Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How Trade Shows Work

        Money | Marketing

Other Things to Keep in Mind
It seems there are always little things you didn't think about that greatly affect how much you love or hate a product you've purchased. Exhibit booths are no exception. First, if you plan on shipping the booth yourself, know the size and weight limitations of your shippers, as well as the conference locations for the trade shows you are attending. One company purchased a large custom 20-foot (6-meter) booth that could be broken down into two 10-foot booths for smaller shows, but didn't take into consideration the weight and size of each of the 10-foot sections. The company shipped a 10-foot section to a small regional show that did not have the equipment in their facility to move a 700-pound (318-kg) carton into their exhibit hall. The company's sales reps had to quickly and creatively come up with a good reason for why they were standing in an empty booth space!

Second, know the tools you need to put the booth together, as well as the muscle required to do it. This comes into play both from your booth staffing standpoint, and the convention center requirements. Always check to see if the conference facility requires that union labor assemble the booths. Typically, if a facility has an agreement with the labor union, then anything that requires tools to put together or can't be carried without the help of a hand truck or dolly must be put together by union labor.

Third, if you get a portable booth, make sure the cases that your booth ships in are very durable, as well as replaceable. Shippers never give your shipments the tender loving care you would like, and it won't take long for cases to start showing wear. Once this happens, you stand the chance of having your booth damaged, which can be a disaster if it's en route to an important show.

Now you have your booth, and it's time to start getting out there in front of customers. How do you manage this process? Let's go over the nuts and bolts of paperwork, scheduling, and all of the other dirty work of trade shows.