Trade Show Materials: 7 Items You Can’t Forget

Trade Show Materials

Showcasing your business at a trade show is one of the best ways to attract potential customers. Furthermore, it is also a chance to expand your network within your industry and study market trends, and identify business opportunities. The Small Business Expo is one of the largest trade shows in the United States. In addition to the standard sea of displays showing off each business’s product or service, industry experts speak at seminars. There are also workshops and networking events. The Small Business Expo and thousands of other trade shows of varying sizes take place across the United States. Each trade show is a huge opportunity to expand your business and develop your professional network, but they cost money. Some expenses are obvious and others are not so explicit. Here are a handful of trade show materials that you should consider if you want to stand out.

1.) Business Cards

Business Cards

This one is obvious, but it never hurts to double-check. If you hope to grow your network at the next trade show you attend, you should come armed with a box of crisp new business cards. Your business card serves as your first impression and you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Make sure your business cards are properly designed and fit both the nature and aesthetic of your business. Make sure to include your contact information, specifically your email and phone number. You’ll want to make sure you bring a container of some sort for your new connections to drop their business card in.

2.) Chargers & Power Banks

You will need to bring your core gadgets, such as phones to stay in touch with your team and laptops to capture leads or show off your e-commerce websites. We have become accustomed to having access to countless outlets around the office where we can charge our devices. However, the same doesn’t ring true when you set up shop at a trade show. While you may have access to an outlet, there will likely only be three or fewer, so make sure you’re prepared. Those handy power banks can prevent you from losing leads and are a must for any trade show.

3.) A Well-Designed Display

Whether it’s a smaller local trade show or a behemoth like the Small Business Expo, an attractive booth is critical. Most, if not all attendees at a trade show decide which companies to visit based on the design of their displays. That being said, you’ll want to make sure that your display is eye-catching and makes people think, “I have to check that out!”

There are two core guidelines when it comes to designing your trade show display. First, your display has to be informative. Potential customers should know which industry you’re in right away. Your products should be the focal point of your display. Vinyl banners and x-stands are both great ways to provide additional information. Feather flags are also handy, especially if you don’t want people reading a literal wall of text.

Vinyl Banners and X-Stands

Second, your display has to please both the eye and body. What does this mean? This means that you need to invest in furnishings for your booth. Extra lighting can attract people from afar. Also, a lot of people will walk into your booth exhausted from standing up all day. So make your booth comfy – cushioned seats and padded flooring are two ways you can provide creature comforts to your guests. You can also offer your guests a fresh cup of coffee and a quick snack if your budget allows for it. If you decide to provide fresh gourmet coffee and snacks at your display, then you should definitely connect with the Buzz Impressions team and get the ball rolling on your order.

4.) Treats and Giveaways

Yes, most of the trade show materials we’ve discussed so far have been business-related. However, this isn’t a blanket requirement. Think of a trade show as a massive Halloween trick-or-treat party. While this analogy is childish, it is 100% on point. Having treats such as freshly brewed premium coffee and finger snacks can go a long way when it comes to attracting potential clients. When word gets around that you’re serving top-tier coffee and crispy tater tots, you’ll likely have a lengthy queue at your booth in no time flat.

If you’re selling products, samples are without question one of the best giveaways you can offer. Samples provide potential customers with an opportunity to demo your product before buying. If you don’t offer a physical product, you can resort to promotional goodies like magnet calendars, lanyards, keychains, and other such swag.

5.) Informational Materials

Naturally, people will want to know more about your business. This is why it is critical that you have a plethora of reading materials at the ready. Your reading materials should sync with the color scheme of your booth and convey the overall ethos of your business.

You should give flyers to those who pass by your booth and brochures to those who show initial interest. Flyers can provide a summary of what your business does, whereas your brochures can go into more depth given the additional space.

6.) Food & Water

This is more about your personal well-being and the well-being of your team. Setting up shop at a trade show starts early in the morning, you’ll spend almost the entire day on your feet, and then you close up shop later in the evening. For larger business trade shows, you may even have to do this for multiple days. Regardless, fatigue will undoubtedly set it. You may have occasional breaks, but they typically aren’t enough. You can’t leave your booth unattended either. So it’s critical that you come prepared with a bag lunch, a few snacks, and lots of water.

7.) A Clear Call-to-Action

Call to Action

The most vital piece of all your trade show materials is your objective. What do you want to walk away with at the end of the show? If you’re selling a product, you may want to increase awareness. If you’re an e-commerce operation, you may want people to signup for your newsletter. You can also use trade shows to increase your following on social media. Your objectives need to be clear all throughout your trade show campaign, from your booth to the promotional items you give away.

Closing Thoughts

Trade shows can be intimidating for first-timers, especially if your first is one of the larger shows with all of the big dogs. Don’t let any silly fears prevent you from learning new things and meeting new people. YOu may not see an immediate impact, but you can rest assured that trade shows are definitely worthwhile in the long run.

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