The Five Must-have Tradeshow Necessities.

So, you’re gearing up for your first tradeshow. Whether you’re a branding newcomer or a well-weathered tradeshow pro, it’s a good idea to brush up on today’s big-hit event trends. Whether you’re gifting swag bags or presenting your logo in a new light, a few trade show tips can maximize your company’s appeal.

Check out the tradeshow necessities below. You won’t regret it.


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Tradeshow Necessity One: Retractable Banners

First, fortify your brand’s presentation with retractable banners. You’d be surprised how many business pros neglect baseline brand promotion. Other exhibitors, promoters and even consumers will be flashing images every which-way—so it’s important to underline your image’s bells and whistles. To make a lasting impression, use printed backdrops and post-up stands.

These pull-out banners serve several purposes. First, they maximize your brand’s display while minimizing overall cost. Each custom design may only take an hour to three hours to complete, craft-wise, and they’re portable enough to reduce costs associated with advanced setup. Second, your pull-out banners will reflect your brand’s purest, up-to-date, version of itself. Because retractable banners are lightweight, easy to assemble and easily movable, they should be one of your primary set-ups.

Tradeshow Necessity Two: A Heading Banner

A heading banner acts as a trade show letterhead, and it provides event-goers with brand information in the grandeur in an overhead display. A heading banner is necessary to connect with visitors as soon as they step through the door, as their high positioning promotes ongoing attention. if you don't use them, you’ll be left to cold-calling tactics at face level. Your attendees might also lose information in crowded settings. Don’t slam event-goers with assistants, marketers or your entryway receptionist. Instead, help attendees understand your brand’s uniqueness immediately.

A heading banner, unlike pull-out banners, will display your brand’s baseline ideologies. It’ll explain why visitors should care, and it’ll show your brand’s best light. Your heading banner should pack a powerful print design—one which prioritizes a creative logo. Don’t push attendees away with tons of information. Instead, entice them to delve further into your brand as buyers. At every angle, your design should provoke curiosity. Use brand-approved lettering, non-clashing colors and important information to impact users whenever they look up.

Tradeshow Necessity Three: Custom-Print Table Cloths

Once you’ve secured the baseline presentation, design down to the details with linens. Your sitting area, regardless of its use, should be all about your brand. At an outdoor-lovers expo, or even a marketing technology meet-up, your tables should reflect your brand's best aspects. Don’t settle for bland, all-function designs, though. Spice up the scenery with custom-print table cloths.

Custom-print table cloths allow you, the provider, to impact attendees with clear, concise brand images. They're inexpensive, and they're wonderful alternatives to generic-white table cloths. During conferences, your booth may be given a single table. This offers a great brand representation opportunity, giving you the option to replace typical table runners while still presenting your brand's product.

Tradeshow Necessity Four: Takeaway Swag

Here’s the exciting part. Takeaway swag has become a modern event staple, and it’s entirely useful when the right swag is offered. Check out HubSpot’s INBOUND 2015 event, and explore why its hottest offers took off. As a general rule, use these following swag ideas to liven up the post-party excitement and leave your event-goers on a great note:

  • Seasonal gifts  
  • Mobile chargers
  • T-shirts
  • Unique food
  • Moleskin notebooks

Alright, so let’s elaborate. Firstly, don’t get too restrictive with your t-shirts. In fact, any t-shirt should offer and alternative approach to your brand image. The idea, here, is to have event-goers actually wear them. They’ll be less receptive to a big brand logo than, say, a funny phrase. Find out what your event-goers like. Then, subvert it. Then, stick it on a t-shirt.


As for the unique foods, it’s a good idea to offer specialties which won’t spoil. Chocolate is a good idea, as is any food item which can be packed, stowed and carried home. Seasonal gifts are wide and varied, so you should look into the various options available. Mobile chargers? Well, they’re up for grabs. For the most part, though, iPhone lightning cables are a good bet. Remember: Make sure your takeaway swag is relevant to your attendees. If your brand promotes remote access, dish out high- quality home office supplies. If its services are all about outdoor engagement, promote yourself with fitness-related items.

Tradeshow Necessity Five: An Info Collection System

Assuming your booths are strategically designed, it won’t be hard to collect event-goer info via technology. Fill your booths with press releases, cards, handouts and product sheets. As attendees walk past tables, they can pick up your brand’s information. This is simple, to the point and reliable—right?

Wrong. You won’t maximize your inbound strategies with age-old handout tactics. You need iPad signup stations, digital gifts and mobile-based coupons. If you want to avoid heavy-handed digital strategies, stick with tear-off coupons and gamification. Sometimes, paper-based information collection strategies are more economical. To garner info, however, you'll need to serve the consumer. Arrange your show booths around technology and clear-cut, paper-based information gathering tactics. Then, put your information collection practices to good use.

As PromotingSmarter suggests, events should be “conducive to conversation.” Invite attendees inside, challenge them to engage new games and create an environment which is fun, flexible and memorable.

How Trade Shows Can Support Your Marketing

Your creativity can push your event beyond typical standards. By engaging your event-goers with new concepts, you can ensure a modern vibe and a high degree of attention-grabbing detail. To support your marketing fully, you'll need a trade show which can ensure complete accessibility at the attendee level. Marketing thrives on information, first and foremost. By providing information via easily digestible displays, pictures and media, you can fortify your external marketing tactics.

Business summits like Engage!12, reported through BizBash, are perfect examples. They connected over 250 wedding industry pros, fortifying their networking capabilities while handing out memorable swag. Talk about a great way to boost branding potential.

The Importance of Following Through

As a takeaway: Remember the importance of consistency. Today’s professionals are professionals because they weathered the stormy waters of adversity. Creativity doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, some of the world’s best brand marketers, event pros and business decision makers faced overwhelming odds.

After your tradeshow, follow up with any contacts you’ve procured. Add recipients to the email list, work on your brand’s Facebook outreach and connect your users together. Event-goer communities are invaluable, and they’ll make your future events environments of trends, friend meetups and fun. If you can create a community which serves itself, you needn’t worry about over-the-top outreach methods.

A lot of event-goers have a secret yearning for excitement. Sure, they might’ve attended to learn about industry news, your brand’s options—or even the food. They are, however, still human. Stray away from typical brand placement events, and re-wire your marketing strategy to encompass excitement. Be creative, and make sure your brand is presented in a cool, relaxed light. Then, connect with your users by offering unique after-parties, gifts and in-event games.

You’ll be surprised how many attendees stick around. Today’s consumers want excitement, and they’re good at getting it. Now, it’s time to meet the demand, and it’s time to propel your brand forward in 2017.