Three Phases of Trade Show Preparation

Congratulations on exhibiting at a trade show! While often a huge undertaking, trade show participation can pay off ten fold. You should know that participating in a trade show goes far beyond decorating your booth and passing out business cards. In this article, we’ll discuss some topics relevant to each phase of exhibiting at a trade show.


Phase One – Getting Started, Research and Planning.

You’ve chosen the show you want to participate in. Now what? This is a great time to begin brainstorming sessions with your team to formulate the following:

  1. What is your purpose for exhibiting? Are you targeting consumers or buyers? Create a list of goals you want to achieve by participating. Make a plan to meet those goals.

  1. What is the inspiration/theme for the booth? For big impact, your presence should tell a story. The energy at the booth should reflect  the energy of your brand. Use the power of social media and involve your customers in the brainstorming process. Research what other companies in different industries are doing at their shows. If you can attend any shows before yours, do so!

  1. Choose great promotional products to feature your branding and contact information.

  1. Contract with a professional booth designer. The more professional the booth, the better your brand looks.

  1. Two great resources include and

Phase Two – At the Show

The show has begun and you have just a few days to make all of your hard work count.

  1. Most larger scale trade shows feature guest speakers throughout the show. Select someone in your company to represent your brand and give a seminar. This platform for connecting to potential leads is priceless.

  1. Draw crowds to your booth by featuring a wireless charging station.

  1. Attract leads with on the spot demos of your products. Make the demonstration even more impactful with audio/video components.

Phase Three – After the Show

What worked? What didn’t work? Did you meet the goals you set for yourself?

  1. Host a “post show debrief” with your team and project manager. Go over every aspect of your experience at the show. Have a staff member compile a report of all relevant metrics and write a synopsis that you can reference for the next show.

  1. Before the show, take inventory of the number of followers you have in each of your social media channels. After the show, measure the growth of those numbers.

  1. If you were selling at the show, did you make your sales goals? If not, why?


About the author: William Hall is a seasoned business coach specializing in branding, social media and promotional events. William has spent his career teaching businesses of all sizes how to stand out in the crowd while using marketing dollars most effectively. His clients are continuously thankful for his out-of-the-box ideas that lead to increased revenue, more clicks and a bigger online presence.