

  77. Very interesting article. Much like Michelle pointed out above I, too, was surprised at the complexity of a trade show. I always thought of them as ways companies can gain in-depth industry knowledge. But I guess their complexity does make sense, because you have to think about what companies are paying to be there (both in time and money). Every booth has a goal – to sell a product or service. But it costs money for them to be there, and all the time spent there could easily be spent on other marketing strategies. As such, everything done at this booth – from the people placed there, to the presentation techniques, to the booth layout – has to be conducive to a successful sales pitch. As Professor Yoest said, trade shows are vehicles and one has to make sure the vehicle is convertible to sales.

  78. Good article. As you mentioned the purpose of a trade show is to sell, but if you can make a few connections and network along the way that can also be a huge bonus. The funnel technique will put you in a position to do both. Even if you don’t make it all the way to making a sale just having anew connection can be beneficial to your business. Another big take away you can get from a trade show is the speeches made by other people in the industry. This helps evaluate the market from another perspective and maybe get some valuable information you over looked previously.

  79. Great article! I have never heard of trade shows before, so now if I stumble across one I’ll know all the tricks of the trade. I thought it was important how you said not to use paper to try to advertise you or your brand. By talking to people and getting your name out there by word of mouth, people are more likely to remember you rather than from giving people a useless piece of paper that will end up on the floor of their car. Connections are key! Maybe people aren’t going to throw their wallets in your face and buy what you’re selling on the spot, and that’s okay. What is important is the networking aspect of the trade show! Make connections!

  80. My thoughts on this article are that I was very informational. In this article I learned the importance of guerilla marketing techniques at trade shows. The article explains that at trade shows marketing is put to the test. You must be good at face to face interaction in order to seal the deal. I also learned to account for your opportunity cost. If it is not beneficial to sales, then do not enter in a trade show. If you are are just a startup then it would not be efficient to enter in a trade show. I also learned a lot of simple tips for trade shows. One tip was to treat the employees that work at the trade show with respect. You never know who can help you make connections in this industry. I also learned to keep your trade show area clean. This includes putting carpeting if needed and no eating around the trade show presentation. Cleanliness can be the difference between a sale and a pass by. Trade shows can personally help my company. If we get enough inventory and capital to afford a fashion trade show it could help us gain sales.

  81. Having been to many trade shows and never working one this article was very educational for me in revealing the larger picture and mechanisms at work. As an unwitting attendant this article had me reflect on which booths were successful, both for me and for them. Did I find solutions to my problems, learn new information that helped me be productive? That would be successful for me as an attendant. What contributed to that? As the article said, the first step to success was the booths that got my attention, I would wander over to those that caught my eye, peaked my interest and looked inviting. Maybe they had some SWAG that was worth collecting. But of the booths that caught my interests, which ones were able to begin to pull me further in? Without a doubt, no matter how much I like the organization or how appealing the booth was, it was the IRL experience that would establish a relationship, the sales people working the booth. Building a repertoire, even if done on a basis totally unrelated to the product, was the most important thing in getting me to move into a zone where I could be ‘sold’. I left one recent trade show with a tote bag full of SWAG: papers, pens, cozies, sunglasses, t-shirts, lanyards, key chains etc. But the booths I remember may not have even given me swag, it was the personal relationship I built with the staff member, their pitch that addresses my need or interest. Behind that successful venture was so much planning, logistics to be placed by high traffic events, perfect meeting of planning and execution, marketing and sales, introduction and follow up.

  82. I personally have never attended or even heard of a trade show before, but reading your article helped me to understand them better. In my understanding it seems that in order to have a successful trade show you must interact and make a connection with your potential buyers as much as possible. There are numerous factors that are involved in a trade show havijg the best outcome possible requires a strong connection between you and the buyer. Your presentation could be the best in the room but it all comes down to interacting with the people and setting a deal with them.

  83. This article is a great read. Every year the Montgomery county chamber of commerce has a procurement conference and like this article says it’s all about making connection that would help grow the company and get the name of the company out into the world. A lot of companies now a days are start ups and they are trying to get their companies name out there and trade shows help them do that. One thing people should do when they receive business cards is to write down where they meet the person whose business cards they received so as to keep the conversation going from the trade show and the other person would recall from the email where they meet. Emailing the exhibitor the next day after meeting helps solidify not only the person’s name but the company. When making conversations at trade shows one should keep it nice and sweet. They should also give the exhibitor information that would capture their attention so that their conversation will be memorable. This would help the relationship between the two go smoothly.

  84. Nicolette Crisalli

    Reading this article enlightened me to understanding trade shows and really marketing as a tool to reaching out to the “right” people, those your aiming to aid with your business. I began to think of it as treating people the way you want to be treated. For example, you don’t want a million pieces of paper coming home with you and only four things you’re actually interested in. Nowadays the internet and Google can get you about any answer you want as long as you have a couple of words or ideas pertaining to it. Therefore, if I am really interested in something I am sure I can google it! Also, attracting people to your booth via logical logistics. I am someone who would be attracted to the booth with candy, tv’s or something different from the rest and then by bringing me over to the booth naturally I will start to inquire about the business. This is a lot like in marketing business, you first just need to get the people interested and pulled in and then after that as long as you have a great business and have attracted the right people the rest will just flow.

  85. Madalaina D'Angelo

    I may never attend a trade show, but they remind me very much of what we in the theatre industry call “cattle” or “unified” callls, where hundreds of performers get to audition for a group of what could be dozens of casting opportunities (casting=work) but are only allotted 90 seconds of individual time to make an impression. Much like products/services/businesses at a trade show, who need to make an impression thats more than fleeting on potential customers in a very short span of time amongst what could be thousands of other booths. I found the article to paint a very clear and very particular picture of a trade show, making it both sound fun but clearly state a purpose– if one is going to spend the money to go, it must be assured they make a good impression.

  86. I personally have never been to a trade show before. But after reading this article with the seven steps for an effective trade show exhibit, I can sense the feel of what a trade show might be like. I agree with the second step, that location and attention is must be super important. Grabbing the attendee’s attention with visual effects, food, and being in the right location is a key idea in order to sell your product and produce sales from it. I also agree with the propaganda step because everything is electronic these days and no one is really going to keep the paper pamphlets that companies give out to everyone. After having read all of these steps, I would definitely be interested in attending a trade show and experiencing it for myself.

  87. It is important to put your best foot forward when exposing any aspect of your business to the public. The first impression that a company makes on a consumer, especially at a trade show, will set the tone for your company. Realize how foot traffic will affect your display and adjust accordingly. Be the center of attention and make sure that when people walk by they have to look at you. This is incredibly important when launching a new product especially for the return on investment. Talk to the people that approach your display and engage with them. This will lead to the success of your product and your network.

  88. Anthony Spadaccini

    I have experienced this trade show exhibit all summer because of my summer internship. I was in Colorado working for a start up frozen fruit Snack Company called Froozer, that was just trying to get off the ground, and we lived at trade/food shows. We always were pushing the brand getting the product to anyone and everyone willing to listen. After tasting and liking the product they asked us about what the product was and where they could get it. At that point the interns with me at the show rambled off all of our accolades, awards, and certifications, our own form of propaganda. This face-to-face marketing really allows the potential customer to ask the questions someone in a grocery store would not ask. Overall the process requires a lot of hours of preparation, in order to reap the benefits in the future.

  89. This article presented several good ideas of things to keep in mind while presenting in a trade show. One thing I found very interesting was the idea that a hand-written follow up letter might be the most valuable thing when it comes to making connections. It makes sense because hand written letters aren’t very common in today’s world. Everyone immediately jumps right to an email, which makes written letters a rare sight. Another interesting point was to look for a return on investment from the trade show. Calculating the exact sales that show provided a business is a great tip in the article to see if presenting at one is even worth it.

  90. Although I have never attended a trade show, I am fascinated by the idea that so many marketing techniques can be used in one place. It seems that when involved in a trade show, the goal is not only to market your product but also to market yourself to other businesses. Marketing is all about in person communication and mutual interest in an idea, and trade shows seem like the perfect place to network and lay the ground work for potential opportunities and sales. Tradeshows are a wonderful way to expand on skillsets, learn new information, and become familiar with new products and people. This article stresses the importance of getting out there and making your name known to both buyers and sellers to increase potential opportunities in the business world.

  91. Trade shows are great opportunities for businesses to market their products and services to potential buyers and partners. They also have the chance to market themselves and show what kind of business they are. I have never been to a trade show, but it is important at events such as these to have great people skills. This allows people to establish new relationships and connections which can benefit their business. Trade shows are great examples of how marketing plays a vital role in the business world. Out of the seven steps, I believe the most important step is the follow up. ITs one thing to simply go to a trade show, exchange small talk and handshakes, and leave with no intent to follow up with those contacts. Following up with new contacts really shows that their is more than just a mutual interest in existence. Showing interest in a company or a business is great step towards what can soon be a strong relationship.

  92. A strong marketing department is essential for businesses if they wish to achieve success. The ability to articulate the product or service being sold is extremely important, and even more so during a trade show. The trade show allows companies to showcase products and either make a positive first impression or build upon an already established reputation. In the world of marketing there are rarely, if any, second chances. Once an impression is made on a consumer by a business, that impression is forever. This article really stressed the importance of making a strong and positive impression.

  93. Trade shows are great places to market your business no matter what size business you have. This article presents many different techniques that can help even the smallest business compete with the larger more successful ones. At these shows, you are meeting people that are already interested in your product, that’s why they are there, so you have already found your target group. All you have to do is convince them that your product is better. The best way to do this is through your presentation and mannerisms. If your booth stands out more by having nicer carpets and other factors mentioned in the article, and you are friendly and persistent with the potential buyers, you will get new customers.

  94. One of the takeaways from the article that I found most interesting was the part on why to buy a 10 x 10 foot space. I thought this was interesting because when walking by an exhibit I never thought that they were purposefully that small. However, reading the article, I found the tip to create a small space very helpful and conducive to a positive outcome. I believe having a small space is beneficial because the best way to sell something is through face-to-face interaction. The small space insures face-to-face interaction, and the possibility of more goods being sold.

  95. The marketing of a company is key for continued success. I found this article extremely helpful because it is filled with multiple strategies to attract clients and create publicity for the company you work for. It is very important to be creative and think outside of the box when dealing with marketing strategies. You want your first impression to stand out and be remembered with clients. It is important to get advice from others with more experience in the business world on how to attract clients and other companies at the trade show. Lastly, technology can grab a person’s attention and make them engaged in what you have to offer.

  96. Marketing is such an important aspect for any business or organization, but it must be done right. This article helped open my eyes to some do’s and don’ts while at a trade show, trying to enhance your companies marketing and selling strategies. I like how being quick and precise is mentioned, meaning get to the point fast so that a minimum amount of attention is lost. Also, when a representative is giving a presentation, they should refrain from handing out literature, because the reality is that reading long pamphlets and information brochures just is not the way of today. Lastly, I would like to bring up how the article puts a strong emphasis on following-up. A follow-up with any potential client is important because it shows care and confidence in what you are trying to sell.

  97. Aubrey Gierlatowicz

    Although I have no prior knowledge of trade shows, it seems that they require a lot of thought and attention to detail. I do agree with avoiding communication through paper. Human interaction is very important in the business world. This is because human interaction is much more professional and personal than handing them a pamphlet. However, in order to communicate well it must be kept short, to the point, and understandable. Another thing that the article pointed out was the location, as it is the biggest part in reeling someone in. With heavy foot traffic and an easily approachable area, you are bound to get attention. Hopefully, the attention leads to sales.

  98. The title of this article makes it seem as if the entirety of the article is going to be about trade shows. The article was focused around trade shows but I think there was an underlying lesson about personalizing business relationships. You can take every step to be successful at a trade show, have the best SWAG, and the highest foot traffic, but without a personalized and trusting relationship, you will never get anywhere with that client. If you don’t seem like a person someone can trust, sending a follow-up email and trying to set up a meeting with them will get you nowhere. This was an excellent take away from this article.

  99. I enjoyed this article particularly because it reminded me of sales. It’s interesting to see how these simple tactics for marketing are universally applied, and how they can be of much utility in other aspects of business. Two main tactics in this article that stood out to me were following up with a hand written letter rather than a generated email to a mass list, and making a memorable friendly relationship rather than handing out a brochure that won’t survive the flight home. To me, the attributes that correlate to this are professionalism and class. Nowadays (according to this article’s tone and my opinion) business has become less classy, and more about getting it over with. If a company of individual is formal, professional, and classy, them they will be at an absolute advantage in the market.

  100. Thank you Professor, this is a very interesting article. It shows the companies how to market their products, the attendees what to look for when the attend a trade show. It is clear that the purpose of advertising or marketing is to sell. I agree with the methods described here in this article in term of trade shows planning and marketing. However I would like to emphasize on handouts during the trade show. Although exchanging contacts, handing business cards, and discussions may seem a better way to stay in touch with the attendees because the goal of the show is to have as many customers as possible, not many people really have time to discuss the products at the show because they want to have a chance to visit as many expositions as possible. The brochures help them to keep information about the company they want to buy from. In conclusion, exchanging contact during trade shows is important, but handouts are also a plus.

  101. After reading this article, I see how vital it is to “create a clear goal for the trade show.” One does this by determining what draws people in (moving pictures on a screen, food, refreshments). And to also remember that you’re there and everyone else is there to be educated and meet people to broaden his or her network in the business world. I found it important that if you are planning on being the center of attention you want to make sure you are prepared and well spoken. Meaning that if you are giving a presentation it is important to be concise and know what you are talking about. Generally, no one likes listening to people talk for too long and from time to time people enjoy talking about his or herself. It is key to make sure to engage in what everyone else has to say as well by asking them questions. The objective is to receive a number that attaches you to a friend that you should follow up with. In conclusion, I found it vital to dig deeper in the trade show you are doing and find out if it worked or works for you by calculating your return on investment and if the trade shows are worth it.

  102. I thought this article was very informative about trade shows and it most definitely allowed me to open my horizons on the topic. I personally have never heard of a trade show before and this article gave me great detail on exactly what it is and great information on it. I thought that the idea of this is where marketing meets sales was extremely important. The purpose of the trade show of course is to get your product out there and get buyers. This shows how important marketing is when selling your product and wanting to create a profit. I also thought it was a cool idea about meeting a friend and following up with them in the future. Obviously, connections get you far in the business world and by creating a relationship with one person at a trade show it can help you launch your name and product greatly. I thought this was a great article and it made me realize how important trade shows are.

  103. Personally, I have never been to a trade show but I can see how each of these steps is incredibly important. In order to have a productive trade show answering the question “why are we here?” Is important because if it does not have a purpose then hardly anyone will show up. Also, knowing the customers you want to attract is vital to a successful trade show. If the trade shows organizers advertise to the wrong group of people it will affect the sales at the trade show. This article helped me to learn about something I knew very little about.

  104. I have never been to a trade show but it was very interesting to read about what goes into an effective trade show exhibit. It was especially interesting to read that exhibiting a trade show requires commitment, attention to detail, and follow-up. These three components are vital in the business world overall, as well as in life. To be successful, a person must show great commitment to the work he is doing, as well as have great attention to detail in order to ensure everything is successful. Commitment is the key to success, whether it is studying for an exam, training for a sports game, practicing to meet a personal goal, etc. It is also important to follow up on one’s work and see where it led to, what innovations bloomed from it, and what potential it has for future work.

  105. I enjoyed reading this article and gathering the insights you provided. I really liked the tip about location because that provides the marketer with a competitive advantage over many of the other tables set up in not so good locations. The tables in good locations are going to be more likely to make more sales because they will be exposed to more people. I also liked the tip about sending a handwritten note, that will definitely leave a lasting impression with the person. I can attest to that firsthand because when I was going through the whole college baseball recruiting process, one coach sent me a handwritten letter and that set him apart from all the other coaches. It showed that he was willing to go the extra mile to get the recruits to choose his school over the others. The hand written note will definitely make a good impression and set you apart from everybody else. This article has provided me with several good tips that I plan to take with me into the professional world.

  106. I have no experience with trade shows but found this article to be informative and insightful. Before reading it I would’ve assumed it’s just a bunch of companies trying to show off their products. Which, in part it is, but I never knew the details that go into the planning. For example, getting the best table location based on the route the businessman/businesswoman believes the customers will take. They have to predict the movement of the customers throughout the day based on the tables with the most popularity that most customers will be drawn to, but also keeping in mind where the refreshments and restrooms are and incorporate that into their predicted movement of the customers. I didn’t realize so much detail went into trade shows. Another interesting concept is that the people want to be there and want to explore each business. In the mall when people from little setups jump down your throat about their product that you have no interest in, it can be frustrating. But at the trades show, the people are there because they WANT to be. They want you to tell them about your business or your product. They are interested, otherwise, they wouldn’t be there.

  107. Vincent Rocco Mandes

    There’s so many ways of reeling people in so they’ll buy your product. A strong social media presence and a carefully-designed web page are 21st century ways of attracting people to your business. The issue is, reeling them in isn’t enough. Once you’ve captured their attention, you need substance, in the form of a great sales pitch, in order to seal the deal. A great sales pitch gets you that e-mail address, a business card, or even a scheduled meeting in the near future. A great sales pitch is also good for the environment. It says a lot about a company without having to chop down trees. Brochures and pamphlets can certainly be chalked full of useful information, but they don’t have the charisma a sharp businessman does. The idea of using substance to sell oddly reminded me of the current presidential election. Clinton and Trump can send out an endless amount of tweets and e-mails, or pluck people’s heartstrings during emotionally-charged speeches, but those things won’t reel potential voters in like a great sales pitch for America’s future will.

  108. I found this article to be very interesting because I have never been to a trade show before, yet fully agree with the idea of them. I believe that face to face interactions with potential clients is much more effective than trying to win them over the phone. Not only do trade shows help certain businesses search for new clientele, but it gives them the opportunity to network. Trade shows give people the chance to learn from other companies, and observe how different styles and techniques of doing business has allowed them to succeed. Every company and organization has room for improvement, no matter how profitable they may be, and trade shows are the perfect spot to develop new ideas. They are also unique, and make the concept of a “business meeting” more fun and interesting.

  109. I thought this take on trade shows was interesting, particularly because I did not have much knowledge about them prior to reading. It is beneficial to view trade shows as not only a way to spread the word about your own business but to learn from other businesses which may be similar to your own. I thought that the concept of making appointments instead of handing out brochures was insightful and crucial to the longevity of your impression on the potential customer. When one goes to a tradeshow he or she is surely bombarded with information, meaning that most of the info packets will not mean much to him or her beyond the show. Ultimately, trade shows are all about the impression that you leave on your new customer.

  110. I have never experienced a tradeshow before, however I am intrigued by the idea of selling yourself, not just your product. In that person-to-person interaction, you have the ability to form a first impression and later contact that person. Presentation and communication skills start a conversation about a product, not just statistics and facts. The article spoke of the various ways you sell yourself, creating a comfortable environment. I will never turn down free food, especially a candy like M&M’s. Hiring professionals and paying extra for a better location create an edge on competition. The key is to balance and not overcompensate or else the consumer will sniff out any inconsistencies. I would be interested in seeing how marketers prioritize costs. Trade shows allow a platform to draw people in and sell your why, briefly explaining in three minutes why you wake up in the morning and do what you do.

  111. Whenever someone brings up trade shows, it makes me think back to middle school when we had the school science fair. Each student picked a topic they desired to research, and they made a poster board of information as well as a quick briefing of what their topic was about. The student with the best presentation won. This was always the kid who tried the hardest, making a large tank of water and attractive people by the movement of the water and his prime location right at the back on stage. This to me is the childhood version of a trade show. Being able to grasp the consumers’ attention is not easy and requires knowledge and practice. One has to be quick on their toes, intelligent, witty and able to keep a conversation going which is a hard skill in the present time. I enjoy the fact that even the smallest of things can make a difference. Especially the use of a quick treat, or moving film to grasp the consumers attention while walking by. I personally believe that is the hardest step of selling a product, and once you have their attention it is all about promotion of the product.

  112. I have never experienced a trade show before; however I am fascinated by the idea of selling yourself and your business, not just your product. Interpersonal interactions, have the ability to form a first impression and later contact that person with follow up information. Presentation and communication skills start a conversation about a product, not just random statistics and facts that may or may not explain the importance of it. The author wrote of the various ways you sell yourself and how to create a comfortable environment between you and your possible business. Furthermore, hiring consultants and paying extra for a better location create an edge on competition even if it effects your bottom line in the short term. I would be interested to see how top PR firms and marketing companies prioritize costs in order to reach their maximum potential market. Trade shows allow companies and small businesses a platform to draw people in and sell your why you’re unique and better than the competition

  113. As a marketing major, I found this article very interesting and helpful to read to understand the importance of being able to sell both myself, and my product. Trade shades prove to be a crucial part of making a business profitable, because it is your chance to get a potential client to remember your name and product. Trade show’s give entrepreneurs the chance to add a personal touch to their product which may be the touch it needs in order to get their idea selling and recognized in the rapidly growing and extremely competitive business industry we live in today.

  114. I had the opportunity to attend a number of trade shows this summer when I served in a development role. Because it was a non-profit, part 7 of your article applied. Our Return on Investment was building relationships that would help us promote our vision. At a trade show, groups have a unique opportunity because there is the likelihood that many there have shared background knowledge and a similar vision. What was of the most benefit to us at a trade show was the casual atmosphere. It allowed us to engage with potential donors and attendees alike in one-on-one conversations, breakout sessions, and social situations. Unlike many donor/non-profit meetings, where there is generally an understanding of why the customer is being attended to, a trade show is a great opportunity to engage with a customer in a setting that doesn’t feel as much like a transaction.

  115. I don’t have much experience in trade shows, other than university admissions and organization fairs. But even with that small amount of experience, I can relate pretty well to the points made in this article. The point regarding handing out literature is great and important. I’ve learned that engaging prospective customers and making the relationship conversational and personal can really pay off in the end. Building a rapport and building a relationship is crucial in all businesses and departments, not just marketing.

  116. I have never been to a trade show before. I didn’t really know what it was or what happened during the event. I like the idea of selling yourself to people that you would not have met otherwise and getting your foot in the door with different people and companies. Being personal gets the customer not only interested in the product, but also in you and your business itself. Leaving a good impression is key. People won’t remember all the papers they received, but will remember the lasting impressions people make on them. People can interact with customers outside of the office or phone. They get to see a different side of the employee.

  117. I find this article very interesting and informative. Personally I’ve never been to a trade show. I really like how do we have to create a connection with the products we are selling. Having a connection with your brand will help you have more creative ways to sell it. The article gave many examples on how to attract costumers. Being positive with the costumers is also very important because it makes the costumer feel positive energy towards what you are selling.

  118. I always thought trade shows were to promote a business’ product or service. To my understanding, they were opportunities for businesses to “show off” and gain new customers. This article is insightful because I now know the real reason for them and what it takes to put one on. The commitment, attention to detail and follow-up are not only ways to make a trade show effective, but also to maintain a successful business. Something I found to be interesting is the statement that “person-to-person sales practice…has the best close rate”. The best way to establish a lasting business relationship is to develop a positive relationship with the consumer.

  119. I have personally never been to a trade show before, however I was familiar with the term. Trade shows are great because marketing is a major key to the development and success of any company. This article was very informational regarding the things you have to think about when working at a booth or attending a trade show. The thing that stuck out to me the most that I would say I agree with completely is the amount of time you take in order to follow-up. It has to be soon almost immediately, as someone mentioned in a previous comment prospects who are at the trade show meet and talk to many people in a little period of time and it is very unlikely that they will remember who you are and what you had talked about. So the sooner you follow-up the better of a chance you have to build a stronger relationship. Overall this was a great article on trade shows.

  120. I thought the article was laid out very well and an easy read overall. Having seven bullet points made it easy to follow logically and it was a good read. I particularly like the section on “ROI”, or Return on Investment. I thought this section did a very good job of quantifying the ideas and thoughts that are at play at a trade show. In particular, it makes very clear just how many leads one must get in order to get enough sales to break even. Out of the 600 people, you may only get 200 leads which will then only result in 25 sales. This is important to note because if a trade show costs $25,000, then effectively each sale costs $1,000. This is crucial to know as the seller because it puts an added importance to just how crucial it is to convert as many leads as possible into actual sales. If enough leads are not followed through one, a company will lose money and not be able to break even. This, by all accounts, is an unsuccessful show.

  121. The major thing I’ve taken away form this article is that personal relations are much more important than a piece of paper, pamphlet, or book. To be fair, I’ve always felt that this was superior. After all, our marketing class has highlighted the fact that relational business transactions are key in the business world. The building blocks for these transactions stem from trust with your partner. Put simply, I believe that a firm handshake, strong eye contact and sharing a hearty laugh are far more likely to create trust rather than glittered, scripted words on a piece of parchment.

  122. This article is very helpful for those people who are in this industry. I thought that this was an easy read with a lot of helpful tips. I think one of the most important parts that they talked about was handing out literature and engaging with customers. I have never been behind the table at a trade show, but I have seen them and I think it is super important that the vendors interact with their customers. I really enjoyed that this write is a strong supporter of small business too. One take way from the reading is to use the technology that you put in place to follow up with the customers that you have connected with, because in business it is all about who you know and the more you keep in touch the more likely someone will buy from you.

  123. When reading this article the first thing that came to my mind was when us students go to a Job fair and market ourselves to hiring companies. This type of event is very similar to what trade shows are for companies. Personally, I believe that EVERYTHING requires some type of marketing and EVERYONE should know, at least the basics, of this field. Why? because marketing is everywhere and everyone and everything is always marketing itself. In this article, companies are the one’s marketing themselves to potential, future customers. It is very important that for these events one is very prepared and know all of the logistics.

  124. I enjoyed this article, because it shows what goes into a trade show. I have not been to one yet, but after reading this, I am eager to attend one now. I think it would be a beneficial experience, because you are able to practice your elevator pitch and also meet valuable people in multiple industries. These people can help you out or connect you with other people who can. Attending trade shows is something that will benefit you today and also years down the road.

  125. The biggest thing that got me was step six of the process, “following up”. It is a big part of any event that has elements of personal selling such as a trade show. It shows that you take an interest in your clients and that you have taken time to see how they are feeling about your product/service. This one step often times leads to repeat sales from loyal customers who like the product. Even if the salesman hasn’t made the sale yet, the follow up can solve that problem too.

  126. I have never been to a trade show before, but they certainly seem like an interesting time by your description. It also seems by your description that a lot of time, effort, and especially planning goes into one of these events. I’m sure that if one day I happen to end up in the marketing world that some of these tips can come in very useful. I particularly the follow-up is very important, especially in our day and age. Anything can be sent in the blink of an eye via email, but you see someone took the time to send you a hand written return, that’s special, and resonates in your mind.

  127. I really the point made about getting professional help for advice and ideas for your exhibit. It seems that the exhibit would be presented in a way that is pleasing to the targeted audience with some professional insight. I will do my part and give some time to those that are working exhibits since they have put some much work into it.

  128. I have attended a few trade shows, and I most definitely would take your advice on getting professional help when putting together an exhibit (if I was to eventually market for a trade show), and even on polishing my own portfolio and sales pitch (if I was to eventually be attending a trade show in search of employment). Overall, I think, and now know for sure from the article, that trade shows are very complex and involve a great deal of structure and organization…and almost like an “audition” and “judgement” aspect as the coordinator must decide which companies are best to have present. I think they are very beneficial for the job-seekers and provide an opportunity for them to market themselves and weigh out options that they might not have seen if they attended an individual interview.

  129. I have yet to attend a Trade Show Exhibit, however, look forward to in the future. I have heard little pieces about them from my dad. He would always come home with lots of “SWAG” and name badge.
    I believe that person-to-person sales practice would have the best close rate because I am always pressured or convinced to buy something in person. They know all the right words to say to make you think you need the product; in some cases, you might need it.

    I love the idea that trade shows now uses the technology where the attendee’s badge can be scanned if there is interest. That makes everything so simple and fast. Especially if someone is in a rush or spent too much time at one booth but still interested another they can scan their badge. I love technology, no more hand-written cards.

  130. Christina Castaldo

    Reading this article gave me a better understanding of the importance of trade shows. I found the concept of trade shows to be very effective. The shows are all about reaching out to the “right” people, which is crucial when it comes to marketing. A business’ main goal should be to target the right people with their product. Grabbing the attendee’s attention at a trade show with visual effects, food, and being in the right location are extremely important in order for a business to sell their product and make profit. After reading this article, I would like to attend a trade show so I can experience these components for myself.

  131. I thought this article was a great “how to” lesson on trade-shows as well as an informative lesson for how marketing and networking go hand-in-hand. At a trade show, it is important for the person presenting their company/ideas/brand to present to their attendees in such a way that appeals to them and ensures a ROI. This also applies to your personal business life when creating a network of individuals to connect with in the future or learn something new. The location in which you position yourself when seeking to expand your network is just as important as the way in which you follow up with your new contact. Many young people in college aren’t aware that their social media makes up their “personal brand”, so it is important to only have appropriate content that will make you outshine other candidates when employers look you up.

  132. Trade Show Exhibits, although I have not had the chance to experience one, seem to play a big role in the marketing of a product and company. There are many components that play a role in the impact that it leaves on the attendees of the show. Every little detail, whether it is location of the stand, having a certain person in charge of explaining the concepts, using useful propaganda that people do not necessarily have to physically take home with them, and accessibility to contact the company is important. When it comes to small businesses and companies that are not widely known, this is the strengthener that they need in many cases to display the good things that they have to offer. I like how this promotes small businesses and the importance of them in our economy, keeping them thriving is a aspect that keeps our country running and any source of promoting and learning of new things will be beneficial.

  133. Kimberly Devilla

    I thought that the whole article was well written and pointed out some of the main components that someone involved in a trade show should pay attention too. For me, the logistics part of the article really stood out. There are a lot of different marketing tactics that are involved in selling a product at a trade show. It’s a place to display your product and allow relationships between the consumer and the company to be built. Consumers can put a human face and personality to a product. Consumer relationships are extremely important especially with small businesses.

  134. This article showed me the importance of etiquette and management of trade shows. Sometime we forget how important how important trade shows and even just a first impression are. The goal of getting contact information and permission to contact is not as easy as it sounds. The people you are talking to need to feel comfortable and connected to you.This requires certain skills that are not necessarily obvious but that is what makes a successful business person. I liked the part that spoke about always standing and never eating because it truly is the little things that make all the difference. I know that these are important skills I will need as a marketing major and will be able to put them into practice throughout my career.

  135. I agree with the idea that sales meets marketing in the exhibition center. Over Spring break, I spent time researching applying and interviewing for a summer internship at a company who is based in and often plans events in exhibition halls. Throughout the interview they discussed the integration of marketing and sales in their company and how the two trully do meet at the hall during the event. A booth in an exhibition hall is extremely important for businesses, large and small to market their products and bring in a much larger variety and wider range of potential customers.

  136. Marisa Martinelli

    I think tradeshows can be very beneficial to many companies if they are used in the right way. It was interesting to read the many factors that are considered when putting together a trade show booth. I think each of these factors can play a major role on how the tradeshow works for each company. Depending on the size of the company it is important to know how to market the product you are trying to sell. It is important to understand and know the audience you are selling to who will be at the tradeshow. If each aspect of the tradeshow is executed properly, it could be a big push for the company and the numbers they may be trying to reach.

  137. This article touches upon a part of business that is largely overlooked by the general populations, the trade show. The trade show is a large portion of the B2B market. At the trade show, businesses are able to do something special that they are not normally able to do, meet decision makers face to face in a setting that encourages mingling and sharing of ideas and solutions. It is 10x easier to make a sale in person than on the phone or online and this is for a variety of reasons. Being able to put a face to a name helps establish trust between a salesperson and a potential buyer as well as laying the foundation for a good business relationship. The interpersonal connections that can potentially result from trade shows are essential for a functioning business. This article has other good tips for maximizing the chances of establishing a good relationship. By not handing out literature, a company can focus more on obtaining business cards and other forms of being able to get a follow up meeting. Another useful tip is the one about making a booth a appealing as possible. Half the battle is getting a person to stop at your booth, by accomplishing that, you set yourself up nicely for obtaining a follow up meeting by either getting a business card or getting a appointment then and there.

  138. Andrea Perez-Hickman

    I think the most important points were made in the section “Follow up,” it has to do with adding that personal touch. The first thing one should do when meeting someone new at a trading show is a handshake. With a handshake someone can tell what type of person you are for example a firm handshake establishes power and confidence. It can also be the start of the friendly connection you are trying to build. I think it is also a really good point to send a hand-written card through snail mail because it shows that the person really put in some effort, rather than just sending you an email that took 5 minutes and was probably copy and pasted to all the people who were interested.

  139. This checklist to successfully exhibit ones company at a career fair is interesting. It goes through not only the reasoning and logic that goes into it, but it also extends into proper practices while at the fair as well as follow up procedures for after the fair. This trend line that moves from present to future shows that it is not just about the fair. The objective is to stick in the minds of the people who visited your booth. By sticking in their mind you can follow up and have a much more prevalent connection with the person of interest. Its all about setting goals and executing in order to reach them.

  140. This article was very interesting and informative because it laid out a step by step guide to effectively working a trade show. This information is extremely important because trade shows involve marketing your company, your product, and even yourself to potential customers and clients in person. I especially thought that the section on propaganda was very enlightening. My father travels to trade shows quite frequently for work and when I was young, my brother and I loved seeing all of the free pens, notepads, and other free gifts emblazoned with logos from many different companies. Now, I understand that these free items are extremely effective, tangible marketing aids that ensure that potential customers do not forget your business.

  141. This article talks a lot about tradeshows and a game plan. You have to know what you are selling or trading because if you know what you are talking about, then the customer will also be able to gather more knowledge on what you are selling and more inclined to purchase whatever it is. I think above marketing your product, it is more important to market yourself. That is because someone will not come up to a person who doesn’t market or present themselves well. Marketing is all about perception. If someone has a good perception of you, then they will talk to you. If they have a good perception of your product, then they will buy it.

  142. I found it interesting how important positioning is at a trade show. Positioning the trade show table close to the doors or near food increases the number of potential customers for a trade show table. It is also interesting how much you can learn by working a trade show table from other trade show tables. You can witness firsthand what to do and what not to do. If a trade show table is getting a lot of attention, think about what is making their table successful and try to emulate them. On the other hand, if a table isn’t getting a lot of attention, it is important to notice what they are doing wrong.

  143. Matthew Christensen

    I have never really been to a trade show, however I think companies can really get a competitive advantage from them. There is a lot of ways to really show off your product and service to a network of people you may have never met. No one ever knows who might walk past the booth with a major opportunity. Therefore, it is crucial to have an appealing booth and offer merchandise for free or cool little gadgets. It is key to be very open and friendly, because people remember the human face above all. Also, a follow up and thank you is key. Similar to an interview, this could make or break if a person wants to talk again. Putting the time into really making a extravagant booth can pay big dividends for a company.

  144. About a year ago I attended a trade show at the Javits Center in NY and while I wasn’t too familiar with the concept at the time, I have learned how important trade shows can be. They are key in connecting small businesses with new wholesalers, linking established businesses to each other, and growing networks. Trade shows are also ways to explore new techniques and discover the latest ways of doing things in ever changing markets. The fourth point of this article stood out to me the most because as I attended the trade show with a rather small business part of a much larger franchise, everything seemed very overwhelming at first. However, one of the most significant takeaways of the day was how much there is to be learned when you allow others to show you.

  145. Trade shows are a great way to find out who your target market is while at the same time reaching out to them. If you were to be unsure of who your product best fit you get to see it in display right in front of you. I have never been to a trade show before but would love to go and see all the things and how they caught my attention differently. I feel I could learn a lot about marketing in a large group of different buyers. I feel like events like these are good for anybody who wants to learn about all aspects of sales.

  146. I am intrigued by the idea of selling yourself at a trade show and not just a product. In that person-to-person interaction, you have the ability to form a first impression and later contact that person. Presentation and communication skills start a conversation about a product, not just statistics and facts. The article spoke of the various ways you sell yourself, creating a comfortable environment. Hiring professionals and paying extra for a better location create an edge on competition. TI would be interested in seeing how marketers prioritize costs. Trade shows allow a platform to draw people in and sell your why, briefly explaining in three minutes why you wake up in the morning and do what you do.

  147. Trade shows reminds me of the recent interaction I had with a person who claimed to be involved in network marketing; endorsing products and building relationships. It felt like they were selling themselves to me essentially and the idea of a trade show seems to touch on this. Since the trade show gives a chance for a person to present their ideas and most importantly themselves, it seems like a great way to hire people. I also think that trade shows are an excellent opportunity for people to stand out and bring to life things they do and why they do it for a living.

  148. Trade shows are very important in making business. It helps when selling products, for example, if you are selling your product and all of your classic methods to market the product are not good, so with trade shows you can sell your product easily and quickly because also it helps the customer to see the product how it’s being used. Moreover, trade shows market your company and give a high reputation. By giving papers to customers to read about your company, most customers will not read them, they are just going to throw it away. The importance of trade shows people can now better about your product or your company.

  149. Before reading this article I had no prior experience with trade shows and truthfully have never heard of them before reading. However, after reading I am very intrigued with the idea of a trade show and want to experience one. After reading I have came to the discovery that trade shows is where marketing and sales meet. Since it is a place were marketing and sales meet it looks like trade shows are almost a test on how a companies marketing and sales strategy is. It also seems that location is one of the most important aspects of a trade show so that you are seen and then therefore people can have the opportunity to take interest in what you are selling.

  150. Trade shows by the looks of this article, are seen to be a perfect opportunity to introduce a product and yes they are meant to help businesses sell that same product. These events are really great for a small business to gain experience as well as mentioned in the article that one can learn how to run a booth at a trade show. All these strategies show how to run a successful booth at a trade show. Also a big strategy that caught my attention was actually the location of the booth being of most importance. With the location, the booth must be presentable because now that the booth is located in an area where most people pass by, you must catch their eye and make them believe that they want or need your product. After attracting the consumer it is now time to sell to them and one would know that they are successful by having a follow up with the consumer. With that being said it looks like a trade show could also work as a networking event. I myself have not attended a trade show; but the article gives me a good idea of how one works.

  151. At a Trade Show I believe it is essential to pay attention to every single detail. You must even pay attention to the place/space the show is taking place at. People thay are showing their stuff want to be notices and want people to see their exhibit. At large events, people can get lost with all the many booths that will be in exhibition. There will always be an exhibition that stands out and one must try and be this one exhibition that will stand out. People will always move to where they see more people at. A crowd of people attracts more people.

  152. Trade shows are a great opportunity to show off your product to the world and help sell your merchandise in more ways than one. At a trade show you are meeting all types of consumers, retail ones, store owners and investors. It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of it all but it is a great opportunity for small businesses to get their feet wet and to learn from experiences so that they can use it to gain confidence for the next trade show. The set up of your product and the presentability of it at the show is very important. Your goal is to make the people at the show think and want what you have to offer. The first way to get them to do that is to get them to listen to you. You believe in your product enough that you invested time money and man power getting in up and running, it’ll sell itself from your belief in it. You just need people to listen. A trade show is also a good place for new business owners to network and make connections that can help them in the near or distant future. You never know who you’ll meet that can alter your life forever. Trade shows are great concepts for young businesses.

  153. I found this article to be very interesting due to the lack of knowledge i have on trade shows. We have all heard of them but most would not have been to one unless you work within that field. The most important thing to me throughout the entire process that is given in this article is the presentation. Not just having a eye catching prop but good personal presentation to. Anyone can make a trade show vendor look good but it takes that extra step of knowing how to talk to an individual and talk to him in regards to their individual needs. Presenting at a trade show requires a reactive trait that allows for the demands of others to be met.

  154. katarina percopo

    I really enjoyed reading this article, I think I gained inside on what trade shows are and how they work. However what I found really interesting was the follow-up point. It is convenient that they have this technology that will scan the badge and shows wether they are interested or not but like it said in the point, it lacks all the personal interactions. I really do agree with the fact that handing out your business card and having a one on one personal chat with someone is going to make your chances of someone becoming more interested that just seeing who scanned their badge with the technology. I believe personal communication in business is something we must always keep up with and never shy away from just because it may be easier at times.

  155. The article offered great tips on how to run an successful Trade Show. A Trade Show can be a very effective tool to increase sales, but without careful planning, success is not guaranteed. The importance of logistics cannot be overlooked. Knowing the layout of the exhibition hall, having the right technology and having assessed the cost of a prime location are all critical in order to make the most effective use of your time – once at the trade show your time and energy should be spent networking and meeting people not worrying about set-up. Secondly, I think we sometimes forget about the tremendous value of personal contact, establishing a relationship with the buyer (or seller) and most importantly, follow-up. It might be hard to resist bringing brochures or other written materials, but the best way to make a connection is the old-fashioned way – engaging in conversation and making sure to do follow-up.

  156. While I have never attended a trade show, I was fascinated by the seven steps. One particular point that was mentioned under step four was that each exhibitor should memorize his/her own speech, and that the speech must be under three minutes. I believe that one of the most difficult parts faced by the speakers in a trade show is the three minute speech because I believe it is easier for someone to give a speech that is very long and more in-depth. In one of my Business Management classes I remember my professor talking to the class about why he wants the class to be more concise when giving a presentation. His lesson was intended to teach students that in some situations, a speaker might only have a certain amount of time to persuade someone, or convey a message to an audience.

  157. Stephanie Cardonne

    The article made many good points, but I think the most important two were propaganda and follow up. I have been to a few trade fair type events, and there is nothing worse than being lots of literature to take home with me in order to learn more. It is much better if you can give a convincing “elevator-pitch” type sale and coordinate planned future contact. That also makes it more personal than reading up and then reaching out yet again. As for the follow up, while snail mail is a nice touch it is slightly outdated. It seems like now people prefer instant gratification. I think a very well written Thank You email gets the job done just as well and more efficiently. It is also more definite. I have lost plenty of letter in the mail, so why not take advantage of the technology we have.

  158. Though I have never attended an official trade show, after reading the article I can relate my career fair or college fair experiences to a smaller version of the trade show. Personally, I find the hardest part to be making connections amongst the chaos. With rows and rows of booths and crowds of people, it is easy to become overwhelmed. Where do I start? What should I do? The fifth point, propaganda, perfectly emphasizes that the purpose of trade shows is to “make a friend.” After attending many college fairs high school, I cannot even count the numerous pamphlets, brochures, free water bottles, or t-shirts that I received as a prospective student; however, I do remember the booths which valued that face time to build a relationship. Similarly to the seventh point on the return on investment (ROI) for the salesperson, the effort invested in my conversations at the various booths made all the difference. Did I feel like my time and myself as a human person were valued? That was my return on investment. This might not have directly led to an application just as a good presentation at a trade show might not always end in a sale, but at least it left a positive impression and a follow up.

  159. Everyone goes to a trade show to learn and expand their professional network. This means that to set you above the competition, it’s important for a person to have attention to detail, commitment, and to be sure to follow up after the trade show is over. Details like foot traffic can make or break how well your trade show goes, and it’s important to know these facts ahead of time to put you in the best physical position ahead of time. Being in charge of a booth at a trade show requires a lot of planning; it doesn’t just come down to what you can throw together the night before. Some would recommend that if your business can afford it, to hire a professional to assist with your booth. It’s also important to not be just giving out papers, papers often times don’t make it out of the room. What’s important is making the connection with people, and if they do want more information, you can take their contact information to send them the information later, or send them to your product website. The biggest part is making sure you get a good ROI for attending the trade show; sales are the goal and must be generated.

  160. This article makes many interesting points. It teaches us the importance of a trade show and the way a business leader and marketer should use it for their advantage. The propaganda tip is very important because as a marketer you always want to control the narrative of what you are pitching. Propaganda introduces the idea you are marketing and attracts the eye of the people. As a person who has gone to career fairs and even college fairs, I believe a very important part is the way you present your company with the booth. In order to attract people you must have a good booth that invites people to your way. The hardest part is finding the people, once you have attracted the people you will be able to market your product or company to them easily. Promotion is one of the four P’s of a good marketing strategy and with propaganda and presentation you are able to complete that promotion.

  161. This article gave some valuable insight into how to take advantage of a trade show. Prior to reading this, I did not have a complete grasp on what trade shows were. Yes, I had a vague idea, but I was unsure about the logistics. Having said that, the point that resonated the most with me was the importance of a handwritten letter. I really believe that taking this extra step and personalizing a letter really resonates with the potential customer. Especially in today’s media-driven society, handwritten letters can personalize the seller’s relationship with his or her customer.

  162. This post gives great insight on working a trade show through simple easy steps (as the title suggests). I find the point of not having “propaganda” helpful for working a trade show. It seems that whenever I find myself working my way around a career fair that I am bombarded with mounds of papers that sit on my desk. I completely agree that limiting the amount of “propaganda” can be extremely helpful in this regard. I would love to see business cards with the ability to be scanned, which after being scanned give information on the specific firm to limit the mound of paper on my desk. Switching gears, I thought that having the insight of a professional is extremely beneficial to help convey one’s company on the trade floor. Furthermore, the different types of point men which correspond to the type/size of a business is an extremely valid point. I also thought that using sales reps selling “SWAG” for free advice is a great way to lower costs. I agree that following up promptly will improve the ROI, which is like interviews due to the necessity of follow-ups to increase the likelihood of landing the job.

  163. I actually have a lot of knowledge on trade shows, as it is something my father participates in on a monthly basis for his job. He is a food distributor, so he attends trade shows to market his company’s products. Trade shows are kind of like career fairs, as it is a time to market yourself and what you have to offer to everyone else there. Each marketer is in a way competing with the others, but also have mutual understanding that each table is different and it is important to make your focus about yourself, not everyone else. Trade shows are so important because it continues the tradition of hands on, tangible markets — something that is quickly going away with the advances of technology in the business world today. I hope to be able to attend trade shows in my future to gain more knowledge on this practice.

  164. After being to a career fair, which is a type of Trade Show, I can truly see how all of the points mentioned in this article come to life. The points I found most interesting though were the ones that revolved around getting people hooked and keeping your brand at an arms length. A booth can draw people in with a video that runs endlessly. The video is short and sweet, but if you did not catch the beginning, you’ll want to stick around and get the whole picture. At that point, if the person who has walked up to your booth has not begun to ask more questions, the person stationed at the booth has the visitor in striking distance to open up a dialogue. Once the dialogue is over, many companies hand out their SWAG as a way to keep their brand in the face of potential customers. It’s a genius idea that is way more effective than a little pamphlet that you pray a potential customer holds on to.

  165. I have never gone to a trade show, but this reading did make me realize I have experienced something similar. When you go to a career fair there are many things occurring around you. There are many things that you can do, but also many things you can do wrong. The article does give good insight thanks to all the steps, but I think the one that resonates with me is propaganda. The best thing one should do in a career fair, or even job interviews, is to market yourself well. In order to attract companies or employers, you need to find a way to look inviting. It’s a difficult process, but with dedication and attention to detail you can look for your strengths and improve on your weaknesses. I also like the follow-up point. After marketing yourself to an employer, follow up with a thank you letter. This will show your gratification and it also shows how determined you are about the possible position you are seeking.

  166. I have never been to a trade show, but it kind of reminds me of a career fair that I attended at Catholic University. At both events the presenter is trying to sell you something, in this case an actual product, and with the career fair an actual job and work environment. What I would look for in a trade show would be a person who is very approachable and looks friendly to engage with and learn more about the product. I believe this is important because the person at the exhibit is there to sell the product to you, and he/she well sell nothing if know one comes to talk to them about it. Like you said in the article, the person presenting should have a sales pitch memorized that is not to long that you lose the customers interest. From talking to more customers bigger crowds will gather, and they will start talking to one another, saying to go check out your exhibit. Also as you said I agree that a follow up goes a long way to help your return on investment, especially a hand written one that shows that you put in the time and effort to contact them and you value them as a customer.

  167. I really liked the 4th and 5th point because to sell a product on a trade show the seller has to pitch the product very well in a short amount of time. Even if the people show up to learn about the product, a long lecture will just be annoying to them and they will not be interested as interested as they were in the beginning. When the seller get the chance to be the center of attention, he has to make sure to grab the attention of his listeners by pitching the product in the shortest and most attractive way possible. That will interest the listeners so much that they will tend to ask more questions and make an indirect advertisement of the product by talking about the product later ( Propaganda).

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