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There’s No Business like Trade Show Business

Trade shows are strikingly similar to shows on the stage. Because there is only one way to get to Carnegie Hall – Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse!   And a whole lot of leg work as well!

Any seasoned actor will tell you that planning and preparation are key to nailing a role. Actors have to research the role and know the back story, which shapes their expression and puts themselves in the right frame of mind to step out as a completely new person. Similar in the world of trade shows and event hosting- research is key. What is the back story to those attending? What will they want to see and hear from you as an exhibitor? Planning a timeline in advance and anticipating the obstacles will save you so much heart ache down the line.


Like any performance, your set design is the platform that brings your story to life.  Think of your exhibit this way and design it to the environment you want to provide.  Setting the trade show stage may mean bold backlit graphics, shining spotlights and dynamic people.


“There are no small parts, only small actors.”

The same is true of the team you choose to represent your company. Be sure to properly educate and train your booth staff with the right script that empowers them to communicate their company’s message, and meet their daily goals and objectives.  They are all important and play a role in communicating your value to the industry.


Ever see a performer freeze up? Awkward. Both for the actor and the audience. Believe it or not, a script is important to follow even in the trade show and event world. With a proper foundation to start, your staff is then free to elaborate on the well-established message.  They need to know their key selling points and how to identify those qualified leads.


“The Show Must Go On!”

This is true both on the stage and in the trade show and event world. Have a plan B and even a C when things happen that you don’t foresee. You must be nimble and able to improvise!


Always remember that a great performance of your exhibit keeps your customers wanting more. Give them an encore and follow up in a timely and appropriate way.


About the Author

Amy Armstrong is a former Exhibiting Consultant at Skyline Philadelphia in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania.

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