Tradeshow dos and don’ts

The industry’s biggest event of the year always brings great revelations – including lots of tips and tricks for successful trade show displays. Pen & Petal recommends a quick post-show breakdown now, so you can begin developing next year’s strategy while this year’s effort is still fresh in your mind. Here are a few thoughts they picked up along the aisles.

by Kerstin Ouellet

Do a giveaway – and make it count double
RainSoil offered the chance to win cash – and have your entry spur a donation to NGB’s Therapeutic Garden.

Don’t settle for mundane displays
Garden hoses and watering pots aren’t the sexiest, but they can still make a splash – as evidenced in this creative display idea.

Do commit to the theme
Braun Horticulture – always an excellent resource for magnificent merchandising tips – captured our collective hearts when they re-enacted their catalog cover setup in a mock photo shoot front and center in their booth.

Don’t stop at signs
Ceiling danglers are a great way to get your booth noticed from the other side of the trade show floor, but they’re becoming increasingly prevalent. How about strategically placed towering palm trees to really get you noticed?

Don’t let that stop you
Yes more people are doing ceiling danglers, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Instead, take it as a challenge for creativity. These 3D numbers catch the light and capture interest from a variety of industry segments.

Do make the move to high ground
Movement and motion are one of our key recommendations for any booth, so if you can incorporate a product demo, all the better. And if you’re like Control Dekk and you’re marketing the industry’s first water-by-weight hanging basket irrigation system, why not build a custom elevated moving product demo to up attention and the wow factor?

Don’t be afraid to push the limits
J Berry Nursery went with an award theme in their booth – and they owned it! Gold statuettes and other awards adorned with various accolades they’ve accumulated, and the staff (just visible in the background) strutted their stuff in dapper vest-pant combos.

Do make your booth really work for you
Yes you need a place to put your products, but consider how you adapt your booth for not just impact but functionality. Summit’s booth, for example, included a strategically integrated upstairs spot for private customer meetings.

Don’t pack it in early
So your flight’s schedule requires you to leave straight from the trade show floor? Don’t use your booth as a luggage rack. If you must bring your bags to your booth, hide them, or at a minimum, place them strategically out of traffic flow. A better solution: Most shows offer a luggage storage area; just ask at registration.

Do take it to the next level
This guy goes all in with floral shoes and a floral belt! Maybe you’re not so dedicated, but you can still let your booth uniform do the talking, beyond just a simple logo.

For more information:
Pen & Petal
1345 Encinitas Blvd. #241
Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 944-7889

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