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May 31, 2017

Preparing for Your Next Trade Show

If your company is a frequent vendor at trade shows, you probably have your pre-show list figured out. But whether you attend 20 shows a year, or you’ve just started, it’s always a good idea to think about what you want to get out of your trade show experience.

What Is Your Trade Show Ambition?  

Years of trade show experience has taught us that vendors hope to gain a distinct advantage by speaking to attendees one-on-one, but there’s much to do before walking out onto the convention center floor.

·        Determine Your Goals. Maybe you’re launching a new product, you’ve just entered a new market, or you’d like to cement your brand. Your goal should reflect what you’re hoping to accomplish: A certain number of new contacts, successful demos for a target audience, or attending networking events with trade show attendees.

·        Tailor Your Experience. Each trade show is different – maybe a different focus, theme, or city – so everything that you do should be tailored to the show that you’re going to next, not the show that you’ve just attended.

·        Prepare Your Booth. Many companies have varying booth set-ups that they use depending on the space that’s available to them. For instance, a financial institution that recently introduced a new product doubled its booth space at this year’s Pittsburgh Business Show so that they would be able to talk one-on-one to attendees about their product, which was expected to generate high interest. Additionally, your staff should be well trained about how to approach and talk to people, and there should be enough marketing materials to last throughout the show.

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·        Create a Demo. When vendors hear that they should create a demo, some nod in agreement and others say, “I’m promoting a product/service that doesn’t support a demo. What should I do?” The good news is that nearly all companies can use a demo at trade shows. It can be as simple as showing someone a certain feature of your website. For those who may not be able to bring a demo with them, consider designing a short demo video that can be created using screenshots, screen videos, and slides.

·        Step Up Your Social Media Game. Social media can include posting about a press release or blog, introducing your product video, taking pictures while you set up for the trade show, and then sharing images and thoughts during the show. Some great ideas for posts include introducing other vendors to your fans, shooting a live Q&A video where you talk to attendees, and a few tips that you learned during a presentation.

Pittsburgh trade shows are gaining popularity by hosting functions at a beautiful convention center in a city that’s surrounded by culture, great food, and excellent entertainment.  Join us in April 2018 for the Pittsburgh Business Show, where you can introduce your products and services that regional and national companies will want to see. Our industry list is limited, so it’s important to sign up soon at

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