How To Make The Most Out of Your Trade Show Experience – Gilbert

You’ve decided to make the investment and feature your company at an upcoming trade show. Now, it’s time to ensure you’re taking the necessary steps to make the most of your experience at the show. So, how can you do this? 

It depends on what you’re looking to achieve. Here are a few tips to help guide you through this process. 

Determine your goals

Why is your company exhibiting at this show? Your goals will guide your answers to the following questions and help you maximize your trade show experience.

Brand awareness: Are you attending this show to increase brand awareness? If so, you may want to focus more on exhibit aesthetics, marketing collateral & swag, and lots of eye-catching elements to get your message out there.

Generate leads: If your goal is to generate leads, you may want to consider building your exhibit to incorporate interactive components; focus on engaging attendees and gathering lead information utilizing lead capturing methods such as contests or giveaways. 

Close deals: If your goal is to close deals, you’ll want to invest in some back of house space and sales staff in addition to creating an eye-catching front of house portion that will draw in attendees. It’s important to account for the items needed for your sales team to operate effectively, such as tables or conference rooms. 

Canon Exhibit at PLASTEC West in 2019

Finalize your budget

Now that you understand your goals, it’s time to determine where to spend your money. Is location the most important thing to you? Certain A/V components? Do you need to have a sizable back-office for sales staff? 

Choose the right location: Exhibits that are located in the main hall, main aisle, or near the trade show entrance receive greater foot traffic than others. Consider the value of location and how that relates to your overall budget.   

Analyze your resource allocation constraints: It’s good practice to determine which items provide the most value. Money spent on sales collateral and memorabilia is money that is not being spent on your trade show exhibit. Weigh out the pros and cons of each investment to make sure you’re allocating resources properly. Now is the time to determine what you really need. 

Determine your exhibit components: Budget will determine not only your exhibit location and size on the trade show floor but also the various components that are available to you when you design and construct your exhibit. It’s important to determine the physical requirements of your exhibit when planning your budget. How will you need to showcase your product or service? Do you need storage, conference rooms, etc? 

A/V Activation by CBS at Licensing Expo 2019

Take care in designing your exhibit layout

Once you’ve established your goals, needs, and budget, it’s important to communicate them through an effective exhibit design.

Consider your location: Design your exhibit to make sense in the space you have chosen on the trade show floor. Place the entrance on the side with the greatest traffic flow. 

Analyze traffic flow: Conduct a traffic flow analysis to determine the attendee journey as they enter and move through your space. Where do they enter and how? Where do you want them to go? How do you want them to get there? What are they experiencing along the way?

Front of house: If you’re not selling at the trade show and you’re focused primarily on brand awareness, you might not need significant back of house space and you might want to consider reserving more of your exhibit space for memorable experiential moments with attendees.

Back of house: Perhaps you need space for closed-door conference rooms, storage, or sales appointments. Such needs can require up to 40% of an exhibit, so be sure to allocate accordingly. 

Front of House Activation in Luxottica’s Exhibit at Vision Expo East 2019

After reading this list, you may have a lot of unanswered questions. It’s often worthwhile to have a conversation with an expert. Call us at (631) 577-1100 and find out why companies like Canon, Nikon, Safilo, and other industry leaders trust Gilbert. We also invite you to download our Trade Show Checklist for more helpful information to guide you through this process. 

About Gilbert

Gilbert is a turnkey organization that provides design, construction, and management solutions for trade show exhibits, retail, hospitality, corporate, and residential environments, and corporate events. 

Learn more about our trade show services here


Paula Alvarez Promoted to Director of Production

August 31st, 2019