The winter season and heralding New Year are more than just precursors to a fresh start: for businesses big and small, they’re a signal that trade show season is right around the corner!   According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), roughly 13,000 annual trade show events are held in North America, with more than 10,000 of these focused on the B2B market. Trade show season for most of these major B2B industries begins in the winter season and runs through early spring, meaning it’s tremendously important to start making sure your business is prepped and ready for any and all upcoming trade show events that are looming.   Focus on presentation   The number one thing to consider when assessing and updating your trade show materials is your booth. It doesn’t matter if you occupy a basic stall or if you’re a featured attraction at a convention: if your booth materials themselves aren’t up to par, you’re going to fall flat in the impression you make.   Your booth needs to be attractive, captivating, provoking of inquiry and, above all else, memorable. Remember: the goal at any trade show is to spread awareness about your products, company or brand, and your ability to do this is going to be dictated by the impression you leave on visitors. Consider these simple materials as you update and retool your booth’s image for maximum impression:   • Table runners are a great way to create cohesion at your booth. If your branding is projected outwards via table runners, you’re going to have a better chance at getting someone to step over and sit down, where you can engage them organically.   • Be they vinyl or mesh, big or small, trade show banners are a key component for your booth because they’re the biggest and most captivating tool in your marketing arsenal. If attendees can see your signage from afar, it’s going to draw them in closer for more information.   • Floor signs can come in all shapes and sizes, but they work to do the same thing: create a stand-out message that causes attendees to stop, read and inquire. A floor sign here and there is a good investment in your trade show efforts.   Far and above just having the right materials, it pays to have materials that are up to date, in good condition and tailored with your company’s branding. Cohesion is key and when done correctly, creates a powerful presentation that’s sure to stand out among the crowds.   Smart marketing materials   The second component to a successful trade show appearance—and an equally vital one—is having marketing materials that can be purposed to drive your exposure. This means having informative, heavily branded and attention-grabbing materials on hand, including:   • Business cards are always a necessity at a trade show—you’ll be giving them out and collecting them frequently. Make sure yours are up to date with current information and designed to stand out from the inevitable stack they’ll end up in.   • Brochures and pamphlets are going to give your prospects the information they need in a branded format that is indicative of your company. Make sure your handouts are speaking well of your brand with crisp designs, up-to-date information and clear contact information.   • Signup sheets are often overlooked, but deftly important in walking away with critical information. Getting attendees to, if nothing else, sign up to receive communications with you will keep the channel open.   • Freebies may seem like a waste of money to you, but they’re a marketing tool that keeps on giving after you’ve disseminated them. People love free stuff, which will bring them flocking to your booth, and what they take away will keep your company’s name and branding in front of them long after the show has ended.   There’s no end to the marketing materials that can play a vital role in turning your trade show visit into a success. Make sure you’re pinpointing the materials you need to fuel your brand exposure and get these items in order now, before trade show season is fully upon us. Getting everything updated, printed and in hand before you start setting up shop means being one step ahead of potential competitors who might not be as well-equipped to captivate attendees. Read article →