Putting Your Business’s Best Foot Forward

In today’s world of online marketing, trade shows might seem like a pretty old-school marketing avenue, but for many business owners, they’re as important and beneficial as ever. For others, attending a few tradeshows may even define the level of success that the business has in any given year.

Think about it: actual face-to-face connection has become increasingly rare these days, and trade shows allow you to interface with the public in a warm and engaging manner. Personal interactions allow you to demonstrate your offerings, overcome objections, and make deeper, real-world connections with select members of your demographic.

Not only that, but they also allow you to build your brand image, to check up on the competition, and to conduct valuable market research, often for a few intensive days in a row.

When exhibiting at a trade show, it’s important to bring your A-game. Here are the top 10 things you’ll need to prepare in advance to ensure a successful appearance.

Printed Postcard Mailers

There’s a lot to see at your average trade show, and many attendees will plan their itineraries well in advance of the actual event, marking off must-see booths in order to maximize their trade show experiences.

That’s why it’s so important to spread the word that you and your business will be making an appearance. Custom printed postcard mailers are an ideal solution. Send them out months before the date of the show, and make sure you give mailer recipients a reason to stop by your booth. Contests, giveaways, and exciting new product launches work especially well.

Great Business Cards

You probably already have business cards, but if they’re outdated or don’t match the rest of your trade show merchandise, then you should definitely have a set of new business cards printed. Not only that, but you can take advantage of that underutilized blank space on the back to provide trade-show-exclusive special offers.

A Consistent Brand Image

If you received a business’s trade show mailer, but when you got to the trade show, the business’s booth had a completely different logo, what would you think? You’d probably wonder if that business really had its act together.

Strive for maximum consistency across your marketing materials when you attend a trade show. The colors, logo, and slogan should all echo the promotional marketing materials you’ll present at the trade show. For best results, have all of your marketing materials printed by the same local print shop, and request proofs to ensure consistency in color and style.

Printing Big Backdrops? Try Wide-Format

tradeshow backdrop printingNothing makes a trade show booth stand out like an eye-catching, larger than life backdrop. You want to craft a complete brand environment that stands out and sets your booth apart from the competition, and a backdrop provides a sizable canvas to do just that. These days, wide format printers can typically print in high resolution and in very large sizes, often on just about any substrate or surface.

An Awesome Table Cover

Don’t ever set up your tradeshow booth with some tired-looking card table. Ever.
This isn’t a garage sale, after all, and your business simply can’t afford to look off-brand and second-rate.

Not only that, but you’ll be missing a valuable opportunity to grab people’s attention. A custom printed table cover can quickly turn your boring laminate table into a pro-caliber presentation booth.

A Dynamic Trade Show Presentation

If you’ve been doing social media the right way, then you’re already establishing yourself as a thought leader; a luminary in your field… the sort of speaker whose presentation would draw an enthusiastic crowd.

If you can book a presentation at your next trade show, don’t miss this valuable opportunity. Just make sure you prepare a solid and dynamic presentation, and you’re almost guaranteed to recoup the presentation fee trough additional sales.

Bold Banners for Trade Shows

There’s just something about a big, colorful banner that puts people in a celebratory mood. Your custom printed banner should be big, eye-catching and smartly designed, and should match your other marketing materials.

Serious Swag

There are several online print shops that can print your colors and logo on just about anything, from t-shirts to Frisbees. People love free stuff. You might even net a few sales from people who’ve never even heard of your business, just because you have cool swag. Don’t skimp on the branded freebies, but make sure you give yourself enough time to design, send, and then receive your shipped goods back from the printer in time.

tradeshow swag material

Giving Away Swag Bags

Your prospects will need a bag for all that swag, so why let them hide it away in some nondescript tote? Eye-catching bags scream, “Yes, as a matter of fact, there is awesome swag in here, and you should definitely visit (your business name)!”

Beautiful Brochures and Marketing Booklets

Some of your tradeshow connections will be eager to do business right away; others will be at an earlier stage of the buying process. For those who just aren’t ready to pull the trigger, you’ll need to have high quality printed brochures that won’t end up in the trash bins.

Now, you can’t guarantee that everyone will keep your brochures, but there are ways to make them worth holding on to. Include a special offer, and make sure your brochures are pleasing to the eye, unique, and engaging. Or if you’ve got the design time, why not try expanding the information included in your business brochure by creating a printed booklet that tells the true and complete story behind your brand?

Did We Forget Anything?

If you check these ten items off your trade show list, then we’re pretty certain your booth will be a rousing success. But hey, if we’ve missed an important trade show must-do, then let us know via social media – we’ll be sure get back in touch with you. Thanks for reading!

[Photos Via: Teleread; Sparksight; 99Designs]