Exhibiting At Trade Shows. Tip 2: Be Prepared

Courtesy of WeConnectFashion

Staying organized with a clear goal in mind is the ultimate key when exhibiting at tradeshows. This is important so as not to feel too overwhelmed by the entire process. Here are some tips that will help you give it all you’ve got in getting ready.


Make notes. No Kidding. This is serious, particularly for newbies. You need to remember the details of everything so that you don’t accidentally skim over something that could be very important. Even if you notice something very small that you might want to recall later, write it down. It would help to keep a notebook with you to stay organized. If you do not have time to write full-fledged notes, just write down keywords that will help you remember later. It would also be a good idea to keep tabbed sections available for different parts of the show, for example: contact information, contracts, invoices, and phone conversations (including all necessary details).

Exhibitor Manual.

Read this as if it were a “page-turning” book. This is where you can find all the information you need in order to fully understand what is needed to be done at the show. This includes show hours, sponsorship, booth services, hotel and airfare discounts, etc.

Deadlines Are There For A Reason!

If they weren’t necessary, they wouldn’t be there. If you miss any deadline, your costs are more than likely to rise significantly. If you want sizable discounts, complete all of your necessary paperwork in ADVANCE! If you don’t, you run the risk of having to stand in line for long periods of time, valuable time.

Keep Important Paperwork With You.

Do not pack anything that is even relatively important with the booth; pack it in your luggage. This would include shipment information, contracts, service orders, backups of electronic data, etc.

Trade Show Toolbox.

Create a box with necessary tools and ship it with your booth. Label this box “Open First.” It should include tools that you’ll need to set up your booth, office supplies, small first aid kit, snacks and water, shipping labels (pre-printed), AND a plethora of business cards. Make sure that everything that you ship separately is properly labeled. All contact information and booth information should be included so that nothing is lost or not delivered. No booth, no show.

Pre-Show Appointments.

Yet another thing to keep on the front burner, (another big thing!), is making appointments with prospective retail buyers before the tradeshow. Have your call list on hand and contact management app open. Any free moment you have available, contact retail buyers. Have a script prepared. When calling, ask if they are attending the show. If yes, tell them about your product, why it makes sense for their store, and set up an appointment and/or invite them to your booth. Short, sweet, succinct. Record all responses – from yes with definite appointments, to no-way not-gonna-happen rejections. We can help with targeted contacts if you don’t have the time to develop a sales prospect list. It’s so tedious to do, yet so necessary. It’s what we, do lean on us. See retail buyer lists developed for tradeshow exhibitors.