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Corporate Branding and Trade Shows - 8 Tips for Trade Show Staff

Julia O'Connor

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Trade shows are part of the marketing mix and the appearance by your firm should be a continuum of your entire marketing including advertising, public relations and events.

While you may introduce a new product or showcase a service, many firms make mistakes by not connecting the overall corporate branding with the show. How can an exhibit staff person be up to speed on what the company is doing?


1. Make sure you have information about the exhibit – what is in it, why it is there – before the show. Not the day before but as soon as you get your assignment. The exhibit manager has the responsibility to make sure the exhibit is on time and looks great - among many other duties. The marketing team decides the theme, products highlighted and rationale.

2. Read your company and division web sites. Sure, there are lots of pages but there are hidden nuggets in there that you may have forgotten or may be new to you. Here’s what you may not know – attendees who are serious about meeting with you – well, they will check your web site. Best to be as informed as your prospective clients are.

3. Read all the promotional materials that you will hand out. If an attendee has a question while at the booth, your answer will not be – DUH?

4. Know what is in all the demonstrations. Are there cues to expand on the demo? Clues as to how to lead a conversation? Listen carefully and make your life easier.

5. Read advertising in your trade publications. What does your firm promote versus your competitors? Can you explain the differences?

6. While reading the trades, look for articles and releases about your company. Check your online press release section or ask the PR department about releases sent before the show.

7. Understand the role of your firm if a sponsor of an event.

8. Ask. Ask. Ask until you get answers that satisfy you. Your goal is to make you the best representative for the company you can be.

Having an understanding of the broad marketing aspects before the show makes your firm well branded at event.

Julia O'Connor - Speaker, Author, Consultant - writes about practical aspects of trade shows. As president of Trade Show Training, inc, , now celebrating its 11th year, she works with companies in a variety of industries to improve their bottom line and marketing opportunities at trade shows.

Julia is an expert in the psychology of the trade show environment and uses this expertise in sales training and management seminars. Contact her at 804-355-7800 or check the site


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