9 Tips For Ultimate Trade Show Exhibiting Success

Tips for ultimate trade show exhibiting successLike anything else, you need to have a plan set in motion, a strategy, before beginning. You wouldn’t wing a company event, would you? We hope not! Trade shows are no different, and they can cost thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars, to pull off – “winging” them is not an option. Now, or ever. Unfortunately, having a nice trade show booth display isn’t enough.

So here are 9 tips for ultimate trade show exhibiting success. We’ve categorized them by pre-show, at- show and post-show. Happy Exhibiting! Oh, and if you ever need any help with any of the below – or anything additional – we’d be happy to help! GraphiColor has nearly 30 years of industry knowledge. We’re here to make sure you succeed at exhibiting.


1.      Plan your attack! Sit down with your team – and boss, and really define the reasons why you’re exhibiting and what you want to get from exhibiting. Firm up those goals beforehand so your booth staff have something to aim for.

2.      Get your hands on the list of attendees for the upcoming show! This might include reaching out to event organizers and asking. Narrow in on those attending who fit your target market and get in touch with them. The goal is to have attendees agree to meet you at your booth during the show.

3.      Have a qualifying prospects method! At the show you’re going to have a flood of visitors (hopefully!) and won’t have time to have in-depth conversations with all. It’s important to have ready qualifying questions so you can easily weed out people who are only stopping by for your tchotchkes, and those who are actually interested in doing business.Trade show team in Detroit

During your trade show

1.      Never work a trade show solo!  Your booth staff is a team, and they should all have a vested interest in the success of the trade show. Attendees can spot staff who don’t want to be there, and that’s a disadvantage for everyone.

2.      Make sure your booth is inviting! A nice, welcoming, inviting booth and (equally welcoming and inviting booth staff) are going to draw people into your booth. Drawing them in is step one. Having a nice trade show booth display is a good way to do this.

3.       Use a qualifying prospects method! So before the show you’ve identified some qualifying questions, right? Right! Use them here. All booth staff should be armed with them. Be kind and courteous to all visitors, but time is limited and valuable, so spend it with visitors that are truly interested in your business


1.      Debrief! There’s no better time than right after the show, while the memories are fresh in your head, to have conversations with your booth staff to see what worked and what didn’t. If you put that conversation on hold, people might forget something important. This is also the time to look back at the ROI of the show (ROI = total cost of the show/number of leads). How’d you do?

2.       Follow-up with leads! 75% of trade show leads are never followed-up on. That’s crazy! You just spent all that time and money at the show to get those leads. Have a follow-up strategy, and go get ‘em! Need a little lead-nurturing help? Check out our blog on it, here.

3.      Start planning for next year! That wasn’t a joke. We know, you just finished this show… can’t you take a little breather? Well, sure. Sure you can, but then you might find yourself backed into a corner and stressed to the max over deadlines and planning.

To Recap:

We’ve identified 9 steps to maximizing trade show success. They are:

1. Plan your attack

2. Get your hands on the list of attendees for the upcoming show

3. Have a qualifying prospects method

4. Never work a trade show solo

5. Make sure your booth is inviting

6. Use a qualifying prospects method

7. Debrief

8. Follow-up with leads

10. Start planning for next year

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