If you have never attended a trade show, not knowing what to expect can seem daunting.  Trade shows, also referred to as expos, are typically used as a way for companies to promote a product or service to an audience of consumers.  Trade shows are great opportunities to promote your business to a large audience, and frequently attending these types of shows is one of the best ways to get your business noticed and gather more leads.  Whether you’re competing in a nationwide exposition or a local show, here are a few tips to make the most out of your first trade show.

Do Your Research

Researching the event before the big day is a crucial part of preparing yourself for your first trade show.  Gaining some insight on the other vendors that will be there is a great way to prepare yourself and feel more at ease going in.  You can also use this as a way to network with your fellow attendees and make connections before getting there. Having a knowledge of the other companies that will be in attendance and networking with them beforehand is a great way to prepare yourself for your first trade show and feel more comfortable the day of the event.

Be Open & Communicative

Once you’ve made it to the trade show, make sure you’re not keeping to yourself and appearing standoffish.  Your main goal in attending the trade show is to network and promote your company, so try to interact with as many people as possible and be open to engaging and answering questions.  The most popular trade show booths aren’t always the flashiest, but rather focus on engaging with people and forming connections. You can learn a lot by watching your neighboring booths interact with people, and you may even pick up a few trade show ideas in the process.  

Make People Want To Come To Your Booth

While it isn’t necessary to make your booth as flashy as possible, it should give off a sense of fun and make people want to come check it out.  Enlisting the help of professional trade show services can help serve as a guide for how your booth should be set up, and many vendors choose to go this route.  In addition to networking and engaging with your fellow vendors and trade show attendees, try adding some fun touches to your booth.  People love free stuff, so offering freebies such as branded water bottles, pens, or t-shirts is a great way to promote your company and get people buzzing about your booth.  If you’re promoting a tangible product, consider giving out free samples. If you’re promoting a service rather than a product, offer discount coupons for first-time customers.  Participating in a trade show should be a fun and exciting experience, so keep these tips in mind to ensure your first experience runs smoothly!