Trade shows can be a massive boost for any business. They work as a great as marketing for your business and building brand recognition, as sales drivers and getting people to buy products and even just as a relationship builder between you and your colleagues. There is no wonder that they are so popular but you have to be careful when you are planning as if you don’t do it correctly you could see a poor return on your investment if any at all! This is why in this article we are going to go through each step you should go through when planning your own exhibition at a trade show.


The first thing you need to do is a bit of research into the show, the audience and the cost. You need to make sure that you are exhibiting at the right place as otherwise you won’t be making any noticeable improvement in your business figures. You need to find a trade shown that is specific to your niche, check their audience numbers and if they are relevant to your brand and you have to make sure the price for a stand is within your budget.

Develop a goal

Once you have decided on a trade show you want to attend, you need to decide what you want to get out of it. Do you want to increase your sales for a certain product? Do you want to build your brand recognition? Do you just want to build up contacts to market to? Do you want to build your relationships up with customers? All of these can be achieved and will effect what you need to do later.

Design your booth

One of the most important things in a trade show is your stand. It is the first thing your clients will see of your brand so you want it to be eye-catching, colourful and visually appealing. If it isn’t these things you may find that less people approach you to get more information. Ensure that the stand is open as well. It needs to be easy for people to get in and see you. If they can’t get close due to people getting in the way you won’t be able to introduce your service to those people and they may give up and go somewhere else.

Promotional merchandise

All of you competitors will be giving out printed items and you don’t want to be the only not giving them out. They are multifunctional items at events. If you were giving out printed bags at your stand you get a lot of various benefits from it. People may be more drawn to your stand to get the item, use the bag around the event advertising to other attendees and they will use the item after the event reminding themselves about your brand with every use. Get your own custom printed bags here.

Gather equipment

You need to get all the things that you will need on the stand to achieve your goal. For example, if you want to sell a product, bring a sample with you to show off to people. If you want to build brand awareness, bring business cards. Want to get customer information? Take a note pad and a container for their business cards. You may want to bring tables and chairs as well so you can sit down with guests too. It is also important to bring refreshments along with you too as you staff that are running the stand will need somethings to make sure they can keep on the top of their performance.

Book accommodation and transport

Depending how far away the event is and how long it goes on for, you may need to book transport and hotels for that time. Transport can be anything from deciding who is going to drive down to booking train seats to even flight bookings depending on the distance. Events like these are usually held in areas where there are hotels so booking a place to stay should be easy.


At this point you are basically ready for the event. However, you can do more to make sure that you make the most out of the event. This involves advertising your placement at the event. Post on social media where you are attending and which stand you will be, advertise on your website to show visitors or you could even show your placement on TV to reach as many people as possible. Just make sure that as many people as you can possibly reach know that you are attending.

By Genaro Martin

Linda Martin: Linda, a renowned management consultant, offers strategies for leadership, team building, and performance management in her blog.