Showing up at a trade show, no matter how fun the trade show is going to be, still means that you need to be doing some work. Yes, I know, I’ve been to shows before, and it can be immensely fun to spend that whole time going from booth to booth and seeing the newest things that are being offered in your trade, but you also need to be sure that you’re manning the booth and showing off what you’ve brought to show, and representing your business and your product appropriately.
You also need to make sure that you’re making your trade show booth as accessible as possibly can be. You need to allow the people who are coming to the show to come in and utilize your booth to see whatever it is that you have to offer, no matter what that may be, and most importantly, you need to be allowing them the full experience of your product, as best as you can provide it in a mobile setting. So, here’s just three things that you can do to make sure that you’re allowing them the best chance to see what you have to offer while making sure that you are also keeping your materials secure. Here’s three considerations you should, well, consider.
1. Preparing for the appropriate crowd
When you have a business that is going to need to go to a trade show, you need to prepare your trade show displays according to who it is that you expect to run into. Let me explain.
I once went to a NAMM show, which is basically a show where the music instrument companies (but mostly guitar companies) of the United States are showing off the newest things that they have brought, or will be bringing, to the market. They’re showing off guitars that you’ve never seen before, and because they’re showing it off to the people who are likely to buy them for personal use, not the industry, they’re sure to make the show flashy and quite bombastic.
On the other hand, there are countless trade shows throughout the year for vintage guitar sales and trades, and at these shows, you get quite a different experience. Everything is out of reach, the guitars are all to be looked at, not really touched, and in general, you’re not going to get to touch one unless it looks like you might actually be making a purchase.
When a building or business talks about accessibility, they can be talking about anything from ease of use to making sure that the building is open to the handicapped. When it comes to a tradeshow booth, however, we’re talking about the ability of people to actually touch and see whatever it is that you have to offer. If you only have, for example, one tiny screen on which people can view the new video game that you have to offer, you’re going to be out of luck when it comes to making sure that as many people as possible see what it is you have to offer. You need to design your booth to make it as accessible as possible to as many people as possible so that you get the word out as well as you can to as many people as you can about what you have to offer the world.
Something that no one seems to spend a lot of time thinking about is security at your booth at a trade show. I don’t mean that you need to have a couple of gun-wielding ex-spec ops types hanging out at your booth or anything like that (although, if you’re at SHOT show, that might actually help you out), I just mean that you need to be mindful that people can, and in some cases, will, steal your materials. People don’t seem, in general, to be aware of this, but corporate spying is an actual thing that happens fairly often, and getting an alpha build of a product stolen can be pretty disastrous. Whatever you’re offering, you need to take some steps to make sure that you’re going to be able to make sure that whatever it is you brought to show off to the public or the industry comes back home with you, and not in someone’s pocket or their free tote bag.
Be mindful of what you’re doing when you design your trade show booty, and you’re going to do just fine. Just remember, the entire goal is to let people know as much as possible about what you have to offer to the people, and if you do this, you’ll be alright.