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Trade Show Tips for First Time Exhibitors

Photo by Alexandre Pellaes on Unsplash

Most new businesses play things pretty safe when it comes to their marketing. But in many cases, there’s a lot of value in pushing the boat out a little and doing something a bit more challenging. For example, exhibiting at a trade show. This can be a highly effective way to build your leads, grow brand awareness, and all-around make a name for yourself in your industry. 

Or, at least, that’s the idea. To get those results, you’ll need to know a thing or two about how to exhibit at a trade show. Below, we’ll run through some tried and tested tips that’ll put you on the right path. 

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Make it the Right Trade Show

There are plenty of trade shows taking place. But there’ll only be one — or a few at best — that is right for your business. When you’re researching trade shows, take a look at ones that, first of all, are appropriate for companies like yours. It’s also recommended to see which other types of companies exhibit at the trade show; if it’s a massive trade show field with global brands, then it’s unlikely to be appropriate if you’re a young startup. 

Choose Your Employees Wisely

People will come to your stand to see the products and services you offer. But they’ll need some information to really grasp what you’re all about. That’s where your team of employees comes in. Depending on the size of your stand, you’ll likely need a few employees to work at the trade show. It’s best to pick ones that, ideally, work in the sales department, since they’ll be used to speaking with prospective clients and will know your products very well. If you don’t have a sales team, then focus on outgoing, talkative staff — or you can hire an external team to do the job for you.

Get the Look

First impressions count for a lot in all aspects of business (and life), and that includes at trade shows. Your goal is to get people to visit your stand, rather than your competitors. If this is your first time exhibiting, then it’s highly recommended to work with a bespoke exhibition stand builder; they’ll be able to put together an aesthetically appealing, functional stand that’s in line with your company’s branding. You’ll also want to invest in branded shirts for your team to wear while they’re manning the stand. 


Everyone knows that trade shows are full of freebies. It’s one of the best things about attending them! During your planning stage, think about what free swag you’ll make available. This could be something as simple as a branded pen or something more exotic. If you have products, then samples would be appropriate. If you don’t want to go down the free swag route, then at the very least offer free drinks and snacks — you’d be surprised at how much visitors like to be watered and fed when at trade shows.

Do these things, and you should develop plenty of leads to follow up with once you’re back in the office. 

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