Make your small business stand out at trade fairs

Thumb drives are the new way to provide marketing materials at trade fairs.

Thumb drives are the new way to provide marketing materials at trade fairs.

Trade fairs range in size from small one-day shows put on by your local chamber of commerce to regional, national or even international events that last several days. Small, local events can be quite inexpensive while larger shows can be costly, especially if travel and hotel costs are involved. But if your business lends itself to exhibiting at a trade fair, either one specific to your city, your region or your industry, you should investigate whether such an event should be part of your marketing effort. The live interaction with prospects you obtain through such events is hard to replicate through any other marketing method.

Your first consideration once you’ve decided to participate in a trade fair will be your exhibit. In “Trade Show Display Trends”  from, you can learn about trends in exhibition systems and giveaways, among other topics. For example, booth lighting is now more subdued and colors cooler than in the past. In another exciting and cost-saving trend, printed handouts are being replaced with marketing documents on a thumb drive complete with company logos and web addresses. This greener marketing method reduces shipping costs and is saves the cost of printing traditional handouts. Also the thumb drive, embossed with your logo, can serve as your giveaway.

Trade shows can be an excellent opportunity for small businesses to get in front of new customers and generate leads. However, ensuring your business stands out from the competition is essential. Another way to do this is by using a Custom Prize Wheel. A Custom Prize Wheel can help draw attention to your booth and generate excitement among potential customers.

More technology is being used in trade show booths than ever before. “Technology Found in All Market-Leading Trade Show Booths,” describes three key trends in this area: computers connected to social media, high definition screens, and video streaming that lets you stream your trade show events to your online viewers. Also, demos shown on tablets are another tech trend, which may prompt you to add an i-Pad stand or two to your exhibit.

To learn more about trade show trends, you can get a pdf of a free, 44-page white paper on what’s working in exhibiting and best practices based on survey of over 400 exhibitors conducted by Skyline, an international exhibit company.

Be sure to check out options for lowering the overall cost of your exhibit. Look for discount displays or check out companies that sell used exhibit systems, for example. Or you can lease a system and test it out to see if trade shows really work for you before plunking down the whole purchase price.

Finally, don’t forget to do pre-show marketing to help make sure you draw the attention you want once you’re at the show. “Small Business Owners Can Plan Before Trade Shows and Conferences” provides three ideas on steps to take before you arrive at a trade show to maximize your chance of success.

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