1.) Prepare, prepare, prepare! Get your marketing companies involved upfront and hold a planning meeting. It helps to have ideas from managers that have been to a lot of Trade Shows.
2.) Register and select a high traffic (open) space—it helps if you get registered very early on and attend the Show the year before so you know “the lay of the land.”
3.) Be sure to find out the size of the trade show display table you will have, whether there is wall space for your company sign, if there are electrical outlets available, and anything else that may or may not be included (i.e. a table cloth, etc.). Set a budget and stick with it—you can adjust for expenditures next year!
4.) Bring your own tablecloth, be sure to get one that complements your display and represents your company’s image and color scheme (without being overpowering). Even if a tablecloth is supplied, bring your own or something to add some depth to your table (i.e. a table runner). Your table will definitely stand out in a crowd.
5.) Set up a stand-alone presentation board. On the board, you can show how clients can benefit by using your services. Be creative and make it stand out. Include pictures, if possible, and be sure your company name and logo are more than obvious.
6.) If there is wall space, but your budget is minimal, use your trusty desktop publishing software to create a template of your company name. Use the template, along with bristle board, cardboard, or foam core to make a sign that you can put up on the wall behind your trade show display.
7.) Arrange your beverage brands or wine trade show display table in levels. Put the larger items at the rear, shorter items in front of those, and even shorter items in front of those. If you’re displaying beer, build a small bar so the patrons can sit at it and feel comfortable. If you’re displaying wine or spirits, make a small lounge with comfy couches. The customers will stick around longer if they feel comfortable in your booth.
8.) Show off your Brewery or your Winery--Develop a PowerPoint presentation or streaming video to display on your table. You can make it on your desktop computer and transfer it to a laptop, which you can rent or borrow if you don’t already have one. Your visitors will find this visually appealing and it will draw in their attention.
Drawing Attention To Your Trade Show Display
9.) Draw attention to your booth: Have plenty of trade show logoed giveaways, such as business cards, brochures, pens, magnets, and anything else that has your company name and/or logo on it. Most people who attend trade shows are expecting to take home some goodies. Offer plastic bags with your brand name on them. And be sure to use display racks for showing your flyers, specials, brochures, and such.
10.) Offer something a little different as a trade show giveaway… FOOD. I displayed at the "NBWA" trade show in Las Vegas and included a basket of pretzels with horseradish mustard on my table—a great compliment for beer! They were a big hit; I wish I had bought more. If you can, package your food in a way that will allow you to have your company contact information on it.
11.) Offer Gift Certificates for some of your services as a trade show giveaway. There’s nothing better than getting a deal and when they “cash in” their certificate, they will see how valuable your services are and will come back for more.
12.) Have a drawing for a Grand Prize—get something nice (Logoed bicycle, motor scooter, decorated can for Parades, or blow up wine bottle are just a few ideas). Offer a prize that in some way complements your business if possible, and appeals to anyone. Have visitors and entrants sign a guestbook, fill in a ticket, or drop their business cards into a fish bowl or gift bag. The great thing about this trade show giveaway is that you can then use this information at a later date to make a follow up contact.
13.) Have a portfolio of your work available as part of your trade show display. Print off some of your best beer or wine displays or contests, put them into plastic sheet protectors, and arrange them in a binder. Then lay out the binder where visitors can flip through the pages.
14.) Hire the right help! If the trade show will be on for an extended length of time, be sure to have assistance in manning your trade show booth so you can take a break. If you don’t have the option of having someone take over for a bit, be sure to put up a note that tells people how long you will be gone or when you will be back.
15.) Most importantly, be friendly and inviting. Say "Hi" to those that turn and look toward you or your trade show booth. Strike up a conversation and be sure to have a short introductory speech ready. And… have fun!