Trade Show Tips and Terms Every New Business Owner Should Know

A lot of business owners are intimidated by trade shows, so they don’t attend them. But, trade shows can be one of the best ways to expand a small business and increase sales. If you’ve decided you want to try it out, you’re in for a treat. At the same time, there are terms and a few tricks of the trade you need to become familiar with before you sign a contract and book your space.


A/V stands for “audio/visual”. If you have a display, and you want any sound or video, make sure you’re in a location that can be supplied with A/V. Otherwise, you’re not going to be able to run your show.

Advance Order

An advanced order is an order that’s sent out to the service contractor for special services you might need before the actual show starts. Let’s say you need a special type of booth set up, or you need special fans or cables run to your table. You want to make sure this is set up prior to the date of the show, and an advance order is how this is taken care of.

Advanced Rates

Paying in advance usually yields you a significant discount on your table or booth. Pay early when you can.

“The Wanderer”

“The Wanderer” is someone who is always wondering around. There’s always one of them at a show, and they’re usually regarded as “fair weather exhibitors.” They’re wandering around the trade show floor, drinking way too much coffee, talking too much, not paying attention to their booth, and not really working.

Normally, this isn’t a problem unless they happen to be set up next to you. Sometimes, these types of people will get in your way, bother your potential customers, and generally make a nuisance of themselves. Be prepared for it.

Give Something Away

Giving something away is a great way to endear yourself to your potential customers, and it makes you memorable. But, it’s also highly contextual. For example, let’s say you’re a gaming or recreation company. Giving away these custom playing cards would be incredibly relevant and meaningful for the audience, especially if you have your business name and logo, including contact information, printed up on them.

The Rule Of Three

The rule of three states that, if you’re assigned three workers for your booth, you’ll inevitably end up with one stellar worker, one that’s OK, and one that’s goofing off and causing problems. If this happens, make the trouble-maker the gofer.

Work With Professionals

Always try to work with professionals whenever you can. In other words, don’t try to do prints yourself work with a professional graphic designers. Work with a certified trade show manager, or an exhibit consultant. Trade show marketing is a skill in and of itself. It’s best left to the professionals.

It’s very easy to lose money at a trade show. So, don’t make the mistake most businesses do don’t stumble through several years of failure before you hire a marketing consultant.

Timothy Gibson is a small business consultant. He loves writing about his marketing insights on the Internet. You can find his posts on many business blogs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *