What is a Trade Show?

Trade shows present a unique challenge for businesses. However, they also provide ample rewards for those who execute them skilfully. From fully understanding what a trade show is to developing exciting trade show display ideas, there are a number of aspects to consider if you’ve decided to try out this well-established form of product marketing.

What is a trade show?

A trade show is an event that aims to draw together members of a specific industry. In doing so, it gives them a place to display and demonstrate their products and services. Its primary function is to bring together members of the trade, so the majority of trade shows require attendees to be industry practitioners. Exhibitors at trade shows attend events in the hope of connecting with new customers. They also want to network with members of the media and foster relationships with distributors.

Trade shows are a chance to give a snapshot of your business to potential clients. Therefore, it’s key your display is both coherent and visually appealing. First impressions are vital. Hence, you should set up your trade show display in a way that draws customers to your stand. Remember, you’ll be surrounded by competing companies.

Trade show display ideas

The first step in executing your vision for your trade show display is to find out the dimensions of your display area and how your space is delineated. For example, are there walls surrounding your floor space? Are they solid enough to mount AV gear or product samples on? It’s essential your trade show display gives a clear representation of your product. Additionally, you shouldn’t have a cluttered display area.

One way to avoid piles of leaflets and display cases that inhibit the flow of people through your space is to ensure walls are optimised with marketing content. You can use video walls to show the product in use (in a habitat that can’t be recreated in the limited space provided), display product information and brand marketing, or present internal schematics or detailed information using animation/CGI. If your area’s walls aren’t capable of mounting screens, a projector is a cost-effective alternative.

Trade show demonstrations

Even better than displaying your product is demonstrating it in use. Renting an augmented reality or virtual reality system, such as the Microsoft Hololens or Oculus Rift, allows potential clients to experience your product even if there isn’t space on your stand. Car manufacturers, for example, have been using XR technology to allow attendees to drive new models around famous tracks; all without even starting an engine. Such systems generate a buzz around your stall and draw in potential clients who see them in use.

Finally, what is a trade show without giveaways? Sometimes, the simplest trade show display ideas are the most effective. Free items are a surefire way to keep your product at the forefront of buyers’ minds after leaving the venue. You might distribute the typical business cards, brochures, magnets or pens that display the company name. Alternatively, you can try and be a little more innovative and hand out miniatures of your product. Or perhaps some USB drives with marketing content saved on them, or puzzles that when completed give access to offers or gated content.

Trade show displays may seem like a difficult challenge for your business. However, when well-executed, a trade show draws new clients to your business. It strengthens your relationship with current distributors. And it help members of the media understand your product.


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