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What does 2022 hold for the tradeshow industry? If the Consumer Electronics Show is any indication, it may be a while before the industry recovers. Attendance at CES dropped by 70% compared to the 2019 pre-pandemic tradeshow.

Other predictions are more optimistic. Tradeshow booths will be full at events during the warmer months as the omicron variant subsides.

Tradeshows are still a great way to market your business to a new audience or launch a new product. People long for days to get back to normal and resume face-to-face interactions.

You’ll want to be ready for the next big tradeshow in your industry. That process starts with knowing how to set up tradeshow booths that make a huge impact on your audience.

There’s so much more to setting up a tradeshow booth than setting up a 3×6 table and putting a cloth over it.

Read on to find out how to set up tradeshow booths for your next business event.

1. Know the Purpose of the Tradeshow

There are many reasons to exhibit at a tradeshow. Some businesses attend to gain brand awareness in a specific industry.

Others use tradeshows to launch new products. For most, it’s an opportunity to get face-to-face interactions with potential customers.

Figure out what the purpose of the tradeshow is. The purpose dictates the tradeshow booth design. For example, a company that wants to generate brand awareness will have a big, splashy booth. That will be visible throughout the tradeshow floor.

2. Set Tradeshow Booth Budget

Create the budget for the tradeshow booth space. Consider the potential ROI for the tradeshow.

Also, keep in mind if you have to ship the booth to events and if the booth will get reused. You can include this as a line item in your tradeshow or marketing budget.

3. Sign Up for the Booth Space

What’s the trick to getting the best tradeshow booth space? Sign up early. Tradeshows often open up booth sign-ups between six to nine months in advance.

Sign up early, and you’ll have your pick of booth spaces. Sign up late, and you’ll end up in a low-traffic area.

The best booth spaces are in intersections. Look for a space near the entrance to the show floor or near the food court.

See if there will be music or demonstrations near the booth space. There could be speakers placed near the booth space that makes it hard to converse with attendees.

4. Develop Design Ideas

Tradeshow booths are designed with a clear purpose in mind. Do a lot of research into tradeshow booths. Note any that are well-designed and why you like them.

Keep your budget in mind, the logistics, and the setup. You can go for something easy like a modular trade stand.

If you have the budget, you can get a custom booth exhibit. This is an option if you know the booth will get used at several tradeshows.

An island booth design is completely open. This lets people come in and check out the products and talk to booth attendees.

Inline tradeshow booths are the most common. This is enclosed with an aisle that ensures you’ll interact with attendees.

5. Be Prepared for Hybrid Events

The event industry took a slight hiatus at the beginning of the pandemic. The industry quickly shifted to online-only events.

Booth sponsors, keynote speakers, and attendees went online to network and perform. As in-person events returned, companies and attendees preferred not to travel. They cited pandemic fears and costs.

The event industry learned to accommodate virtual and in-person attendees with hybrid events. About 73% of event planners think that hybrid tradeshows are here to stay.

What does that mean for your tradeshow presence? You have to be ready for both. Event platforms allow virtual tradeshow booths to interact with attendees.

This hybrid events guide makes sure you’re fully prepared to handle a live and online audience.

6. Handle Logistics to the Event

How will your tradeshow get to the event? There are companies that specialize in sending tradeshow equipment to events around the world.

While that’s a viable option, you do leave too much to chance. Shipping is slow these days due to the pandemic. Staff shortages and other supply chain issues could prevent your booth from reaching its destination on time.

The alternative is to find a rental company near the event. The advantage is that you’ll get your equipment on time.

The drawback is that you don’t know what you’re getting. The booth could be scratched and damaged. The booth design might not fit your brand.

Weigh your options carefully and pick the one that helps you accomplish your goals for the tradeshow.

7. Construct the Tradeshow Booth

If you thought through the design of the tradeshow, this step should be the easiest one.

Did you decide to create the booth in-house and ship it? Assign a couple of staff members to assemble the tradeshow booth before it gets shipped.

This practice run uncovers any potential issues and ensures that the booth goes up quickly.

You can visualize how people will interact with your brand and create ways to capture leads.

Be an Expert in the Art of Tradeshow Booths

Tradeshow booths are an experience. When you understand that concept, you’ll be able to create a memorable brand experience for tradeshow attendees.

That’s how you’ll reach your goals for the tradeshow. If you want to make the most of your tradeshow budget, know the purpose of the event. The design, budget, and logistics will take care of themselves.

For more helpful tips to grow your business, check out the other articles on the blog.

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