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Tackling Trade Shows Like A Pro: 10 Articles to Ensure Convention Success

Whether you’re a first year attendee, or an ol’ trade show pro, there’s a ton of work that goes into attending a trade show or convention. From setting up your booth, to making sure that your potential clients can find you, to observing the best convention etiquette, there are lots of factors that go into having a successful trade show experience.

We here at Quality Logo Products provide lots of convention attendees with their own customized giveaway items, attend industry trade shows, and many of us blog squad members go to comic book and entertainment conventions in our free time. And thus, we’ve written lots about trade shows.

So I’ve compiled ten of our best articles with trade show tips and tricks that you can use for your own booth. Let’s dive right in!

ASI Show 2011: Trade Show Booths That Really Stand Out!1. ASI Show 2011: Trade Show Booths That Really Stand Out!: Your booth design is by far one of the most important things to think about. When your competition is all around you, you’re going to have to think of ways to stand out and showcase your products. See which booths really stood out at the ASI Show in 2011 in this post.

Trade Show Booths: Good, Better, and Best Booth Ideas from ASI Chicago 20122. Trade Show Booths: Good, Better, and Best Booth Ideas from ASI Chicago 2012: A lot of ASI attendees really kicked up their display efforts at the show in 2012. This post showcases the cream of the crop and has actionable ideas for you to apply to your own booth. Also there’s a sweet picture of an Iron Man helmet. :)

Trade Show Exhibitor Secrets from the Pros (C2E2 Edition)3. Trade Show Exhibitor Secrets from the Pros (C2E2 Edition): This post doesn’t just analyze the design of specific trade show booths, but also how well vendors interacted with passersby and engaged fans. Check the comments section for an in-depth discussion about booth setup, too!

Artist Alley Booths: 7 Awesome Tips to Take the ‘Starving’ Out of Artist4. Artist Alley Booths: 7 Awesome Tips to Take the ‘Starving’ Out of Artist: An absolute must-read for anyone that sells in an artist alley or within pop culture fandom. But don’t worry, there are plenty of valuable tips that any trade show attendee can use at their own booth!

Trade Show Tricks for Vendors and Exhibitors: 9 Truths You Should Know and Plan For5. Trade Show Tricks for Vendors and Exhibitors: 9 Truths You Should Know and Plan For: Definitely our best trade show overview, this article outlines nine things that all trade show attendees should know and plan for. If you want helpful tricks and actionable advice, then look no further!

Barcodes, Badges, and Scanners at Conventions: Are You Taking the Wrong Approach?6. Barcodes, Badges, and Scanners at Conventions: Are You Taking the Wrong Approach?: The growing trend at conventions is to receive a scanable barcode on your name tag. While these are handy for collecting information, it’s also easy to start abusing the power. Check out this post for etiquette tips on using scanners.

Promotion at Conventions: How to Stand Out in a Crowd of Thousands7. Promotion at Conventions: How to Stand Out in a Crowd of Thousands: Setting up your booth and dazzling potential clients is only half the battle – now you have to get people to your booth! Read on to see how some of the vendors at the Chicago Comic Con got people to visit their booth (and buy stuff!).

How Small Businesses Can Rock Their Next Trade Show: Tips from Chicago Comic Con’s Artist Alley8. How Small Businesses Can Rock Their Next Trade Show: Tips from Chicago Comic Con’s Artist Alley: This post is a general overview of how small businesses and independent entrepreneurs can rock a convention. Sometimes you don’t need to be the flashiest display, and a little engagement can go a long way…

The Art of the Trade Show Freebie: 6 Dos and Don’ts from ASI Chicago 20129. The Art of the Trade Show Freebie: 6 Dos and Don’ts from ASI Chicago 2012: Just about every post on trade shows tells you that you should hand out some logo freebies. But what they don’t tell you is how to use them to get the most return on investment. This post does! And if you need help picking the perfect giveaway item, check out this compilation post.

How to Use Social Media to Boost Buzz About Your Trade Show Attendance10. How to Use Social Media to Boost Buzz About Your Trade Show Attendance: Even though trade shows are to boost your offline promotion, you can (and should) generate awareness and customers by using social media. Check out these tips to really maximize your social media presence!

Trade shows are a lot of work. But when you head into them with the right resources and expectations, you’ll be able to spend less time worrying and more time engaging with your current and possible clients.

And above all, remember to be yourself, smile, and have fun!

Have you seen recent success at a trade show? Any tricks or tips you’d like to share?

IMAGE CREDIT TO CLIPART.COM.


Mandy Kilinskis

Mandy is proud to be a part of QLP’s content team. A self-professed nerd, her interests include video games, sitcoms, superhero movies, iPods and iPhones but never Macs, and shockingly, writing. Her claims to fame are: owning over forty pairs of Chuck Taylor All Stars, offering spot-on coffee advice, and knowing an unbelievable amount of Disney Princess facts. You can connect with Mandy on

Comments

  1. Myrtle

    Next time you guys are taking me to the C2E2 show!!!

  2. Amy Swanson

    Wow, I had honestly forgotten we had some of these posts on our site. Thanks for re-discovering them and putting them in one handy article :)

    The biggest takeaway people can pull from these resources is to not forget about your booth’s design. You can have the flashiest giveaways and be selling the best products, but if you booth’s signage is boring or unnoticeable, then you’re stuck.

    Thanks for the review, Mandy!

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      Right? I re-discovered a bunch of treasures in our blog’s archive. Jill’s trade show tips for vendors is a little bit older, but definitely one of the best of the bunch.

      You definitely have to have a nice, eye-catching design and sign. Standing out from the crowd is absolutely essential.

      Thanks for the comment, Amy! :)

  3. Cybernetic SAM

    Also a good tip is to BE ATTENTIVE to people stopping and checking your booth out! I know it is tiresome to see 1,000′s of people over the course of the day, but when someone is clearly interested in your display/sale TALK TO THEM! I don’t know how many booths I stopped at and made direct eye contact and all I received was a blank stare. Even when I was looking at their stuff…..nothing. People are more prone to buy or pay attention to the sales person who paid attention to them! I was more likely to buy something from the people who engaged me, not the one’s who stared at their phones clearly to important and busy to make a sale.

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      It totally blows my mind when vendors do that. Not everyone is going to want to talk to you, but if they are making direct eye contact with you, that’s definitely a signal you should jump on! Maybe they’ll learn one day, Sam.

  4. Mikey

    I must say that I was unaware of just how much information this blog had on trade show and convention attendance. Thanks for compiling this article. It’s quite the resource for anyone looking to attend such an event, with something to offer both old hands and newbies alike.

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      Not a problem, Mikey! I was in such a trade show writing mood that I figured I might as well lump the best ones together in a mega post. Hopefully a bunch of convention-bound vendors will find it! :)

  5. Jeff Porretto

    I’ve heard horror stories about #6. Why anyone thinks that creep-scanning peoples badges and spamming them later is an effective marketing technique is beyond me. *shudder*

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      Yeah, I’m really glad that I missed the aggressive badge scanning from ASI 2011. I guess someone got the memo that it was awful because people asked before scanning you this year. But yeah, an aggressive scan + spam? Pretty sure that has a 0% conversion rate.

  6. Rachel

    Excellent round-up, Mandy! Good thing so many QLP bloggers hit up comic conventions, so that we can contribute to compilation posts like this. Ah, the things we do for work … ;)

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      Exactly. I mean, if we didn’t go to so many of those, four out of the ten highlighted articles wouldn’t be in the list!

      Side note: C2E2 feels way too far away. :(

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