If you’ve never been to a trade show, you may not be quite aware of what I’m talking about, but trade shows are some of the most amazing things that you can ever see (as long as you go to the right one).  You need to go to one of the ones that are open to the public, because if you go to the ones that are designed entirely around servicing members of the industry, the industry professionals, then you’re going to find out that you’ve come to a pretty bland event.  If you get to go and see the trade show booths, though, at one of the events that are designed around the public and showing them what the industry has to offer, you can have a really fun time.

The two events are as different as day and night.  If you go to a trade show, for example, for aviation that is geared toward the general public that might want to buy an airplane, you’re going to get to see things like single-engine prop Cessnas, all the way up to commercial jets made by Boeing and Airbus, and everything in-between.  You can get inside, walk around, and see the way that they are (or can be) configured, and you can find the best plane for your business.  Obviously, with all those planes, people are going to be renting a lot more space for the trade show, and a lot more space for their aircraft to be shown off.

So, if you’ve attended a trade show, but have never been able to present your own product or the products designed by your business, at one, you may need a few pointers when it comes to designing your trade show displays.  Here are just three such pointers.

1.  Plan for the crowd

trade show displayThe first thing you need to do, and honestly, this is something you should be doing any time you’re going to be selling something to someone, is considering the people to whom you will be pitching whatever it is that you have to sell.

Are you going to be at a trade show, with a booth, that is going to be entirely trafficked by people who are professionals and scientists?  The kind of people who knew what they were going to be coming to see well before they even showed up to the show, perhaps? On the other hand, is your display going to be seen entirely by people who aren’t part of the industry, but who are, instead, just very interested outsiders?  You’re going to need to prepare differently for each group, or else you’re going to end up not seeing very many people show up.

2.  Design the right display for the goods you’re showing off

What are you showing off?  Are you going to be displaying a rifle at the SHOT show this upcoming year, or are you going to be showing off the newest guitar that you’ve designed in the Les Paul family at the Gibson booth in the NAMM show? Each display is going to have its own challenges and going to need to be treated differently, or else you can have some issues in the long term.  Any custom design firm will be able to tell you how to best prepare for the group that you’re going to see, and for the thing that you’re showcasing.  Of course, when it comes to the firearm, you’re going to need to make sure that it is both safe and that people aren’t able to walk off with it; with the guitar, you just want to be able to ensure that people can’t walk off with it.

3.  Don’t forget security

Hey, speaking of having things be walked off with, you need to pay attention to the security of your booth.  This doesn’t mean it needs to be a mini Fort Knox, complete with MP’s hanging around, but it does need to be more secure than just a table with nothing secured and things that can be carried off easily.  Be mindful of what it is that you’re doing and that you can make sure that your display pieces aren’t able to be easily carried off, and you’ll be much more sure to come home with everything that you left with.

Most important of all, though, is that you remember that you need to be sure to allow the public to learn about what you have to offer.  If you’re not doing so, you’re just going to be causing the money you spent on the show to be wasted.