When Career Networks owner, Markey Read, decided to exhibit at the annual Women’s Expo several years ago, she used her creative skills to design her own trade show display: a dark backer board covered with fabric on which she used Velcro to adhere her card stock and paper graphics.
Although neatly done, her table display was heavy and cumbersome to set up. She made the graphics that hung on the display, but they were beginning to show wear and tear. She is a career counselor and business coach, not a graphic artist. When she wanted to change anything about her display, it was a hassle.
This is often the case with small business owners who want to grow their business, but don’t have a large budget for trade show equipment and graphics. If you need to start small, here are some pointers:
First, consider a table top unit. Markey had the right idea about her backer board—it stood on her table and the graphics she mounted to it were at easy-reading height to attendees walking by.
Her newer table top display does the same thing, but takes only a few minutes (really, only minutes) to set up on her trade show table.
Second, don’t clutter your display with a lot of text. This won’t attract people to your booth—as they walk by, they will see lots of hard-to-read text, which will not be inviting or interesting. Your literature—pamphlet or flyer—can hold the extra text.
Third, put your table with display either at the back of the booth, or the front, but don’t stand out of sight behind it. Stand next to it so that you can greet visitors to your booth. And do not sit down. It makes you look uninterested in being at the trade show. If you need a rest, take a break and leave the trade show floor.
Fourth, have your graphics professionally produced. The display will look that much better if your logo and graphics are done professionally. We have had clients add their own handmade items to a display. Unless you’re an artist, or very skilled, leave the graphics production up to the professionals.
Fifth, do a few decorative items to put in front of, and around the display. A visually appealing table attracts people to your booth.
Sixth, add new trade show tools that will enhance your table top display one piece at a time. Consider the purchase of a retractable banner stand, a table cover with your name and logo on it, or a literature holder for your pamphlets and brochures.
And most importantly, greet the attendees with a smile and handshake. These are always the best tools to bring to a trade show.