Trade shows are a great way for new and established businesses to network, advertise and develop. You can unveil new products, gain consumer feedback and find other businesses to collaborate with. They are popular around the world and attract thousands of potential customers, journalists and other startups looking for partners.

It goes without saying that trade shows can be expensive. As a result, there are a multitude of hidden costs that need to be considered before establishing a booth. To rent space for your business can cost anything from a few hundred dollars to a thousand times that amount, especially at popular annual conventions. Once this cost is out of the way, there is the problem of equipment, review samples, demo products, marketing materials and staff to tend to customers. Hidden costs like transport, shipping costs and cleaning supplies to keep your booth attractive further add to the list.

With this in mind, it is important to plan ahead and take advantage of any opportunities available along the way that can lower costs. Most conventions have an initial discount for businesses who rent early, lowering what may be one of your highest costs is a large step forward in the setup process. Finding the right supplier for marketing materials and the overall setup of your booth should be the next step. Exhibe Portable has a large catalogue of affordable booth setup equipment and trade show displays. We have over 30 years of trade show experience and our products are easy to transport.

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The next step involves location. There is no use setting up a booth for your gaming company at a camping convention. In the same vein, placing your mediocre setup right next to a show-stopper isn’t going to be very beneficial. For example, at the annual E3 convention, some companies rented space behind the walls where very little traffic passed by, effectively missing out on many potential customers. This is another reason why renting early is a good idea; not only is it cheaper, but also more likely to land you a good spot. Keeping your booth clean, vibrant and generally attractive is important. Making your potential customers feel welcome and motivated is important. Make your booth inviting – the team at Exhibe Portable can help you to achieve this aim, and provide you with advice to achieve the best results possible.

This brings us to the next point - customer satisfaction. If you are barely breaking even with what it cost you to setup the booth because nobody showed interest in your products, there is no point in exhibiting (one way to reduce the cost of your convention marketing is to look at trade show display rentals, which Exhibe Portable can help you with).

Maximizing your ROI is easier when you get prepared in advance, and have a plan to get more people to your exhibit. Create a social media page, send emails and flyers advertising your presence at the show and make potential customers aware of your enticing offers. If your budget is on the higher end of the spectrum, hire a PR firm that will help create customer awareness and do the advertising for you. Many of these firms will help you by offering merchandise, exclusives and refreshments with your brand. You can even take this a step further and throw an “after-party” if your exhibit was successful. This will make your customers feel like you are more in-touch with them and that you are putting their best interests at heart.

The last step is making sure you have a post-show plan. Follow up on leads and continue your interaction with your customers. Send out messages to your social media pages during and after the show. Continue marketing and selling your products, stay competitive and you will find success. And remember, the team at Exhibe Portable is always there to help you be prepared for your trade show marketing, and to help you make the most out of your efforts. Our range of portable exhibits, from banner stands to modular displays and beyond, is perfect for getting your next trade show campaign firing on all cylinders!