1. Keep it Simple – Graphics 101

Ever see a car parked next to you at a red light with that annoying bumper sticker? It may look like an entire amendment to the constitution. You kind of want to read it, but then again you don’t because you don’t have enough time. And it’s annoying.

2. Pre-stage. Pre-stage. Pre-stage.

Know what you pay for, and take the time to visit the pre-stage of your exhibit at the exhibit house. Last-minute issues can be resolved, and you will know exactly what will arrive on the trade show floor.

3. Eat and drink in your exhibit.

Hospitality areas within exhibits can be a great way to engage with customers, but if you don’t have such an area, don’t allow ‘Bob, the sales guy’ to sip on his diet coke at the reception desk. #tacky

4. Got storage?

Ensure you have enough space for personal belongings of your exhibit crew in the booth. Purses, phones, coffee and spare shoes for the brave heel-wearing soul should not be visible to the public.

5. Lights, camera, action.

When shopping in a department store, ever wonder why everything looks so shiny and crisp? It’s often because they choose specific lighting to highlight the best of what they have to offer. Warm or soft color hues and LED lights can make a huge difference in the feel of an exhibit.

6. “It looked right when I sent it.”

You: “The artwork looked good when I sent it to my vendor, so why would I need to proof something I provided?

It’s always a good idea to look closely at things like material call-outs, dimensions, color matches, and, yes, double-check for typos…. we’re all human.

7. Power up.

Welcome to working in the 21st century, where just because you aren’t in the office does not mean work comes to a halt. Also, it may be appropriate to make immediate contact with some important leads or contacts made on the show floor, just to say a quick “thanks for stopping by” or “nice to meet you”. It also may help to check flight statuses or room reservations. Or to text the spouse to reassure that you’re still alive. Having power IS important.

8. The early bird get the….

Take advantage of early bird discounts! Event registration, carpet, electrical, booth cleaning, floral, airfare, room reservations – the list is long. Honestly, these are easy ways to save money when it comes to event marketing. So, if you’re having a successful show experience, don’t wait 315 days to commit to the next one…it will be here before you know it.

9. The fine print.

We shouldn’t have to tell you this, but always read it. If you aren’t comfortable with everything in a contract an exhibit house or service provider, DO NOT sign on the dotted line have given you.

10. Who matters the most??

Put yourself in someone else’s shoes, and when you walk through the pre-stage of an exhibit, present you are seeing it and experiencing it from the attendee’s point of view. Is it comfortable? Do the graphics read well? Is the furniture placed awkwardly? The attendees are the reason you are at the show in the first place.

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