A Newbie’s Guide to Exhibiting at a Trade Show

So you’re new to exhibiting.  Whether that means it’s your very first trade show or you’re still in the early stages of developing an exhibiting program, there are many things to know so you are prepared.  In this blog post, we’ve assembled some of the more common things you’ll run into at the show and how you should respond to them.

10×10 Trade Show Booths Have Special Rules

When you’re exhibiting at a trade show, the very first thing you want to read is the exhibition rules.  Often, these are tucked into your exhibitor’s kit, but it could also be available for download on the show’s website.  The rules are very important because it will tell you what you need to know.  For example, did you know that generally, a 10×10 isn’t allowed to have a hanging sign over it?  While for many exhibitors this is simply out of their budget, it’s also not allowed at many trade shows.  Therefore, you have to rely on other forms of branding and messaging on the trade show floor.  Instead, try video mounts on your backwall or kiosks, reception counters, or banner stands to get your messaging out there.

The Exhibit Hall Can Be Dark. Very Dark.

As you pass the larger trade show exhibits, it’s hard to comprehend that the exhibit hall is really that dark.  However, it is.  It’s dark enough that the larger exhibitors take great pains to ensure they’re aggressively lit to stand out from the crowd.  However, that doesn’t leave you without options if you’re in a 10×10 or a 10×20 booth space.

Exhibitors in a smaller trade show booth space can certainly add lighting in unique and creative ways depending on their budget.  This can include a backlit display backwall, attached lights to the top of your booth, or even adding in video messaging capabilities.  Each of these can brighten up your trade show display and let people know where to find you in a row of booths that could potentially blend in with the darkness.

Exhibiting on a Budget Does Not Mean You Can’t Compete

Many new exhibitors worry that because they’ve got a small trade show budget, they can’t be very competitive at the trade show.  This simply isn’t so.  There are many budget friendly options for exhibitors from pop up systems that include counters and lights to tension fabric displays that can always be upgraded with accessories which include bridges, separation walls, shelving, monitor mounts to play video, and more.  Hybrid modular displays are at the higher end of the spectrum in terms of price, but you can certainly gain much of that functionality by opting to get creative with your space.

Pop Up, Tension Fabric and Modular Displays are Meant to Last

When you opt for a prefabricated trade show booth, they’re meant to last you through multiple shows.  In many cases, exhibitors hang onto the same set up for years.  They just go back to their supplier to obtain replacement graphics.  This means that depending on how you care for your trade show booth, you’re likely to have it for a long time.  To ensure your display lasts for years to come, consider purchasing a hard case with wheels to transport it to and from show site.  This can help protect the frame and graphics from unnecessary wear and tear as well as the elements.

If you’re looking for your first trade show display, contact our Account Specialists who can help you through the decision making process. There are a variety of options available for newbie exhibitors that can really help them to stand out.