3 Essentials to Bring to Your Next Corporate Trade Show

Although the world has gone digital, expos and trade shows are still a vital source of leads for many businesses. In fact, companies spend approximately $24 billion per year on exhibiting at these events due to how valuable they can be. What’s more, roughly 68 percent of exhibitors surveyed were confident that their trade show programs would be even more successful in 2018 than they were in 2017.

But to ensure your next trade show venture is a lucrative one, you’ll need to come prepared. If you’re caught without certain items, you might miss out on an opportunity to make a connection with a potential lead. Whether you’re at a mid-sized conference center or a colossal hotel venue, here are five essentials to bring with you to your next corporate trade event.

Business cards

Some people wonder whether business cards are dead, but they’re still vital both on and off the expo circuit. Statistics show that 27 million business cards are printed every day, and you should bring plenty of them with you to these events to ensure you can connect with contacts afterwards.

That said, not all of those cards are able to seal the deal. 72 percent of people will judge a company or a person based on the quality of their business cards. In fact, 39 percent of people surveyed said that they’d opt not to conduct business with someone who had a “cheap looking” business card.

You’ll need to make sure that your business card has all the essentials: name, job title, photo, company logo, contact information, a business tagline, and a call-to-action. Make sure to leave enough blank space (for both practical and aesthetic reasons) and to utilize both sides of the card for visual interest. Don’t forget that color is captivating, as 78 percent of people find colorful business cards to be more memorable than plain white ones.

Promotional items

Giveaways can be highly effective in terms of both branding and lead generation. Certainly, you’ll want to get some printed brochures and flyers for your booth. But you should also prioritize fun and useful promotional items to give out to visitors.

A study released in 2016 by the Advertising Specialty Institute found that most people keep branded promotional products for eight months on average. That means that your one-time purchase of promotional pens, umbrellas, shirts, totes, and other items can translate to a lot of advertising over the next year.

Look into some unique and sought-after promotional items like calendars, water bottles, mugs, flash drives, and phone chargers decorated with your company’s name and logo. Instead of giving out the high-ticket items to just anyone who stops by, you might even want to work promotional products into a giveaway event or a social media campaign to entice a larger audience.

Make sure you’re doing something different and exciting with your promo items so that you’ll stand out from the competition.

Stellar signage

When you’re prepping for a trade show, you can’t forget about the signage. You need professionally printed displays, posters, and banners to showcase your organization and ensure your booth looks its very best. Now is not the time to be a minimalist; you need to be bright, bold, and on-brand to ensure that no one passes by your booth without stopping to learn more.

You’ve got to be memorable and inviting with your signage. If you put up a physical barrier between you and your audience, they’re definitely going to keep their distance. And if you don’t develop an actual strategy for your signage, people will have difficulty recalling your name or understanding what your business does.

Come up with a unique vibe that supports your brand messaging or create a truly unique environment that makes your small booth seem like the biggest in the place. Be colorful and catchy while showing visitors how essential your products or services are to their success.

Although there are certainly other necessities you can’t afford to forget when you go to your next expo, these three are the ones that will likely make or break your experience. When creating your packing checklist for future events, make certain these are right at the top and that you prepare well ahead of time to make any needed improvements.

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