10 Tips on How to Pack for Your Next Trade Show
The ultimate tips on packing your bags for your upcoming trade show shouldn’t be just about having the best props and materials; they should also focus on how to use them the best way possible, and eventually, allow you to give it all on the field. Be it a regional fair or an international exhibition, here are the 10 basics that you must bring along to step up your game.
1. Practice makes perfect: Trade shows are about talking, talking and talking. First of all you should prepare different presentations as well as pitches for different targets and potential alliances or clients. One key thing is not worrying too much about learning facts and details (your presentations or brochures will do that) but learning a few ways of approaching people and being agreeable to create successful connections.
2. A good attitude and a motivated team: The main goal of participating in a trade show is taking full advantage of it. Having a positive attitude will help you communicate in a better way and enjoy your good time with your team members; it will be an intense and enriching opportunity for both building the team and growing the business itself.
3. Map and signs: You must locate your position in the floor plan and arrange your spot and signage to be easily found and look appealing. Also knowing your surroundings can be helpful when someone may come with questions about the fair.
The key elements of your exhibit or booth must be reachable and visible from most places, so you can increment your possibilities of being approached by even more people. Make sure your website and social media are also visible so attendees can follow you on the spot!
4. Business cards, flyers and brochures: This is the main player of the trade show. By bringing your fair share of cards, you can guarantee that everyone who comes to your booth will become a potential lead. Besides your business cards it’s best if you can provide other materials that your potential clients can take home and read later. Even after explaining what you do or offer, having them take flyers or brochures home increases chances they will read them again and be more interested in contacting you back.
5. Distinctives: If you are in a trade show with your team, use something noticeable that identifies you all as part of your brand. Pins, scarves, ties, lanyards, and other visible elements can help people establish a connection in case they have met some of your colleagues beforehand (this will also make your brand look solid).
6. Free Stuff: Promotional candy, keychains, pins, stickers or even coasters are a great way of giving a little treat to your visitors while providing support for your logo, and information. Everyone loves free gifts and is more likely to remember you by keeping your branding materials.
7. Tech Stuff: In a time of connection we need battery 24/7, so pack an extra power strip, a mobile charger, and even a USB hub and spare USB cables in case someone forgot theirs; there’s plenty of time to talk while their phone charges!
8. Handy accessories: Be prepared for any kind of setback, bring along double sided tape, zip ties, scissors, pins and other supplies that may not seem to belong in a trade show. There’s always that poster that will fall down or that table that won’t stay put. Also, have plenty of pens and paper at hand in case you need to note, scribble or give more details to anyone. Going back to basics is sometimes the best tool for getting your message across.
9. Water and snack bars: Keep in mind that you will spend lots of time moving around, making new acquaintances and trying to squeeze every second from the trade show. Staying hydrated as well as grabbing a quick bite to hold on through the end of the day becomes crucial. Besides, extra water bottles can also be given to your potential clients.
10. Spare room: This is definitely the most important thing when packing for a trade show. Even if you take lots of stuff along you must bring back all the information, brochures and business cards from new and old connections that you have made or upgraded during the event. Once you’re back you may dedicate time to classify all and decide who you’d like to contact.
Try to be as organized as possible with everything you bring back so you can take the utmost advantage of it, and take your time unpacking. After all, the race is over.