Preparing for Your First Trade Show

Preparing for Your First Trade Show

If you are running a small business independently, trade shows probably aren’t top of your priorities. But this is most likely because you’ve never considered them before. Many small business owners tend to assume that they belong to the realm of huge corporations. But there are plenty of shows out there that can seriously benefit your company too! So, here’s everything you need to know about trade shows and how to make a success of the first that you attend!

What Actually Is a Trade Show?

Put simply, a trade show is a professional exhibition. They are generally not open to the public, so you won’t necessarily find yourself selling products or selling services to people while you are there. Instead, the aim of the game is to represent yourself as a serious presence in the consumer market to the company representatives and members of the press who will attend the event. This will allow you to raise awareness of your brand, network, and maybe even get some features in specialist publications.

What Will I Need to Succeed?

Now, attending your first trade show is bound to be a little daunting. However, as long as you are thoroughly prepared, everything should go swimmingly. Here are just a few things that you will need in order to make the most of the experience.

A Stand

You will have to book your stand well in advance. When booking, try to purchase the best stand available. This may cost a little more, but stand placement significantly affects the volume of traffic that will pass by. Try to secure a spot in a main aisle at an intersection. This maximises the number of people you’ll come into contact with.


When you first get to the event, every stand will look pretty similar. Some may be larger, some may be smaller, but generally speaking, you will be greeted with an empty booth. This isn’t going to be much use to you if you simply stand in it and expect people to walk in and speak to you. You need to make it stand out! So, it’s important you purchase your decorations in advance and bring them along with you. Consider long banners to drape across the front of the stand detailing your brand name and contact details. You should also invest in teardrop flags which can be placed at either side of the entrance to your booth, separating it off from neighbouring booths.

Business Cards

If you connect with someone at the show, you want them to be able to get in touch with you easily. This is why you need to take plenty of business cards along. These should have an eye catching design and fit perfectly into the card compartment of a wallet. Make sure they detail your brand name and have details such as your contact number and email address without any typos.

While attending your first trade show may be intimidating, it’s an opportunity that you should embrace. As long as you are well prepared, it should prove extremely profitable!


Alison Morgan