Tag Archives: Tradeshow Planning

Ready for Fall Tradeshows? An Exhibit Manager Checklist

It’s not really true that tradeshows go away for the summer and suddenly come to life in the fall. But folks might be excused for thinking that. Spring and Fall tend to be when the largest and most important industry shows are held, often featuring important marketing initiatives such as new product announcements or movement into new markets.

As a result, it’s important to review existing booth properties for fit and effectiveness before each new season. We’re working with a lot of folks in the middle of this preparation.

But of course, there’s a whole lot more to preparing for what’s coming up.

Just in case anyone needs a quick jog of the memory, a reality check if you will, of the myriad of things needing attention, here’s a short checklist  (see related topics below if you need help with anything listed):


  • Booth is in good repair, appropriate, and successful
  • Booth components – retain, replace or upgrade
  • Update or target message for upcoming audiences
  • Professional design and assessment of effectiveness


  • Presentation, demo, video, slides
  • Printed collateral or digital marketing media
  • QR code, text, RFID marketing
  • Tiered promotional giveaways


  • Booth space, registration, services & shipping forms
  • Staffing selection, transportation and housing
  • Installation and dismantle requirements, instruction or hiring
  • Shipping, tracking and payment


  • Speaking, networking and sponsorship opportunities
  • Preparation of follow-up materials (emails, letters, packages)
  • Meetings arranged with clients & top prospects
  • Announcements via email, postal, trade journal, PR, social media
  • Plan/prep for lead gathering, management, tracking


You didn’t dive into the tasks listed above without being clear on the purpose and strategy for your upcoming shows, did you?

  • Determination of product management, marketing and sales goals
  • Specific, measurable objectives
  • Timelines
  • Budget
  • Assessment of prior results
  • Areas targeted for increased effectiveness

How Can We Help?

If you’ve worked with Imprinted Originals before, you know we are proud of being multi-line distributors of portable display products and modular exhibit systems and components that produce the same results as custom exhibit house booths.

Being multi-line means we’re not attached to any particular style or model.  Nor are your options limited to what we can produce or have on hand.

Our goal is to help you find the solution which matches your goals.  And can be used flexibly as you need to expand, contract or modify your booth.

We also offer professional graphic design that knows how to fulfill “the 3 jobs of a tradeshow booth or exhibit“.

And we’re really good at helping folks assess and update their tradeshow marketing strategies and the things they are doing to make them happen (Tradeshow Services).

So – here’s to a great tradeshow season this Fall.  Feel free to read our tips, browse our website (a new one is coming which will feature our modular offerings), or reach out for ideas or guidance.


Related Posts:

A Tradeshow Booth’s 3 Jobs: Proper Design Leads to Success





TRADE SHOW EXHIBITORS DO’S AND DON’TS (includes booth staff tips)



Deborah Elms is passionate about helping businesses and organizations create and retain customers through the effective use of trade shows & other face-to-face events.  She heads up the Trade Show and Event Division of Imprinted Originals.  You can follow her on twitter at @D_Elms.

Visit Imprinted Originals for more information.


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


Looking Past the Tip of the Iceberg: Tradeshow Planning for Success

Which part of the iceberg is dangerous?

I often say to clients, and when presenting to tradeshow newbies: thinking about a tradeshow or conference in terms of “the day of” is like thinking about an iceberg in terms of what you see above the water.

It’s only the tip of what’s going on, and if you avoid thinking about (and handling) the rest of it, you are likely to have a very bad experience!

For specifics, check out:

Elements of Tradeshow Planning

Preparing for Your Tradeshow

and other items in our strategy, planning and preparation categories.

Or give us a call and see how we can help you step up your tradeshow exhibiting to success!


Deborah Elms (@D_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.



Deborah Elms, CEO of Imprinted Originals, will be co-presenting at the HIA (Hauppauge Industrial Association)’s Pre-Trade Show Seminar on April 28th.

Her topic will be “Effective Exhibiting – Designing Your Graphics and Setting Up Your Booth For Success”.

Other presenters will include:  Arthur Germain, Principal & Chief Brandteller- Communication Strategy Group & Rich Isaac, President- Sandler Sales Long Island.  Additional information on tradeshow setup and organization will be provided by the HIA Staff; Marty Greenstein- Event Pros Group; and Adam Michelin- SmartSource.

Note: The Hauppauge Industrial Association is the largest industrial park East of the Mississippi.  It will be holding its 22nd Annual Long Island Business Trade Show and Conference on May 27:  http://www.hia-li.org


Workshop: “How to Make the Most of Your Trade Show Experience”

Workshop: ” How to make the most of your Trade Show Experience”

Learn tips and traps in preparation for exhibiting at the SCWBEC Exposition and other tradeshows.  Bring questions!

Organization: Suffolk County Women’s Business Enterprise Coalition

Speaker: Deborah Elms, CEO, Imprinted Originals

Date: February 11, 2010 from 10:15 – 11:30

More information: http://www.scwbec.org

Postponed due to snow:  February 25, 2010

Location: Small Business Development Center

Stony Brook University’s Research & Development Park, Building #17

1512 Stony Brook Rd, Stony Brook, NY 11794



“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

Experience seems to bear out the wisdom of this quote.

I’ve known people who set their sights on a “round the world trip of a lifetime” and succeeded, by determining the specific financial and logistical steps required and following them, even if it took months or years.  On the other hand, people make resolutions to lose weight every January and then don’t figure out discrete actionable changes and follow through – ending in no appreciable change.

Is there any reason it wouldn’t be the same with tradeshows?

If you don’t have specific goals, create strategies to meet them, and decide in advance what will make a “win”, all you are doing is spending money and wishing you will succeed.

Check out our growing Planning category on this blog.  We’ll include some 101 level as well as more advanced best practices.

Or call for some actionable steps and support in creating Exhibiting Success.




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.