We at the shop are intensely invested in our community. We frequently attend chamber functions, neighborhood events, and business expos.
Concerning the last of these, I’ve often found myself missing something important at a business expo or a chamber function. My dad, being more experienced and organized, is less likely to forget anything.
1.) Business cards
I cannot remember how many times I have gone to chamber function and forgot to bring business cards. It led to many awkward moments and fizzled opportunities.
You should never let yourself fall into that kind of situation. Business cards, even in today’s wired world, are a vital tool for networking. Everything you need to know about a prospect can be summed up on a three-inch long piece of cardstock.
I always make sure to carry some business cards in my pocket, another bunch in my wallet, and another bunch in the box full of the other stuff you bring to an expo.
You should always have some kind of brochure or pamphlet that you can give to visitors at your booth. It gives more info than a business card but is also a great way to plant the seed of interest in case someone decides they want to learn more.
Small, tri-fold brochures are generally the best. Big, 8.5x11 brochures are inconvenient to carry around, especially if your potential customer doesn’t have a complimentary tote-bag from some other booth. Better to play it safe and stay small. That alone could pay big dividends.
3.) A Banner
You need to make your table stand out from across a crowded exposition hall. The best way to do that is to have a big banner behind your booth, proudly proclaiming your company’s name, tagline, and website in big letters that are visible from a far off distance.
While the nitty-gritty of designing your banner is a different subject, here’s a pro-tip: Make sure that whatever information you put on your banner isn’t going to change any time soon, like numbers or dates. That way you can recycle your banner for future occasions.
Doubtless there are dozens more things that you could bring to a business expo (just look at the picture above!), but that's for another day. Until then, forget these things at your own peril!
Bonus Tip: Banners are also good to have in the background when you take a picture of the people manning the booth. We did exactly this for a Maple Valley trade show several years ago, before posting the above picture on our Facebook page for #ThrowbackThursday. Score!
Marketing Director at the Renton Printery. Providing advice on print-buying and business, along with notes on the state of the shop.