Tips for Preparing for your First Trade Show in 2024

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If you have started your own small business and looking for a way to grow it and spread your brand name then you should definitely start preparing to attend your first trade show. It is a place where you will be offered with hundreds of different opportunities to find investors, collaborate with big corporations, to find new customers and to make sales.

According to “VELV Design and Printing“, one of the biggest trade shows hosted in the United States and maybe even the world is the Consumer Technology Association known as CES. This event allows a lot of new and old businesses to host a presentation for their brand new products. Although, CES focuses directly on electronics and other similar technologies, but it still a great place to grow your brand. Of course, you always have the option to host your own at some other event such as the Washington International Strategic Leadership Conference held in Washington DC or Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition held in Chicago.

Source: CNet

However, hosting your own stall isn’t as easy as it sounds. It is not just about placing your products on a table and waiting for people to check them out. You will have to prepare for weeks or maybe even months in advance if you want to impress the audience attending the show. You will have to ensure that your brand will be advertised in the right light. It is also important to note that there will be competition hosting their own stalls, so you will definitely have to think of a way to pull in the audience.

So, if you want some tips on how to prepare for your first trade show make sure you keep reading.

Check the attendee list

Source: Exhibition World

Most trade shows will release a list to announce who and which companies will be attending. For those that want to grow their small business, this is a very important piece of information. You need to analyze the list in-depth and get ready to meet one of the most successful people in the business world. Maybe even try contacting them before the event to inform them about your booth and that you would like to meet them. This increases the chances of them showing up right in front of your stall.

Keep in mind, do not spam them with hundreds of messages or emails or they will completely avoid your company’s booth.

Setup a nice trade show booth

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Most corporations usually book the largest spaces in the warehouse and build their own custom stages to announce their services or products. Naturally, the budget of your company does not allow you to spend so much money just to host your stall at a trade show, but you can get your own booth layout to attract the audience.

Considering creating and ordering a custom booth layout that will be riddled with the colors of your brand, the logo, and the name of your company. You need to have something that will pull the attention of the people at the trade show, then use your products and your ideas to get their interest in what you have to offer. If you want your booth layout, click here.

Bring your best people


Having your own booth at an event with tens of thousands of people will be impossible to handle if you decide to go on your own. This is why we recommend that you gather a team of your best people if you want to be successful. You will need to create a team of people who best understand your business, who understand how your products, who are socially skilled and friendly. Having a few smiling faces behind the counter to greet every customer willing to know more about your offers.

If you have no idea who to bring with you then consider hiring a team of professionals to help you with your booth setup.

Give out free samples

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Everyone loves free stuff, no matter what it is. This is why we recommend anyone planning to host their booth to plan at least a few dozen of their products to be given out as free samples. Make sure you put up a sign that will announce you will be gifting free stuff and people will be lining up in front of your stall in no time.

If your products are still in the prototype phase and you can’t give them out as free samples then consider printing custom mugs, pens, and shirts which you would give out for free, as stated by Little Rock. Everyone loves a free shirt, too.

Be prepared

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These events can last well over twelve hours or maybe even more, especially if you are a host. Sure, usually attendees stay three to four hours and leave, but don’t forget that a new batch of people will always be coming in. So, hosting your stall is not just about technically preparing, but you will also have to be ready both physically and mentally.

Eat a calorie-rich meal and get yourself a cup of coffee. Maybe even pack a few energy drinks for you and your support team.

It is also important that you get enough sleep the night before. Being at a hundred percent energy is very important. You want to radiate energy when meeting with your potential customers.

Get seats for both your team and your audience

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Walking through the huge warehouse of such an event can be quite tiring. Some warehouses can even be several miles long, some events even require you to drive around in a golf cart to get from one warehouse to another.

Most attendees will be tired after walking for such a long time and will be looking for a place to get some rest. If you manage to get a couple of chairs for your booth then you will definitely pull in a lot more people. You can pitch your ideas and your products while they are getting a bit of rest.

Having a few chairs for yourself and for your support team is also crucial if you want to stay rested throughout the entire trade show.