How to exhibit like a pro at a conference or trade show
At the beginning of the year, many companies start to think strategically about trade shows that are coming up in their industry, and how to make the most of them.
This week we spoke to Anthony Booty, Founder of Guardian Exhibition & Display, a firm well-placed to advise any company looking to exhibit well at events. They are experts in helping firms understand how to get the most out of their exhibition spend, through great preparation and taking a tactical approach.
A fantastic way to increase brand awareness and gain a foothold in a new market, exhibitions and trade shows can be the perfect blend of sales and marketing. Yet whilst it can be a potentially great way to gain new clients, exhibiting at a conference is, to many, an utterly new way of marketing and so requires some rethinking and re-assessing of your event strategy. We asked Anthony Booty to share with us his top tips on how to prepare for an exhibition to ensure your investment is well spent and helps ensure a great return on investment (ROI).
It is tremendously important to ensure that your space at an exhibition is impactful and works to target your core demographic. This doesn’t necessarily mean going with the biggest space, but rather with the space that is the best situated – meaning it is near heavy traffic areas, such as near a coffee shop or restaurant. Being situated in one of these areas will help to ensure optimal visibility and, hopefully, as prospective clients are on their way to purchase a caffeine fix or a sugar rush they will be enticed by your own stand.
One of the best ways to make an impact is by being extremely specific about which space you choose. This means that if you do book a shell scheme (one of the most common options at an exhibition), make sure to get rid of the ceiling grid and facia – this will help ensure your space seems so much inviting and welcoming. Depending on the set-up of the exhibition you may also need to build your own walls, and it is well worth double-checking that with organisers.
Putting your best foot forward
On the day itself it is important to make sure you put your very best foot forward. This means making sure you hire or bring onboard the right individuals to ‘man the stand’ who are passionate, engaging and professional and who will represent your brand well. We would recommend creating a uniform of smart clothes alongside comfortable clothes, as well as making sure the team avoid eating or (the worst!) staring at their mobile phones on the stand. They should be standing as much as possible, ready and excited to welcome anyone passing by.
Designing the stand
To ensure your expo goes well, we would encourage you to design the stand with close attention to detail. This means trying to keep paper to a minimum, ensuring that you have plenty of storage to tidily hide away any bags (including personal items) or general waste, as well as any literature being up to date, with the appropriate contact numbers and information.
Lest they forget
Another fantastic idea is a giveaway bag. This doesn’t have to be overly expensive but offers a way for you to be seen in all the right places. By ensuring anyone who visits your stand leaves with a visual representation of your brand, it helps to ensure they will remember you – as well as any other visitors who see your branded bags being borne around the expo. Not only that, but they also help you to remember whom you have and haven’t spoken to…there is nothing quite as embarrassing as approaching a visitor who has already been taken through your sales spiel. All in all, a fantastic way for you to advertise your business and make sure your expo experience is memorable for the all the right reasons.
There are a number of brilliant apps that not only help you record who you have spoken with but can also sync directly with your CRM. This means you can immediately set up a sales sequence for interested visitors as well as sending out personal emails to those people with whom you had interesting conversations.
If you have any questions regarding exhibiting at an expo or trade show, please contact Anthony on or visit
Meanwhile, if you would like to speak to a member of the Kina team about organising an event, visit or call us on 0207 205 7901.
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