Tag Archives: Booth Staff

5 Great Reasons To Step Up To a 20 Foot Tradeshow Exhibit

Are you considering exhibiting in a 10×20 or 20×20 foot booth space at an upcoming trade show?  Do you wonder how to make the best use of this size tradeshow exhibit space to garner more attention and better results, and not just spend more money?

Here’s why some of our clients chose to step up from a 10 foot booth to a larger space – and how they used it to their advantage. If you have similar goals in mind, you might find it a good moment to “step up” too.

Great Reasons To Step Up, and Great Uses for 20 Foot Booth Spaces

1) Your company has made a big step and wants to gain increased attention with a larger footprint.

After the purchase of a related company, Finetech USA took two 20 foot spaces across from one another at their largest industry event in order to announce the acquisition.  We worked with them on coordinated but individually designed booths to make a big splash and help their customers and prospects make the connection.

2)  You are entering a new market or expanding your product line and want to “show off” what is new as well as still include what your current clients and prospects already know.

Edge Electronics expanded from electronic components to include LCD solutions, but was not getting all the traction they were looking for from their existing customers and potential new prospects.  They decided to take advantage of top industry shows to call out the strength of their new offerings by having Imprinted Originals design an attention-grabbing extension of their original booth.

3) Your prospects and clients want a hands-on experience with your products.

The clients of Neutec Group are laboratory scientists who specifically want to learn about new equipment and new capabilities at their conferences.  Our design, which combines fabric backwalls and bannerstands in a flexible and cost effective way, attracts visitors into Neutec’s booth, rich with hands-on stations for demonstrating their product lines.

4) You want a themed environment that drives the flow of interaction between visitors and company representatives.

Network America wanted a dual-purpose booth, where half the space could be used to attract and talk with visitors, and the other half could be used for viewing demonstrations of their latest product release.

Our solution brought them a 50’s style “drive-in theater” for the presentations and a “diner” on the other side of the booth, complete with old fashioned tables and chairs, where they could talk with company representatives dressed in matching bowling shirts.  The result was that theirs was the most talked about booth at the show, garnering exactly the step up in attention they were looking for.

5) You anticipate a large show, a steady stream of prospects and an increased booth staff.  Or perhaps you’ve implemented a program for pre-planned at-show meetings and want an area of your booth available.

After all, the total number of leads you can take home from a show is a result of (the number of hours the exhibit hall is open) x (the number of staff available) x (the number of visitors/hour they will interact with) – factoring in the total visitor population and the % which is expected to match your target profile.

Another critical influence on the number of useful leads will be how well your booth design and layout attracts your target audience and filters out less appropriate visitors – and how good your people are at connecting with, qualifying, and identifying next steps for your visitors.

This reason is not as fanciful, but it contains the essential point of all the answers above.

As with the experience of our clients, it is time to take your trade show opportunities to the next level when you are ready to put the larger space to good use and achieve expanded tradeshow goals.

Some Booth Options

There are many routes, using a variety of booth and display models, that can help create a professional looking 20 foot both space.   Some of the examples above were based on doubling up or extended versions of our most popular light-weight Fabric Displays and traditional Popup Displays.

We also carry a wide range of other models.  Our current website does not have a section highlighting 20 foot booths (upgraded website coming) – but these are some of our other options: Custom Modular, Hybrid Modular (only a fraction of available styles shown), and Truss Kits.  We also represent the full line of Classic Displays.

Beyond the Booth

As you can see from the examples above, however, the physical booth style is only a part of what makes for an successful use of your tradeshow space.  Imprinted Originals offers “exhibit house expertise without the overhead”, if you are considering “stepping up”.

If you are not sure if you have a “great reason” to step up your exhibit space, we can help you look objectively at the plusses — and the minuses — of expanding your booth, to determine if it makes sense at this time for your tradeshow marketing success.


Deborah Elms is CEO and head of the Trade Show and Event Division of Imprinted Originals.  She is passionate about helping businesses grow by creating and retaining customers through the effective use of tradeshows & events; offering high impact, professionally designed display booths, promotional marketing and guidance on what works and what does not.

You can follow Deborah on Twitter at @D_Elms and Imprinted Originals at @TradeshowsMdEZ.

(c) 2011 Imprinted Originals LLC


7 Keys to Regaining Control of Conversations At Tradeshows

How Can You Handle Talkative Tom’s and Chatty Cathy’s?

When you are at a tradeshow, convention or other event, your most valuable assets are time and focus.  You need to invest them well to succeed, either as exhibitor or as attendee.

Having tactics to help you disengage from conversations, at the right moment, is as important as preparing how to start a conversation.

Here are 7 keys to help you regain control of the conversation – first from the point of view of you as exhibitor, dealing with someone overstaying their visit, and then when you, as attendee, cannot get free from an overzealous booth staffer.

1: Show appreciation and solidify the connection

Once you have asked/heard enough to qualify (or disqualify) your visitor, say “I’d like to be able to give you my fullest attention.”

2: Set up the next step

Then lead them to the next step, which should be a followup call or appointment.  Right then and there, you can gauge their interest by asking how soon and in what fashion they’d like to continue.

Say: “I’d really like to talk about this more.  Shall we pick this up the next time we talk?  Would phone or email be best to followup with you? Mornings or afternoons?”

Or if they are raising questions which are better dealt with in a longer conversation or by connecting them with someone else, say “I have to research this when I get back to the office.  I will …. ” (and then note what you commit to).

3: Fast-track the next step at the show

What if you don’t want to diminish your effectiveness in the booth, but they seem like a really good lead and you don’t want them to lose them to a competitor with more time on their hands?

Your best bet is to set up a specific time at that show to continue the conversation.  If you’ve been able to staff appropriately, you can take them to a quiet area then, or you will have specific times set up for appointments at the show, and have available slots to offer. If you need to improvise, set up a meeting at a meal or break.

4: Treat everyone well even if they don’t seem to be a good match

If you suspect they’re just lonely and figure you for an easy audience, look them in the face and say, “I wish I had time to talk to everyone as long as I’d like, but I’m afraid I cannot.”   It’s true and it’s not offensive.

If you start asking about next steps and they suddenly get vague, then you’ve clarified it’s not a match.

On the other hand, when you get down to specifics — they might actually ‘fess up to having an RFP they’re working on that’s about to go out.

5: Are you the attendee and it’s the exhibitor who’s latched onto you?

Even as an attendee, you can simply say “I don’t want to keep you from meeting up with other attendees” or “I wish we could talk more but I’m afraid I don’t have enough time.”

This poor exhibitor is either so insecure that they’ve latched onto you, or so poorly trained that they think they should be “selling” you on the spot. In either case, they are well on their way to “proving” to themselves or their boss that “tradeshows don’t work”!

6: There’s power in the truth

Fib or tell the truth? Some suggest it’s easiest to say you need to go to the bathroom or fake a phone call.  I would not make something up.

There’s power in speaking the truth, and I’d always suggest wording it with a sense of etiquette.

Talky Tom or Chatty Cathy could – handled appropriately – become a great client, vendor or resource.

7:  Your time is limited, you must keep your focus on your objectives

You need to be able to control your time and your focus when you are at tradeshows and other events, either as exhibitor or visitor.

Take these steps to disengage when it’s time and keep focusing on your objectives, and you will be one of the ones who knows that “tradeshows do work when we work them effectively”.

Comments?  I’d love to hear if any of these ideas resonate with you.


Deborah Elms is CEO and head of the Trade Show and Event Division of Imprinted Originals.  She is passionate about helping businesses grow by creating and retaining customers through the effective use of tradeshows & events, including high impact, professionally designed display booths, promotional marketing and guidance on what works and what does not.

You can follow Deborah on Twitter at @D_Elms and Imprinted Originals at @TradeshowsMdEZ.

(c) 2011 Imprinted Originals LLC




Skillfully used banter, a winning personality, and an engaging manner are all tools the smiling woman uses to draw people into your booth.

Then she presents a carefully crafted demonstration of your new product or most profitable service – as she has at regular intervals, unflaggingly and adroitly, for the past two days at your number one industry trade show.

Who is this woman, what is she doing there, and what can she help you achieve?

She could be one of any number of presenters but let’s say it was Emilie Barta, one of the top trade show presentation professionals in the country.

I spoke with Barta recently, after having made her acquaintance through tradeshow-oriented discussions in “Twitter”.  Of course, I was looking for input on how she, and others like her, could help my clients.

“Launching a brand new product, introducing a new version of an existing product, doing something different than your competition, and ensuring that attendees know about your service offerings are just a few ways in which a professional trade show presenter can assist you in your trade show marketing efforts”, Barta told me.

She continued, “numerous studies have shown that trade shows offer one of the most cost-effective ways to reach a large number of prospects, all at one time, all in one place, so why not work with someone who can take full advantage of that situation?”

Why not just use your own staff?

First, this sort of focused, dynamic exchange may be a stretch for them, and you’d be better off hiring a high energy professional who is an expert at gathering a crowd of attendees and keeping them engaged while answering individual questions.

In addition, the time professional presenters have spent learning about your products and services means they can help pre-qualify prospects before handing them off to appropriate company employees.

This means your staff can focus their time where they will produce the greatest results: creating relationships with “hot leads” in more detailed conversations and connecting more deeply with existing customers.

Professional presenters can also help in tradeshow preparations.

They can assist with honing your message into an effective script, as someone who has been there/done that and knows what works.

They can provide invaluable input, working with your booth designer, on strategic staging layout to optimize traffic flow, interest and interaction with your booth staff.  And they can even help select appropriate giveaways to reinforce your message well after prospects leave the tradeshow.

And one last thing I learned from Emilie Barta?  Services such as hers probably cost a lot less than you think.  A focused marketing message + great booth design + a well trained staff + a professional presenter = a recipe for success!

Presenters are one of several alternatives to supplementing your booth staff.  We’d be happy to help you learn more about these options and introduce you to reliable pros!

PS – For more, read Barta on 10 Reasons to Have a Presentation in Your Booth.



There’s an awful lot to learn about what to do “at the show”, and most of it depends on planning and preparation in advance.

Here’s a Tradeshow 101 list of 10 “Do” and 10 “Don’t” tips:


  • Set up clear goals for the show. Your marketing materials should be focused on your message, and your banners and exhibit should clearly display exactly who you are and what you are offering.
  • Everyone in your booth must know the goal: whether it is new prospects, reinforcing existing relationships, or finding out more about your market. Clearly defined goals help you keep focus and track results.
  • Use good booth behavior. Stand near the front of the booth, make eye contact, and start up conversations. Never hide behind your displays and try not to block them either!
  • Everyone must know how to qualify and get information from prospects.  Ask for specifics.  “Why are you here today?”  Write down their questions, concerns, and interests – plus anything personal that will help jog their memory (and yours) later about the conversation.
  • Practice good communications – listen more than you talk. Learn how to disengage from unqualified prospects politely – thank them, show them you have noted their concerns, ask how they prefer to be contacted, and move on.
  • Make it interactive! Offer information, give little quizzes, provide tip sheets. Engage their brain and they will remember you. And you will learn more about them, which will help in your follow-up.
  • Have everyone dressed in synch with the exhibit theme or colors. With “identity-ware” staff or denim shirts, your company name should be on the left breast and, optionally, personal names on the right side.
  • Provide giveaways that remind your visitors of your products and services. They should be useful or striking, so prospects will take them back home or to the office, and see your name on a regular basis.
  • Anticipate typical questions and practice answers, including questions to ask in return. Rehearse demonstrations in advance. Hand out materials only at the end of presentations, to help you keep their attention meanwhile.
  • At longer shows, have daily meetings on what is and isn’t working. Keep your team’s morale up!


  • Don’t sit down, eat, or use cell phones in your booth. Don’t stand around talking with each other!
  • Don’t hand out brochures or giveaways without getting information in return. Annotate your leads as you go.
  • Don’t arrive without a plan for following up on leads. Send a thank you, possibly including a gift, to the most likely or most valuable prospects, and if you can remind them of your conversation, all the better.
  • Don’t have just anyone staff your booth without training and being brought up to speed on your objectives.  Deploy each person within the booth “ecology” based on their strengths.
  • Don’t overwhelm prospects with long answers when a short answer might do.
  • Don’t assume every prospect is a sale on the spot. Better to use your time to build relationships.
  • Don’t forget to introduce yourself to the other exhibitors – they are potential clients, vendors and partners.
  • Don’t say too much without knowing who you are talking to. Be careful about providing your competitors with business intelligence.
  • Don’t let your people focus only on the products or services they know. Make sure they know who to refer a prospect to, and how, for best results.
  • Don’t forget – trade shows are about putting your brand, products and services into tangible form for customers and prospects. Keep everything consistent, professional and on track with your show objectives!