Pre-Show Activities

Category Archives:Pre-Show Activities

Finding trade shows

Finding Trade Shows Within Your Industry

If you’re an experienced trade show marketer then you probably already have your ways for knowing when industry events are scheduled throughout the year. However, if you’re a beginner, you probably don’t have access to these same resources. But that’s okay, because we’re going to provide you with top resources for finding trade shows within your industry.

Trade Show Listing Websites That You Should Know 

Finding trade shows is as easy as going online. There are literally several dozen websites on the Internet that you can use to keep track of all the trade show happenings within your industry. Some of these are much better (and more reliable) than others. Be sure to check out the excellent as it is comprehensive, global in scale, and has an excellent search feature. One of the better ones to consider is Having been around since 1998, this website can provide you with an extensive list of all the trade show events happening within your industry, as well as their dates and registration information.

Another reliable website is This one is actually one of the more visually appealing trade show resource websites out there, and will allow you to quickly and easily find the event of your choice. The site’s prominent “Search” feature will allow you to browse through different events based on your geographic location, the date of the event, or the industry that its in. Here are some other reliable websites to consider:


As you can see, finding trade shows within your industry is as easy as searching within high quality trade show directories. As you build more connections by exhibiting at these trade shows, you’ll be able to learn more about events from people that you meet. 

Where Do Trade Show Events Take Place? 

Trade show events usually take place in facilities like convention centers, many of which will actually connect to a hotel. The benefit to this is that you can actually stay at the same hotel where the event is taking place. Why is this beneficial? Well for one, if it’s a multi-day trade show event, it means that you can quickly and easily get back to your room for breaks.


Trade show kit

Don’t Leave Home Without Your Trade Show Kit

You’ve arrived at the trade show, exhilarated and ready for action. Unfortunately, your exhibit is missing three screws, a light bulb sparked and died, your only pen just leaked ink all over the business cards, an extension cord doesn’t work, your banner is covered in fingerprints, and now you’re developing a splitting headache. Did anyone bring some aspirin in the trade show kit? Do we have a trade show kit?

Thoughtful preparation for a successful trade show involves the assembly of a complete trade show kit. Equipped with this trade show kit you’ll be prepared, composed, and have more valuable time to spend with prospective clients. So reserve some time prior to the show and collect the following items for your trip:

  • Exhibit Repair Kit – include a screwdriver, screws to match, hammer, pliers, wrench, and touch-up paint if necessary
  • Exhibit Equipment – pack extra extension cords, power bars and spare light bulbs
  • Lead Supplies – bring a sufficient number of lead generation forms, business cards, and an appointment book
  • Exhibit Cleaning Supplies – include some paper towels or cloths, and a small spray bottle with cleaning solution
  • Personal Hygiene Items/First Aid Kit – add breath mints, hand cleaner, nail clippers, antacids, pain relievers, band-aids, facial tissues and a small sewing kit
  • Office Supplies – assemble pens, pencils, folders, staplers, staple remover, paper clips, scissors, packing tape, postage stamps, paper, envelopes, clipboard, highlighters, box cutters, rubber bands, string


Trade show staffing strategies

Show Off Your Trade Show Staffing Strategies

By this time you’ve identified your staff best suited to achieve your goals at the trade show: they’re friendly, fully engaged, good conversationalists, polite, motivated, know what’s expected of them, and have practiced the company speeches. But what about your trade show staffing strategies? But do you have enough staff? And other than staffing the booth itself, what other special assignments can they undertake to maximize your presence at the show?

What are some of the trade show staffing strategies you can use to improve your trade show results?

The Center for Exhibition Industry Research estimates that approximately 16 to 20% of visitors will have at least some level of interest in your product or service. With this statistic in mind, how many staff will you need for the entire show?

First, ask the show sponsor how many attendees are predicted to register for the event. You can then calculate the total number of prospects by multiplying the number of registered visitors by 16%. Using 16% is a conservative approach; if you think your presentation and pre-show marketing strategy will be even more successful, then multiply by 20% instead of 16%. This number yields the total number of prospects, based upon the entire show attendance.

Next, take this number and multiply it by 50%, if the show is aimed at a general audience. Conversely, if the show is more highly targeted, then multiply by 40% instead. Now take your answer and divide it by the total number of hours your booth will be open to yield the total number of exhibit visitors per hour.

Finally, divide the total number of exhibit visitors per hour by the number of contacts and/or demonstrations your staff thinks they can handle in 1 hour. Now you can estimate how many staff are needed to look after the exhibit at any given time. Keep in mind, though, that no matter how many staff you think you need, your sales representatives will require approximately 30% of your overall exhibit space. Or use the exhibit space rule and allocate 50 square feet per staff member. In other words, don’t overcrowd your exhibit!