If you have never been to a trade show, you are truly missing out on a great experience. To begin with, if I may be less than professional and a bit more honest for a moment here, a trade show is the best place to go where you can blend business and pleasure together. You see, many of these trade shows are held someplace that, under normal circumstances, one would want to go on vacation, meaning that you will be able to spend your day out and about, looking through the various businesses, checking out a trade show booth or two (or more, I mean that’s all up to you, you work as much as you want, I’m not here to judge) and the rest of the time you can spend exploring and hanging out in locales like Boston, Chicago, pretty much everywhere in California and Hawaii, and even places like Cancun, Miami Keys, or even New York City (not a place I would personally go to a vacation at, but who am I to judge where people want to take a vacation at? That’s on you, man). Of course, these rare really just perks of going to a trade show, and not so much something that is central to them (debatable).
The real benefit to going to a trade show is the networking and the ability to spread the word about what it is that you have to offer to the industry, and to your customers and the people who the industry services. You can inform them in a couple of ways, but the important thing is that you tell them about what you have to offer them (I mean, in general, they don’t really care about what you have to offer to the industry, only what it is that you have to offer to them). How would you do this? Why, with some beautifully made trade show displays, of course.
Of course, if you are going to decide to build your own trade show booth and trade show display, you should consider a few things. Here are just some of the things that you should put some thought into before embarking on a trade show display of your own.
1. The crowd that you will be presenting to
The first thing that you really need to be considering are the people that you are going to be interacting with. You have to be sure to tailor your message to the crowd. It wouldn’t be worthwhile, for example, to spend a lot of money on making something, a display, that would talk about the specs of your product, and the technical aspects of it, if you are talking to people who aren’t industry insiders, but rather the people who are just from the general public who came to see your trade show. On the other hand, giving a simplistic explanation of what your product does to people who are highly invested in your industry and who understand what you are talking about isn’t likely to end well for you, but it may end up offending the people who have to listen to it (they may consider it patronizing and whatnot).
Once you’ve gotten a decent display designed, keeping your crowd in mind, now you have to make sure that people can actually see the display. It does you no good if you have the world’s most beautiful and informative display and nobody is able to see it. This could mean designing your trade show booth displays in a why that you optimize flow through the booth so that more people can see it, or it can have to do with the way you display your products, but just remember; the more people who see your product, the more buzz you can generate.
Although most people don’t consider this, yes, there is theft at trade shows from time to time. For the most part, it is stupid things, like the free swag that you have brought with the express idea of giving it out, but in other cases it can be things like early builds of your product or what have you. If these things get stolen, it can make it a lot harder for you, and it can actually aid your competition, especially if they’re the ones doing the stealing.
So, if you are considering going to a trade show and showing off your wares, you should absolutely keep these things in mind. If you do so, you could wind up making a fair amount of money.