With the arrival of spring comes the unofficial opening of trade show season, with exhibitors eager to showcase their products and services to consumers eager to get out after a long winter. Those trade shows will be here sooner than you think, and now is a great time to prepare for the events and think about how you’ll market your company’s offerings. Participating in a trade show rarely comes cheap, so it’s important to plan ahead and get your marketing materials ready.

Trade Show Sign

Stand out in a sea of booths

Using bright colours and bold designs on your booth’s signage makes your spot on the trade show floor more visible to everyone in attendance. While bold designs garner attention, it’s important to remember who your target clients are, and not create something garish that catches their eyes but causes their backs to turn.

Make the branding and messaging on your booth big and clear for passers-by to see. You want signage that’s legible so that attendees can read your messages quickly and easily, and get an understanding of what your business has to offer them. Your company’s branding should be coordinated throughout your materials, from the look of the booth, to the look of your representatives, to the look of the smaller promotional materials you’ll be handing out.

Offer some space

Walking a trade show floor can be like pushing your way through a crowded train during rush hour. With so many people and presenters packed into the room, you’ll want to make your space a little more airy and inviting. Make sure that event attendees can easily walk around, or into and out of, your booth. Remember as well that trade shows are made for networking, so tables and barriers that separate your representatives from the show’s attendees may not work to your advantage.

Make your materials engaging

Trade show delegates are bombarded with promotional and informational materials, and at the end of the event they’re left with piles of paper and handfuls of small branded items. If you want attendees to hang onto your items after the show, make them useful, and ensure they reiterate your company’s key messages.

People are much more likely to keep a promotional item if it has some practical use. So even though items like pens, USB keys, and magnets may not be new giveaways, they can find a place in the daily life of the people who receive them.

When it comes to brochures and information sheets, make the text concise and easy to scan, highlight all the advantages that come with your products or services, and ensure that contact information is easy to find.

Have some fun

People who come to trade shows don’t just want to hear business pitches all day long; they want to enjoy their time at the event. If you offer games, contests, or hand out playful items like mini footballs, you might attract more attendees to your booth. Contests are a great way to generate new contacts, and it gives you the chance to give away some larger branded items like headphones, tote bags, and apparel.