Winning Design Tips For Your Next Trade Show

Trade shows can be lucrative events for any business.

For business-to-business (B2B) companies, the results can be even better. In 2012, MarketingSherpa named trade shows the leading platform for B2B transactions/lead generation.

This shouldn’t be entirely surprising. Trade shows are excellent opportunities to showcase your brand’s visual identity. Simply being present and displaying your logo and providing even just rudimentary information about your business will increase brand awareness.

The interactions you have with potentials customers will allow you to qualify leads, collect data and make valuable connections. A successful trade show experience can bear an enormous return on investment.

To ensure a successful experience, we’ve compiled a few design and business tips to make sure that you, and your exhibit, are prepared to make the most of the opportunity.

Design Tips

  1. Branding Front and Center! Before a person is close enough to your exhibit to speak with you they should be able to name your company and identify your logo. This can be achieved through custom banners, backdrops of various materials, sizes and portability, table skirts, and other signage. If you are heading to a trade show and you are not in possession of any of these items, it is probably time to consider making an investment.

  2. A Focused Aesthetic is Key. Sometimes there is an inclination to bring everything to a trade show. Every. Thing. We understand that there is a natural eagerness to showcase everything that your business can do, but don’t over amplify your message with what essentially will be interpreted as clutter. Lets imagine that your business produces an item that you sell to other businesses, and that your business has three key manufacturing processes to create this item. One sample from each process is all that is necessary.

  3. Leave Your Brand in their Hand. For those who wish to take something away from your exhibit, be sure that whatever you provide them is properly branded, informative and includes contact information. This can be achieved by simply handing out business cards, but also through rack cards, bookmarks, and other items (get creative, the possibilities are nearly endless).

(Below are some items for a trade show items we designed for Peninsula Glass' Motion Windows line)

Business Tips

  1. Staff Accordingly! If you’ve invested in a well designed exhibit, odds are your exhibit will have a high volume of foot traffic. Make sure to have qualified staff on hand to interact with potential consumers, and to put their best face on when interacting with competition, or potential partners.

  2. Collect Data! Devise a system to collect  names, emails and phone numbers - and then follow up with visitors immediately after the trade show. Let them know you are available for further questions and point them to your presence on the web. You’ll be surprised how many great interactions begin this way.

  3. Collect More Data! Take time to assess what your competition is doing. The key to a successful trade show is to be one of - if not the - most engaging exhibits on site. You want to draw visitors in, and create an environment where they feel comfortable exchanging their contact information with you.

We can help you from start to finish. From designing the graphics and marketing materials for the show, to acquiring the physical elements that make the actual exhibit come together. We’ll help you leave your mark on every element of your exhibit, from the tabletop to a custom holder for the tablet you’re going to bring to collect visitor data, or show videos featuring your work.

This is the perfect time of year to get started. When you’re ready, contact us.


Markon Brands