Start Ups! What to Know Before You Expo

By Brendan Corcoran / 11.27.2017

You’re a new startup company. You’ve got this awesome product, some solid creative assets and a ton of groundbreaking ideas. You’re off and running to a good start.

You’re thinking about your go-to market strategy, and saying, “let’s take our awesome Sriracha Spray Can to IFT Annual Meeting and Food Expo this year and let the world know we’re here to save it.” Right!?

That sounds great, but WAIT! There are an infinite amount of things to think about before you go pop up at your very first show.

Here are a few considerations before taking your brand on the road:

Are you attending the right show?
Audience is everything. If you’re targeting a certain market and want to reach a lot of people at once, a trade show is a good opportunity, as long as it’s the right show. Make sure your target will be there in abundance. Consider attending the conference the year before you exhibit to scout out the show floor.

What’s your goal for success? What does success look like?
Before you take on any marketing initiative, you must have a clear idea of what you hope to accomplish. Is your goal brand awareness? Lead Acquisition? Sales generation? Understanding what you hope to accomplish with clear metrics will help you evaluate the success of your pop-up or trade show.

Understand Your Costs
Expos and Conferences are not cheap and costs can add up quickly. You have to reserve the space, ship your assets, pick your flooring, power your space – and the list goes on and on. A strong understanding of what is and isn’t included in your booth package is vital to budgeting for these events.

Know the rules
There are a lot of rules and regulations for exhibiting on an expo floor and many of them are different depending on which show you are attending. Whether you’re running your own trade show presence, or hiring a company, make sure everyone has the knowledge required and can operate accordingly.

Be Brief. Beautiful. And Buzzy.
What can you do that will stand out on show floor? As a startup you usually have a 10 x 10 or a 10 x 20 space and are going up against big environments, big brands, and competing startups. You can’t compete on budget, but a creative marketing strategy on show floor can level the playing field at any conference. Don’t be afraid to take a risk or approach a professional trade show company with a history of success!

Equally as important as a beautiful exhibit space, is your messaging. Your brand messaging must be clear and concise. No one wants to try and interpret who they think you are. Tell them simply and powerfully. Need help? Find experts!

With over 100 years of collective experience in the trade show and activation space, there are few shows we haven’t attended or been a part of ourselves. We can help any brand navigate the space and stand out! If you want to talk more about your first expo or talk through some of your design and strategy, call or contact us! See our rental booth design layouts at !

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