You’re at a trade show and are possibly unsure about what would be appropriate to offer to patrons to draw them to your booth. Frequently asked questions about trade show giveaways are not as uncommon as you might think. 

But if you still have reservations about how to proceed, you’re not alone. Here are some frequently asked questions about trade show giveaways and corresponding answers that should help your business decide what would best help represent the company. 

Why Are Trade Show Giveaways a Good Idea?

Why Are Trade Show Giveaways a Good IdeaYou’re setting up a booth at a trade show. That in itself can be an expensive endeavor considering the rental of the space, and delivery and setup of the items. Yet you might still wonder what you can do to further draw potential customers in to talk to you.

Promotional products can be an effective way to accomplish this for a variety of reasons: 

These are just some of the ways that putting real thought into trade show giveaways can really give you an upper-hand over the competition. 

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What Are Some Good Ideas For Tradeshow Giveaways?

The idea is for the show attendees to associate your company with positive attributes such as excellent work or products produced, trustworthiness, great value and reliability. So your aim should be to get products that are useful in some regard and preferably an item that is not of a one-time use variety or a product that is likely to get thrown into a drawer or cabinet somewhere and never looked at again.

One additional thing to keep in mind is that buying in bulk will almost certainly be cheaper per unit than buying in single or smaller quantities.

Some examples of items that fit into this category for your target market include:

Water bottle: This is a good two-fold promotional giveaway. First, everyone needs to drink water, so it is a gift that should be extremely useful. Also your company will be viewed in a positive light for gifting an eco-friendly and more sustainable gift than if you got bottled water with your company printed on it. The latter are extremely disposable and might be in a trash can within minutes. A water bottle likely won’t.

Coffee mug: In 2017, a survey by the National Coffee Association said that 64 percent of Americans 18 years and older have at least one cup of coffee per day. So there’s nearly a 2 out of 3 chance that the person sidling up to your booth drinks the beverage either hot or cold. A nice ceramic mug with your company’s branding on the side

USB drive: Not everyone wants to store their valuable information on the cloud, and it’s always good to have a backup even if you do. Giving this to those who stop by your booth will be an opportunity for them to see your company’s name and/or logo every time they access their stored memory on the stick. 

Mouse pad: You want the promo items you give out to be something omnipresent if possible. Many businesses still use desktops, which all include a mouse. Also, many laptop users add a bluetooth mouse for easier use, so you’d be covering most people who use a computer.

A tablet or laptop bag or sleeve: Although a cell phone case sounds like a good idea in theory, the sheer quantity of different phones would make giving those out completely impractical. However, laptops or tablets generally come in 2 to 3 standard sizes and most white collar businesses issue one or both to employees. You could get a 16-inch laptop sleeve, or 10-inch tablet sleeve and cover a plethora of devices, literally and figuratively.

Pens of good quality: To get nicer pens, it might cost more money upfront but the thinking is a better made pen will last longer, therefore stretching out the length of time your brand’s name is in front of a customer. A pen that can be reused and have its ink replaced is perfect as a promotional item.

Also this is not an end-all list. Depending on your business, some of these items might not be as impactful. Knowing your customer base will go a long way toward deciding on what to give out.

Did you know another way to attract customers to your booth is with food? Check out our list of 3 Trade Show Snack Ideas that Attendees with Love

How Should I Distribute My Trade Show Giveaways?

How Should I Distribute My Trade Show GiveawaysSome of the item ideas listed in the previous section might not be financially feasible to hand out to every single person who strolls by the booth. You might set up games, raffle drawings or reserve higher-end giveaways for patrons identified as current important or potential important clients.

You can also have a tiered system where certain potential customers get certain gifts. A good way to do this is if you send out invitations of some sort, you can color code them as an easy visual cue for the people working your booth to quickly know what to give out. If you expect to encounter casual passersby to the booth, a much cheaper item would be warranted for them.

Either way, it stands to reason that each individual person who visits your booth would be limited to a single item, mostly to try to keep down your own cost of how much you spend on giveaways. You want to limit or not make some costly trade show mistakes.

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Ship Your Trade Show Giveaways With R+L Global Logistics

Now that you’d zeroed in on what you’d like your trade show giveaways to be, let R+L Global Logistics ship all your items to the next event. We can help load all your items at the point of origin and get them to the trade show with no fuss at all.

R+L Global Logistics will make sure everything for your trade show freight gets there on time and we have the 99.5 percent on-time rate to prove it. Also we partner with freight haulers all over the world to ensure we have a driver ready to ship your full truckload.

You’ll receive access to a team who’s done this work many times over and will do it right. We also have a great customer service team on call and real-time freight visibility to put your mind at ease through every step of the journey.

If you’re ready to have your trade show giveaways and booth materials shipped, start today by getting a free quote or calling us at 866-415-8986.

While trade shows are typically treated as little more than a social event, trade show lead generation has the potential to produce significant financial gains. A common series of mistakes demote this business gathering into a party, resulting in a loss of time, resources, and even reputation. Evaluating the integrity of your booth is an invaluable skill that should be utilized before your team is at the event, starting with a very basic selection of staff. ROI starts with a certain category of team members, and ends with that same group. So who are these team members, and how will they optimize a booth towards gathering leads?

Salespeople, both articulate in business talks and in closing the deal, are the main component of a functional booth. To set a solid foundation to build upon moving forwards, we need to put effort into booth staff selections. Many businesses participate in trade shows, but put temps or other staff members in the booth, effectively crippling potential trade show lead generation. 

This error stems from the fallacy that trade shows are like business vacations, where the primary focus is on enjoyment as opposed to work. This couldn’t be further from the truth given the fact that nearly every face in the crowd is a potential customer. A good sales staff can sell a subpar product, while a poor one fails to sell a superior one.

Months out from a trade show, senior staff members need to evaluate sales numbers, overall self-presentation, and feedback salesstaff receive to determine who to include in the booth. When a sales team selection has been finalized, booth staff preparation should begin so that they are informed about what is expected of them in terms of trade show leads. Then simply let them do their job! Lead generation ideas are their fortey, and with a clear definition of what’s expected in terms of ROI, micromanagement is unnecessary. And with all that in mind, let them have their fun. As previously stated, trade show focus should be on business, but don’t be the snobby booth either. Success depends on a delicate enjoyment-to-business ratio.

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How Do Trade Shows Work?

How Do Trade Shows WorkA trade show is a gathering of businesses with the purpose of showcasing their new products or services in the hopes of gathering new clientele. The events mix business with pleasure, focusing on making sales in a fun environment, keeping participants entertained and engaged. Products are displayed and discussed within a showroom booth, which range in sizes from 10’ x 10’, to the size of a house. A booth is where the action happens, comparable to a carnival game booth, where they want to draw you in and do business while keeping you entertained. Most trade shows feature workshops or presentations, where companies can present new products to the public. 

Trade show participation scale can range from a local show with attendance in the low hundreds, to events like SEMA with attendance well over a 100,000. Regardless of size, the potential for making sales is vast given that the majority of attendees have the right to make purchases on behalf of their company. Typically, around 81% of attendees have buying authority. Consequently this means that competition is steep, with most regulars reporting that aggressive marketing strategies are the norm. Limited floor space places competing businesses close together, forcing them to compete for attention.

But with all this competitive business going on, the focus still wavers on fun. Alcoholic beverages are just as common as business cards, and success is found in a trade show by finding a balance between the two. Most booths operate by incorporating fun activities that lead to trading information or persuading a sale, such as games, giveaways, or snacks. Booths that focus too much on either fun or business are the ones that tend to fail. Uptight booths, with a slew of powersuits and grim businesspeople scare attendees off. Oppsingly, party booths attract foot traffic, but without a focus on generating leads,the power of business is diminished. On that note, just how do we put together a game-plan for generating leads at a trade show?

How Do You Generate Leads at a Trade Show?

How Do You Generate Leads at a Trade ShowThrough all the fun and events, the endgame for every single booth is to generate leads. This process should begin months out from a tradeshow in the form of sales staff preparation and promotion, and will continue on until gathered leads are followed-up on. This chain of events cannot have a weak link, or the structural integrity, and the final result will be unsatisfactory. So before we even delve into the full scope of generating leads, the prerequisite is to know who you’re going to send, and send who you know. This circles back to sending your top salespeople, who are skilled at face-to-face contact.

With our team in mind, we’ve obtained the catalyst needed to move into the opening portion of generating leads: selecting our show strategically. Each part of working towards our lead pay-off depends on the previous segment being solid. Think of generating leads like a slot machine: we need to line all of our sevens up to get the best lead pay-out. One wrong selection, and we may end up leaving the trade show with nothing.

The integrity of the leads we gather depends on: 

Each step is invaluable in its own right. Wrong venue, and we won’t reach our target audience. Without goals, our sales people won’t know exactly what’s expected of them in terms of return. You wouldn’t go to the grocery store without a list, so why would you go to a trade show without one? On that same note, sometimes things change, and we need to be able to adapt, readjust, and overcome. Have your strategy, but always have contingency plans. Maintain the mindset and staff to be able to be flexible, and, as the proverb goes, hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

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5 Tips for Trade Show Lead Generation

5 Tips for Trade Show Lead GenerationNow let's take an in depth look into the points outlined in the previous paragraphs. By now, you have your team in mind, so what are the specific points we need to build on before making trade show decisions? Don't be afraid to use delegation through any of these parts. Your team is assembled; utilize them. Chronologically speaking, you should have ample time to draw up a formidable plan yourself if you’ve set a reasonable amount of time aside for planning, but  including your team will help them get the trade show mindset warmed up.

In addition to delegation, hold conferences to brainstorm and compare ideas. A fresh look at the plan will improve upon individualistic perceptions. With that structure in mind, let’s take a look at our first key component of getting leads.

1. Choose the Show Strategically

Shows come in many different variations and sizes. Don’t get into a venue you could hardly afford, only to be the little fish in a big ocean. Other companies with larger budgets will already have their hold on the audience, and you’ll just waste time and resources. Alternatively, being the big kid on the block can be fun, but if a show is too small, your large company doesn’t stand to benefit from it much. More importantly, you need to know the attending audience, otherwise they may never even care about your products to begin with.  Want a list of all the best trade shows across the US? Check out the list of top trade shows by industry. Most trade shows can provide you with statistics on the interests they generally see in the crowd, and researching the area yourself won’t hurt either. 

Concepts like these are the points to check before booking a show.

  1. Figure out the size of your business, and compare it to other businesses in attendance to know if you fit. 
  2. Know your audience, and make sure those in attendance fit that type. 
  3. Calculate your booth budget, and ensure that includes good floor placement at the trade show. Event marketing is mostly done from your booth, so research which area will be best for your particular brand.
  4. Stay updated on the publicity of the event itself. If the trade show’s CEO just went on the news for insider trading, it’s likely people will avoid the show at the last minute. This point also brings up the point to think outside the box when selecting a trade show. Don’t just glance at the show’s past success for an idea of how it will do this year; do indepth research on your own time, research that goes deeper than surface statistics.
  5. Get in there as an attendee before opening a booth. See what catches your eye, and those of other participants. To fully understand the potential lead, one must become the potential lead.

To summarize, know your budget, know your audience, and know the location. Once you’ve accomplished all this, you’ve set the foundation for a successful showing. This is the phase where research comes into play the most, and will play the second largest role in performance after having a good team assembled. With our venue scouted, we move into the next phase: setting our goals for attendance.

2. Come Up With Clear Goals

Setting goals gives us something to aim for in terms of ROI. This concept ties back into the business/party setting of a trade show. We want goals that are difficult, but not to the point where our team can’t enjoy the show. If the goals are too easy, we’ve established a party oriented booth, but if they’re difficult, we’ve created a work atmosphere. We need to find that right balance where our team can both create leads, AND enjoy the show, as this will actually produce the best results. Believe it or not, attendees come to trade shows because they’re fun events. If your goals are too high, and your team too focused on work, people will pick up on it and avoid your booth.

So the first step to setting goals depends on the results you got from the previous step. With an idea of how many attendees will be interested in your products and services, and how many of your direct competitors will have a booth, we can draw an idea of what that should translate into sales. Around 81% will have buying authority, so subtract 19% from total attendance and discard it. Then, research the percentage of those with buying authority that will be interested in your product. Calculate how many of your direct competitors will be struggling with you for their attention, and divide the number by half of the total number of competitors. That’s the golden ratio for how many leads you’ll hope to gain.

Have your sales team involved with this step. They need to know what their goals are, and how exactly you came to that conclusion. If it feels like you drew a random number out of a hat, then they may dissociate themselves with the final goal. Take time to weigh their concerns with that number, especially if they have trade show experience. They’re paid to make sales after all, so they’re the best subject matter experts you’ll find to help with discerning potential leads. Now remember that 19% who don’t have buying authority? We’ll touch on that next.

3. Learn to Identify Those Who Aren’t Serious Customers

Learn to Identify Those Who Aren’t Serious CustomersRoughly 19% of attendees don’t have buying authority, and are in attendance literally for the pleasure side of things. Business isn’t an idea that matters to them, and they’re present to benefit from all the free things that are in circulation. With no lead potential to any extent from them, it’s essential to learn to discern our rubberneckers, whose sole purpose for attending a trade show is to lug out as much free loot as they can carry. This portion will be delegated entirely to your show floor team. Don’t worry, there’s a way to filter out the looters and create a sales funnel.

It’s genuinely pretty obvious when somebody's present only for free loot. A few obvious signs to tip you off before you even speak with them are tell-tale things like when they already possess a massive amount of free stuff, or just the apparent disregard for your anything in your booth other than your own freebies. No need to be rude to them, but keep them moving, our goal is purely lead generating. A quick solution to dealing with them is to simply offer your freebies as rewards for giving contact information, or as rewards for doing some level of business. This affirms that your goodies are only for qualifying leads. With a room already packed with other free merchandise, even the slightest tedious task will keep them from hauling yours in their loot bag out the door.

4. Make the Most of Your Booth with Strategic Design

A trade show booth is the first thing a potential customer sees before they converse with your staff. Make sure you convey the right message, using the booth like a billboard to gain the attention of your niche audience. Don’t create a misinterpretable booth; you’ll end up with countless dead-end leads unless people know what they should expect when they walk into your booth. With the right focus, a booth will attract the right leads, acting like a filter that screens out those who aren’t interested before they even speak to your staff.

There are a few other easy steps that can be taken to bring not only the right crowd, but get you a high-volume of quality leads. 

Consider your booth another team member. It needs to have a personality that speaks to every passerby about who you are, and what you’re selling. Before your sales team has a chance to make your presence known to a customer, good ol’ booth will be displaying it for the whole showroom floor; make sure it’s a good message.

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5. Collect Email Addresses and Contact Information

Collecting contact information can be done a variety of ways, but first and most effectively, we have badge scanners. On average, there's enough lanyard string present at a trade show to reach from California to New York. Every last strand of that same string is attached to a card with a lead’s contact information on it. Have either one, or preferably multiple scanners on hand through your booth where your booth team can easily utilize them. With these you can also shorten your speeches and simply drive traffic through your booth and maintain an ongoing connection with a lead without having to stop and exchange information.

A more old-school but effective way is to get their business card. The business card method also adds a level of security that a simple badge scanner can’t give you regarding the quality of a lead. Going back to our 19% who are there to collect free loot, they’ll all have a required badge, but less will have a business card because they aren’t planning on doing business. With that in mind, we don’t waste the time of our salespeople with dead end leads when we go the businesscard route. If you go this route, you’ll have to manually input information directly after the trade show to track leads to determine the viability of a sale.

Trade Shows with R+L Global Logistics

Trade shows are an ever evolving beast, but with our current information, you’re giving yourself the highest ceiling to work with. When you use our trade show freight shipping service, that ceiling becomes ever reachable, with our team of world-class transportation specialists at R+L Global Logistics assuring your booth’s articles get to the show no matter the location or time. You’ve invested your time into learning the fundamentals of trade show success, so invest in your booth next with the best shipping services.

With the knowledge you’ve accumulated towards trade show lead generation, your team will be prepared when they reach out to potential customers. If you need any more information on how we can guarantee the safe delivery of your booth articles, please reach out to us. From our team to yours, we wish you only the best in all of your pursuits.

Engaging current or potential customers at the trade show booth is the entire reason your business is at a trade show in the first place. So coming up with some awesome trade show booth game ideas can really give the presentation or engagement level of your trade show display a major boost.

Offering a free chance at earning something a potential or returning customer might want is the basis for coming up with awesome trade show booth game ideas. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to make your booth the most fun it can be and also help your business in the process.

Before we start, it is also worth mentioning that you should engage customers on social media prior to and during the event to make them aware of your presence ahead of time. 

1. Prize wheel

 Prize wheelSome people really enjoy games of chance and spinning a wheel with a small probability of getting the best prize certainly fits into that category. 

You can have a big, physical prize wheel or go digital on the trade show floor but either way, the interactive nature will draw excitement to your booth and you can further your own promotion by asking for contact information like email addresses or phone numbers in order to register for their chance at some great swag.

You can also have a variety of prizes available, ranging from standard trade show swag to a harder to win but more coveted giveaway that you feel is appropriate for the setting. There is no one way to do it but the top goal for your business should be for trade show game players to win a prize and have it be successful enough at event marketing to meet your business’ ultimate goals.

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2. Trivia games

Doing a general trivia game could be fun in either of the two ways it can be run. You can either have people fill out a sheet or piece of paper with their contact information and hand it in to you, which would be an easy way to later connect with possible customers. 

Or make it a more fun process with teams of trade show goers in a more interactive, real-time event to give the proceedings an engaging experience. The trivia can be anything, from pop culture to sports to history or maybe even fun facts about your organization so your customers can learn more about your company.

While the main focus should be on making it a great pastime for your visitors, also make sure the trivia is appropriate, both in relation to your business’ message and also for mixed company.

3. Business card raffle

Have you ever wanted your potential customers’ information delivered to you in a nice, neat stack? Holding a business card raffle will do just that and is a low-effort way to have access to a new database of customers.

In order to entice trade show attendees to give out their personal information, there needs to be a coveted prize awaiting them. It could be normal swag or maybe just slightly above and make it a gift card to a popular store or restaurant. Either way, holding a business card raffle and giving out a ballpoint pen would probably be a letdown for people who visited your booth. 

For the booth operator — i.e. you — a $25 or $50 investment in a cool prize is an amazing value proposition to get dozens or even hundreds of new leads from interested parties who want a chance to win something cool. The prize can be even bigger to really drive conversation, like an iPad or other electronic device that many people would covet or a cool gift basket filled with a bunch of items.

This is most likely the easiest trade show booth idea to implement and then execute. You literally need a cool prize and a fishbowl or something similar.

4. Arcade games

Arcade gamesIf you want to be the life of the party, this might be the way you choose to go. While there are a variety of different games available, the one (or more) that should be picked should have some connection on the kind of product or service your company is advertising.

Some examples of arcade games could be a pop-a-shot basketball setup, skeeball or maybe even renting an old-school arcade cabinet featuring a game such as Ms. Pac Man or Donkey Kong to appeal to both younger and older convention goers alike.

These ideas are good because it offers (hopefully) light-hearted competition and also a chance for people to see their name up on a list for achieving a high score, which could further drive foot traffic and more people to your booth.

Or if you want to go to a more new-school approach, maybe something involving virtual reality to really draw people into the fold. You want to impress and capture the attention of the people who visit your booth.

Games aren't the only way to attract customers to your booth. Consider these 3 Trade Show Snack Ideas that Attendees Will Love.

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5. Putting contest

It’s something almost everyone has done at one point in time: picked up a putter, put a golf ball down and lined up a shot for the hole just feet away.

Having a putting green, a putter and a ball shouldn’t be too expensive but it will give people a chance to put the ball into the hole and win a prize in the end. This goes along the same train of thought as arcade games.

Golf is a popular sport worldwide and it can lead to a laid back environment. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a straight giveaway either: if a possible customer strokes it in on the first try, maybe they get first dibs on a discount or limited-time offer on your products or services.

Shipping to a Trade Show with R+L Global Logistics

Once you have your trade show booth ideas locked down, let R+L Global Logistics be the final piece of the puzzle to give you the ultimate peace of mind.

R+L Global Logistics can help you with your awesome trade show booth game ideas by picking up those supplies, plus your other booth materials, and shipping it to the venue in a fast, efficient and friendly manner.

We offer full trade show freight shipping with an experienced fleet to meet any of your shipping needs, and have real-time freight visibility and a 99.5 percent on-time rate that will keep you informed and confident during the shipment.

We also offer other specialized freight shipping services such as expedited shipping and international shipping. Add to that our available and helpful customer service, and R+L Global Logistics is the perfect partner to make your business a great success at your next trade show.

When you’re ready to partner with the best freight shipping company for your trade show needs, call 866-415-8986 for a free quote.

Trade show booth rules can often be confusing and difficult to comply with. If you’re trying to manage the logistical issues of transporting your booth and materials, setting everything up, and preparing your strategy, then the last thing you want to worry about is getting in trouble with the venue owners for not following one obscure rule! To make matters worse, every trade show is going to have different rules. But before you start to worry, know that there are several standards that remain relatively consistent among all U.S. trade shows. If you educate yourself on what those are, then understanding the rules for different trade shows will be easier. 

Though trade show booth rules vary by location, most shows have consistent rules regarding booth size, display height, structural stability, music, food, laws, and more.  In order to play it safe, you should plan to avoid playing copyrighted music, overflowing outside the boundaries of your booth, obstructing people’s view of other booths, or causing a distraction. However, there are many other rules you need to be aware of too. 

What are the Different Types of Booths at a Trade Show?

Not all booths are created equal. There are four universal types of trade show booths, each with different sizes and price ranges. Before you start thinking about how you want to set up your trade show booth, you need to know the difference between these types of booths and their limitations. This is true regardless of whether you plan on building your trade show booth or buying one custom-made. Once you know that, you can make the decision about what is best for you and your display plans. 

Linear Booth

The linear booth is also called the “standard booth,” because it is the most common type of booth in most trade shows. It is also usually the cheapest option. A linear booth has other booths against the back and sides since it is in the center of the trade show floor.

The standard size for linear booths is 10’ by 10’, and participants can only enter the booth from one side. Because the booth is up against other booths on three sides, the front is the only side that is accessible.

Perimeter Booth

Perimeter booths are a lot like linear booths, except they only have neighboring booths on either side. The back of the booth is up against the showroom wall, so these booths quite literally form a perimeter around the rest of the trade show. 

Perimeter booths are also similar to linear booths in the fact that they share the same dimensions. They are also typically 10’ by 10’, making them almost exactly like the linear booths. However, because it is against a wall, perimeter booths can often have taller displays. 

Peninsula Booth

Peninsula booths are the ones that cap the end of a row of standard booths. Only their back wall is against other neighboring booths, and they can be accessed from the front and both sides of the booth. 

Because peninsula booths take up the width of two linear booths, their dimensions are typically 20’ by 20’. However, depending on the venue, they can also be larger than this. They are typically more expensive than the linear or perimeter booths.

Island Booth

Island booths are the most unique type of booth. They do not have any neighboring booths in contact with them, so they can be accessed from all sides unless the booth vendor has made the specific choice to block off one or more of the sides. 

Island booths are typically 20’ by 20’ but they can often be much larger depending on the location. Some island booths can be choice locations for vendors, but they usually come with a hefty price tag. 

What is the Height of a Trade Show Booth?What is the Height of a Trade Show Booth

The maximum height limit for a trade show booth depends on a few different factors. First of all, it depends on the height of the ceilings in the venue. You obviously cannot exceed the height of the building. Another factor is that the venue owner could set an arbitrary limit to the height that your booth is allowed to be. Also, in general, the height limits for the different booth types are going to be different as well. 

Before committing to any designs that meet these height requirements, be sure to contact the venue owners for specific information. These heights are just generalizations, and although most venues abide by these specifications, they won’t be definitively true for every different trade show.

Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act

Because they are considered “public accommodations,” trade show booths must comply with the regulations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). That means that your booth should be set up to accommodate individuals with disabilities, whether their disability is with mobility, sight, or hearing. 

In order to provide an equal experience to all individuals visiting your booth, you should keep the ADA regulations in mind when you are laying out your booth’s design. If your booth is elevated, or has elevated sections, then you will need to include ramps for individuals in wheelchairs. You should also keep promotional resources and handouts within reach for everyone.

If your booth has any promotional videos playing, you should include subtitles for hard-of-hearing and deaf individuals. Additionally, if you have knowledge that a deaf individual will be visiting your booth, you are legally obligated to provide a sign language interpreter for them. 

Failure to follow the ADA’s guidelines will result in hefty fines, which increase with repeated violations. If you are found in violation of the regulations once, you can expect to pay up to $55,000. Subsequent violations will result in fines of up to $110,000 each, so make sure you take the time to ensure everything is compliant and accessible. 

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Line of Sight RestrictionsLine of Sight Restrictions

When designing your booth layout, you also need to ensure that you are being compliant with the line of sight rules. This means that you are not allowed to obscure a person’s line of sight to another booth. Nothing in your booth may conceal or obscure anything in the booths around you. Even though trade show booths can be quite tall, the displays within them must adhere to specific height restrictions, while all banners and signs should not be in the way of a person’s view of the booths next to yours.

The front half of your booth is the part to really think carefully about. You may not place any items or displays that are taller than 4 feet at the front of your booth. You also cannot have banners, hanging signs, canopies, graphics, shelves, signs, or anything of the sort in that space in the front of your booth. 

On occasion, variances for this rule can be granted. However, do not count on being given an exception, since this is rarely allowed. 

Confines of the Booth Restrictions

Almost all trade shows have a “confines of the booth” agreement in the contract. What does this mean? Well, the rule is pretty much what it sounds like. Everything about your trade show display and strategy must take place within the confines of your allotted space. You cannot have any lights, banners, or signs outside of your booth space, including overhanging displays. 

This also means that you will not be allowed to exit your booth to pursue conversations or to distribute marketing materials. Keep your sales pitch for those that actually enter your booth, or you could get yourself in trouble with the venue owner. Even having your employees wander around to converse with show-goers could violate this rule.

Structural Integrity and Stability

When setting up your booth, you need to make sure that your displays are secure and stable enough to withstand reasonable handling. Anything in your booth could end up getting poked or prodded by curious visitors, so you should make sure that nothing can be easily knocked down. 

Additionally, there may be wind blowing through the exhibit hall while booths are being brought in and assembled, so your setup must be able to withstand that without toppling. You may also need to prepare for tremors, jostling from neighboring vendors, and other booths setting up around you. Most importantly, double-check all shelves and tables to ensure that they were assembled correctly and will support the weight of anything you place on them.

Refer to the temporary building code regulations for the city in which the trade show is taking place for more specific information. 

Lighting RegulationsLighting Regulations

Providing your booth with additional lighting can be a great way to make your trade show booth stand out, since you can illuminate your exhibit space a lot more clearly and emphasize sections of your display with directional lights. It can be an important aspect of design, but it can also be an intrusive and obnoxious way of drawing attention to your booth. 

All your lighting should be directed towards the inside of your booth and should comply with the confines of the booth rules outlined by the convention center owner. You cannot allow for lighting stands or bulbs to reach outside of your allotted booth space. Instead, you need to make sure that all stands, electrical cords, and fixtures are safely within your booth. 

If part of your display involves light that is brightly colored, spins, pulsates, or has some other effect, then you should bring it up to the venue owner. If your light show distracts from or interferes with other booths, or if it does not fit the atmosphere of the event, you will not be allowed to use it. Additionally, lasers and strobe lights may present health hazards, and won’t be allowed in most shows. 

Music and Sound

If you intend to play music in your booth, there are several regulations regarding the use of speakers and music that you need to be aware of. The area of the exhibit is tightly packed, and you should be courteous to your fellow vendors. Under no circumstances should you allow the noise level in your booth to disrupt the activities of the vendors around you. Sound should be kept at a maximum level of no more than 85 decibels when measured in the aisle in front of your booth. 

In addition to the overall amount of noise your booth produces, you should also be aware that any speakers should be directed towards the inside of the booth. You should never have speakers projecting sound or music out towards aisles or other booths, or you may be forced to shut the sound off. 

If you intend to play music, be aware that you will need to comply with all the applicable copyright laws. You should contact an authorized licensing agency such as the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) or the Society of European Stage Authors and Composers (SESAC) to pay copyright fees for any music you play in your booth. Those agencies then forward the paid fees to the appropriate composer or publisher that owns the music rights. 

Music and sound is just one part of a complete checklist for trade show vendors. For more information on what else exhibitors should bring, read our article Trade Show Exhibitor Checklist: Plan For Success.

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials? 
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Food and Beverage Regulations

Before you put a bunch of snacks on your trade show packing list, be aware that some exhibit halls don’t like it when vendors hand out food or beverages. This is especially true if your business is not in the food industry. If you are handing out food, then people are less likely to eat the food that the venue owner had catered for the event. If you hand out food at your booth, you may be fined an amount of money equal to the loss of revenue you cost the catering company. 

However, not all trade shows are the same. There may be instances in which it is perfectly acceptable—or even encouraged—to bring your own snacks to distribute. Be aware though, that any alcohol present at the show can only be distributed by the licensed caterer. 

Failure to follow the rules of the trade show could result in your booth being shut down. You may also be forbidden to appear in future trade shows, so do not take these regulations lightly.


Some trade shows require a Certificate of Insurance (COI) before you will be allowed to even purchase booth space. Your insurance must be able to cover comprehensive general liability (CGL) for all exhibitor-appointed contractors and the exhibiting company itself. 

Understanding trade show insurance can be difficult, but it is definitely not something you want to skip over. If you can’t provide the required paperwork, you might not even be allowed through the door!

Sometimes, the venue owner may partner with an insurance company to make things easier. This makes it easier for the venue owner to monitor who has insurance and who doesn’t, and it makes it easier for the vendors to reach out if they have questions about the policy.


No one wants to think about the possibility of being unable to attend a trade show because of something outside their control. However, sometimes things happen, and you may need to cancel your attendance. When this happens, the more notice you can give the venue owner, the better. Being able to give enough notice could make the difference between getting or not getting a refund for the trade show fees. 

Usually, refunds for cancellations are structured to offer partial refunds depending on how much notice is given. The earlier you can notify the owners of your absence, the more of your deposit you are likely to have returned. 

Although each trade show is different, a structured refund policy might look something like this:

Remember that a refund policy is not obligatory. A trade show might not offer refunds at all, and if they do, the time limits may be more strict than the ones outlined above. Communicate with the venue owner if you have any questions.

How R+L Global Logistics Can Help

When you’re getting ready for a trade show, you already have your hands full with designing your layout, complying with trade show booth rules and regulations, and coordinating all the different elements of your strategy. Don’t let the logistical challenges of moving your booth and materials to the show be another thing that is stressing you out.

With R+L Global Logistics, you can leave the transportation to the experts while you work on getting ready to give it your all on the trade show floor. We can handle the packaging, safe transportation, and secure storage of all your trade show materials so you don’t have to. With our unmatched trade show freight service, outstanding customer support, and 24/7 availability, we can work closely with you to understand your unique needs and challenges to offer you the best service possible. 

While you worry about the trade show booth rules, we can worry about making sure your booth and supplies get to you exactly when you need them, regardless of if you need domestic or international delivery. 

What are you waiting for? Request a quote now, and you could go into your next trade show feeling confident!

In this guide, we will reveal all of the trade show shipping tips you need to guarantee success at your business’ next exhibition. A trade show is any sort of exhibition whereby businesses gather to show off their products and services. In order to make sure that your presence at a trade show is a success, you need to plan to perfection. This includes having your exhibition stand and any other materials and products you will be using delivered in a timely and professional manner. This is where trade show shipping comes in. 

There are many tips you can follow for a smooth arrival when shipping to a trade show. Follow these trade show shipping tips:

Working with the right shipper and following these tips can get your booth to and from the show without hassle.

What is Trade Show Shipping?

On top of booking travel arrangements, creating marketing collateral, and designing your booth, organizing the shipment of all of your trade show materials can seem overwhelming. This is especially the case when you consider just how important this service is. If you do not get your booth materials to your show on time and in a safe manner, you’re not going to be able to make the most of the opportunity. However, the trouble is that diligent planning and some legwork is required in order to make sure you don’t run into any problems. Being aware of trade show intricacies and staying organized can be a massive help. 

Trade show shipping is the process used to get your booth to the show on time and intact. It requires working with a skilled and experienced logistics partner. Even with the right partner, there are a few tips you can follow to make the transition from warehouse to trade show floor simple. With that being said, below, we have put together some advice on trade show shipping, ensuring you have all of the details you need.

1. Plan in AdvancePlan in Advance

There is only one place to begin when it comes to achieving trade show shipping success, and this is planning in advance. In order to best determine the transportation solution that is going to be the most efficient for your trade show shipping requirements, ask yourself the following questions:

When compared with traditional freight, trade show shipping can have longer timelines. You may need to send your materials and booth items weeks in advance. Therefore, it pays to develop a detailed timeline as soon as you know you and your team are going to attend a tradeshow. It is vital to make shipping a priority. This is because working ahead of time can present you with more opportunities in terms of lowering the cost and benefiting from different transportation options. 

In some cases, a show may have their own preferred carried. However, you are not obliged to go down this route. You can shop around and ask a number of different carriers for a quote. Once you build up a relationship with a good logistics company, you can rely on them whenever you need assistance with any sort of trade show freight, and so it is advisable to find your own provider that you can rely on rather than using a different recommended freight company every time you attend a new trade show.

In terms of recommended timings, it is advisable to make sure you start looking at your options and booking a service between two weeks to a month before your preferred shipment date. The sooner you do so, the better. Carriers that specialize in trade shows could end up booking up their capacity if your orders are not scheduled in time. Furthermore, by providing notice, you enable carriers to optimize the movement of your freight. This can often result in some great cost savings. 

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2. Find a Trade Show Shipping Company with Experience

The next piece of the puzzle is to make sure you choose a trade show shipping company with care. There are a lot of different businesses across the United States that provide general freight services. However, rather than going down this route, you are advised to look for a company that has specific experience in trade show shipping. This should be something that they specialize in if you are to get the best possible results.

Take the time to read their website so that you can make sure that they have many years of experience behind their belt. It is also advisable to take the time to read reviews that have been left by people that have already used the services of a trade show shipping company before. This will give you a good indication into their level of quality. Make sure you read comments on independent review platforms, as you can be sure of the authenticity of these reviews. 

3. Communicate with Your ShipperCommunicate with Your Shipper

Once you choose a trade show shipping company to work with, you will be assigned a representative who will handle all of the different aspects of shipping for your trade show materials, displays, and booth. This person should be available for you to contact whenever you need to, and you should definitely do so. By building up a relationship with your shipper, you will be able to ensure the transportation of your show site is more productive and less stressful. 

4. Know the Exhibitors Manual Inside and Out

The vast majority of trade shows and exhibitions will provide their exhibitors with a manual, which will explain everything they need to know about the show. This includes information on insurance requirements, as well as general rules and regulations. You can also expect information about exhibit services, travel, and deadlines. In regards to the latter, you will be able to discover all of the important deadlines with regard to your shipment.

In addition to this, the trade show manual should also feature information about general shipping guidelines. This will include information on the recommended freight forwarder for the exhibition. Although all trade shows provide a recommended company for shipping, you are not obligated to use their service. You will also be provided with information on how to arrange pre-show storage and any other services relating to the on-site handling and delivery of your goods. You will also be typically provided with a point of contact for all things shipping related.

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5. Keep the Details OrganizedKeep the Details Organized

In addition to the tips that have already been presented, it is important to keep all of the details organized. There are a number of different documents you are going to need to keep a hold of, as well as pieces of information that you will need to keep handy too. 

To make your life easier and to avoid stress, it is a good idea to ship your display early so you have not got any last-minute concerns. Shipping to an advanced warehouse will give you full confidence that your display will move in on schedule. You run the risk of missing the start of the exhibit if you send your display to the show site directly. This is because these deliveries are not offloaded until the advance-warehouse deliveries have been. If you are going to be sending any sort of shipment directly to the show site because you have no other choice to, then make sure your carrier knows of the move-in hours for the show. Let them know if your shipment is a targeted booth for a specified move-in time or date.

In terms of getting organized, something else you are going to need to do is keep the phone numbers and names of the following people in your phone contact list:

By having these contact numbers handy, you will be able to reach those who can help with ease.

6. Make Sense of Insurance

Insurance is another critical area of consideration for trade show shipping. There are a lot of different insurance options available when it comes to your trade show shipments. This includes extended liability coverage, carrier insurance, and corporate insurance policies. Some carriers will also provide you with exhibition floater insurance, which will ensure that your items are covered for the entire show. The vast majority of freight forwarding companies today are insured against delays and loss. However, rather than assuming that this is the case, you definitely need to make sure that you get in touch with the company to make certain that it is. 

7. Don’t Send Extra ItemsDon’t Send Extra Items

Finally, a lot of people look for different ways to cut the costs associated with freight forwarding for their trade show. One of the most effective ways to do this is to make sure that you only send the items that you need. While it can be very tempting to ship a lot of extra items, just in case you need them, this is only going to end up costing you more money. After all, not only do you need to consider the expense of getting your items from their current destination to the trade show itself but you also need to think about the cost of storing these products and materials once you arrive. Because of this, you are recommended to only send materials and things that you are genuinely going to need.

8. Complete All Documents Correctly

Finally, you need to make sure that all of the documents associated with the shipment have been completed correctly. Proper paperwork and labeling are critical for trade show freight. You run the risk of materials being misplaced if you do not complete the paperwork correctly. You also need to make sure that all of the following details are placed on the paperwork:

It is advisable to place this information on all sides of your case, crate, or pallet. Clarification matters because freight is going to be stored with a number of other shipments for trade shows. You may even receive color-coded labels, depending on the show you are going to be exhibiting at. These labels can be helpful because they enable event staff to figure out which areas or rooms the freight needs to go to. If these labels have been provided to you, then you should definitely use them. 

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One of the most important documents is the Bill of Lading (BOL). This is utilized at the time of pickup. It is imperative when it comes to ensuring your trade show freight shipment goes as smoothly as possible. You need to make sure that all of the following information is printed on the BOL:

Shipping to a Trade Show with R+L Global Logistics

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the different elements and qualities that you need to consider when it comes to finding the best company to help you with your trade show shipping requirements. One company that ticks all of the boxes that have been mentioned, and many more, is R+L Global Logistics. Our trade show shipping team has been designated to ensure that specialist trade show shipping requirements are met. With more than 50 years of combined experience across our team, you can be confident of outstanding results when you use our service. 

Trade show transportation services logistics make up a big part of our business. Over the years, we have built up strong relationships with exhibit systems providers who trust us to deliver a seamless customer experience. You can be sure that you are in the right hands with us, whether you are reviewing a CES checklist or prepping for a trade show booth. We have our own warehouses across the United States, as well as being partners with exhibit providers and having strong relationships with leading shows. This ensures that we have all bases covered when it comes to providing exceptional trade show logistics services. If you would like more information about the service that we provide or you want a free trade show freight shipping quote, all you need to do is give us a call on (866) 415 8986. You can also use our live chat feature for further help and assistance. 

So there you have it: all of the important trade show shipping tips that you need to make sure that your trade show goes off without a hitch. If you follow the advice that has been provided in this guide, you will be able to make certain that there are no disasters on the day caused by not having your exhibition stand or any of the other important items you require.

When attending any sort of trade show, there is no denying that there is an awful lot of planning that goes into it. This is certainly the case if you are planning on attending the famous CES exhibition, which is why we have put this CES checklist together. Below, we will provide you with a timeline of everything that you need to do building up to the show. This guide can be useful for those attending this year, as well as providing imperative information for anyone looking to make their introduction at next year’s show. After all, ideally, you are going to start planning your attendance from a year-out. 

CES, which stands for Consumer Electronics Showcase, is an annual trade show that focuses on innovations in technology. As an exhibitor, you need to follow a CES checklist for vendors to make sure your booth is ready when you are. From planning things 12 months in advance to getting ready the day of the show, there are simple steps you can follow to be ready for the razzle dazzle at the CES show.

What is CES?What is CES

CES is a trade show that gathers the best of the best from around the world when it comes to consumer technology. CES has served as the proving ground for emerging technologies and innovators for the past 50 years. The annual CES show is a product of the Consumer Technology Association.

There are more than 4,500 exhibiting businesses at CES. This includes technology delivery system suppliers, content providers, consumer technology hardware companies, as well as a huge assortment of developers and manufacturers too. There are more than 170,000 attendees across 160 countries, as well as over 250 conference sessions. This represents an excellent opportunity for businesses to get their brand, products, and services in front of a great and varied audience from across the globe.

How Do I Prepare for CES?How Do I Prepare for CES

If you are planning on attending CES, you may be feeling at a bit of a loss regarding where to start. Here are some of the things that you will need to do:

How Much Does it Cost to Exhibit at CES?How Much Does it Cost to Exhibit at CES

Of course, you need to make sure that you can afford to exhibit at CES. In terms of specific prices, these are going to differ from year-to-year. However, according to TechCrunch, the event will cost approximately $8,000 for a booth. 

What about those who want to attend? In order to be able to attend CES, you need to ensure you provide your business credentials to the company so that your affiliation with the consumer technology sector can be verified. Any of the following will be accepted as proof of your industry affiliation:

You are also going to need to pay a fee in order to attend. At the moment, you have three different options; CES registration, starter conference pass, and deluxe conference pass. Prices are set to increase on December 18th 2019. At the moment, CES registration costs $100, yet it will increase to $300 in December. The start conference pass costs $700 at the moment, yet it is set to raise to £900. The early bird price for the deluxe conference pass is $1,400. However, this is also going to increase to $1,700 in December. 

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CES Checklist for VendorsCES Checklist for Vendors

When it comes to attending a trade show, you are going to have so many different factors to consider. Planning a year in advance is recommended. 

12 Months Before the Show

So, let’s begin by taking a look at some of the different steps that you should take around 12 months before the show takes place. This involves identifying the role that the trade show is going to serve as part of your overall sales strategy and marketing campaign. Why is attending CES important for you and your business? Once you have established this, you will be best placed to get buy-in from your organization. You then need to make sure you put together a detailed forecast and budget.

In addition to this, there are a number of other things that you should do around nine to 12 months prior to the show. This includes setting certain objectives for your show, for example, publicity secured, leads generation, and the number of product sales. 

Twelve months out is also a good time for you to reserve your display stand space with CES. Make sure you get full details from them about exhibit requirements. You should also put together a trade show marketing plan that uses a mixture of promotional methods in order to teach prospects. Consider splitting your plan into 3 sections. It should include pre-show marketing, then marketing for at the show, and finally, post-show marketing.

6 Months Before the Show

Now, we move into the different activities that you should carry out around six months prior to CES. You might start by coming up with a motivating sales message that delivers your key points. It should do this within 30 seconds or less. You and your employees need to make sure this message is rehearsed so you know how to say it confidently and maximize the success of it. 

You also need to figure out your needs in terms of graphics, layout, and exhibit design. You can do this yourself or outsource to an expert. This all depends on the capability and design talent of your team. Think about your lighting needs as well. Depending on the products you are going to be exhibiting, lighting is going to play a very important role. 

You should need to determine the marketing and literature materials you are going to require for the show. You should then start designing and printing the work. It is a good idea to start looking at different promotional strategies, including high-impact trade show giveaways, that are going to enable you to attract visitors to your exhibition area. 

3 Months Before the Show

We’re getting closer and closer to the big day now. There are a number of important things you are going to need to do at this point. This includes launching pre-show marketing initiatives, as well as starting to make the required travel arrangements. This may include car rental reservations, and hotel and airfare reservations, if required. 

Now is also a good time to determine how you are going to ship your display and other items for CES. You also need to determine your requirements in terms of staffing. You should plan training sessions and develop booth schedules too.

You should also continue to work with your vendors on your marketing materials, exhibit items, and your display booth. You should confirm the dates for delivery and adhere to your trade show planning timeline. Now is also the right time to order promotional items or giveaways.

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1 Month Before the Show

CES is in sight now. There are a number of different steps that need to be completed a month in advance. This includes scheduling dinners and other meetings to be held at the show with customers, distributors, and/or prospects. You should also finalize all travel arrangements. The marketing materials, promotional items, and booth display production needs to be finalized now too, as well as confirming the shipping dates. 

Between now and a week prior to the trade show, you should double-check that all action steps on your timeline have been covered. You should also confirm all of the shipping arrival dates for your materials, promotional items, and booth display, as well as completing staff training.

You also need to schedule staff training, make all travel arrangements, and continue pre-show marketing activities. Finally, put together follow-up packets and send these immediately to your leads following the show. 

Day of the Show

On the day of the show, you need to make sure that all of your employees have been briefed so that everything runs as smoothly as possible. You will have also been given timings with regards to the running of everything, so make sure that you adhere to this. Being organized in advance will ensure the day of CES is a breeze. 

There are also a number of different steps you need to take immediately after the trade show. Compare your budget to your expenses to determine your ROI. You also need to assess the success of your participation in CES compared with the objectives you outlined in your trade show plan. Furthermore, make sure you evaluate your leads. You should also send follow-up packets and make contact as appropriate. 

Shipping to CES with R+L Global Logistics

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the different qualities you need to be looking for when it comes to choosing the best company to help you with trade show shipping for CES. This is one of the most famous trade shows in the world, and it is not hard to see why you’re considering making the most of it. You will need a company to help you with this, though, and that’s where  R+L Global Logistics comes in.

Our trade show shipping team is dedicated to making your requirements are met for all sorts of shows, including everything on your SEMA checklist. With over 50 years of combined experience across our leadership team, you can be sure of exceptional results when using our service.

Trade show logistics is an area that we have a lot of experience it. We have built up strong relationships with exhibit systems providers over the years. These providers rely on us and trust us to provide a seamless customer experience. With us, you can be sure you’re in safe hands. We have warehouses across the country, as well as having strong relationships with leading shows and being partners with exhibit providers.

This makes certain that we have all bases covered when it comes to providing exceptional trade show logistics services, from the CES checklist to getting your booth there on time and intact. If you would like more information about the trade show trucking companies services that we provide or you want a free trade show freight shipping quote, all you need to do is give us a call at (866) 415 8986 or reach out online.

When you’re looking to create an exhibit to present at trade shows, the most important thing is planning and preparation, and that’s what our SEMA Exhibitor Checklist is all about. There are lots of things you’ll need to give your attention to as you prepare to attend a trade show such as SEMA. There are plenty of opportunities to exploit and ways in which your business can draw attention to its products or services. But it’ll only play out that way if you’re prepared for what lies ahead and understand what you need to get right in order to succeed as a SEMA exhibitor or an exhibitor at just about any trade show.

Items on the SEMA exhibitor checklist should include:

So, if you’re going to be attending SEMA next time around, you should start thinking ahead and planning your exhibition at the soonest opportunity. You can start doing exactly that by making the most of our SEMA Exhibitor Checklist and ensuring you’ve got all of the most important things in order.

What is SEMA?

SEMA stands for Specialty Equipment Market Association and consists of more than 6000 companies in the automotive industry around the world. Those companies are involved in many different areas of the automotive industry, including original equipment manufacturers, aftermarket manufacturers, car dealers, media outlets, retailers, restorers, equipment distributors and many more besides.

The SEMA Show is the biggest event hosted by SEMA and it attracts representatives from companies all over the world. They come together to exhibit new concepts and products that they’re looking to take to market in the near future. It’s one of the biggest events in the calendar for the industry each year.

The first SEMA Show happened in 1967 and it’s been going from strength to strength ever since then. More and more companies have realized the power the event holds, as well as the opportunities it offers to companies. There are incredible opportunities for product demonstrations, as well as some of the best marketing opportunities out there.

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Who Displays Goods at SEMA?SEMA Who Displays Goods at SEMA

There are many great reasons to display goods and services at the SEMA Show, and there are lots of different types of businesses out there that do exactly that. They know that they can get their new concepts and products in front of the right people. It’s the biggest event in the industry and everyone in attendance has an important role to play in how the industry develops in the future.

But who exactly displays their goods at SEMA? It’s a question with many different answers because, as you might already realize, there are lots of different strands to the industry and many important developments and enhancements that are currently ongoing. Here’s a list of some of the people and organizations likely to display at SEMA.

Why Should You Attend SEMA?

There are lots of important reasons for attending the SEMA show. This show is not open to the public, so it’s not going to be filled with casual spectators who are just there for a day out; it’s a much more serious gathering than that. It’ll be filled with professionals from all corners of the automotive industry, giving your business the chance to be seen and heard by people with genuine power and influence.

One of the main reasons why many people feel SEMA is valuable to their business is the networking opportunities it offers. Simply building industry contacts and meeting people that you wouldn’t have the opportunity to meet in other contexts can have a really big impact on the future of your business. As they say, it’s all about who you know in the world of business.

The educational sessions and workshops that are hosted at the SEMA Show are also hugely valuable to all kinds of businesses and individuals. There are so many people who learn new things that they wouldn’t otherwise have had the chance to learn, simply because they took the chance to attend the SEMA show. You should make the most of that too.

What Are the SEMA Deadlines?What are the SEMA Deadlines

If you’re going to attend the SEMA show, it’s important to meet all of the relevant deadlines. Getting this sorted out and properly organized ahead of time will ensure you don’t miss out. There are deadlines for applying for exhibitions, as well as a range of other deadlines that you’ll want to know about.

  1. 120The First deadline you should know about is the deadline for the feature vehicle display application. This is for vehicles that are going to be displayed outside of a booth. The deadline for this is July 31st
  2. You need to submit any press releases for pre-show publications by August 2nd. Advertising space reservations need to be submitted by August 20th and listing information should be submitted by August 23rd.
  3. All of the deadlines relating to the SEMA Show can be found by following this link.

Failing to meet these deadlines will make your life a lot more difficult. The deadlines tend to be quite strict as well. If you miss them, the chances are you’re not going to get another chance to get your application in. As you might expect from such a popular and heavily-attended event, there’s plenty of competition for places and if you miss out, there’ll always be another company that’s more than happy to take your place.

It’s important to plan ahead and think about the things you need to finalize and arrange before you place your application. And by planning ahead and making sure you get all of this right, you can secure a place and take advantage of all the benefits that come with exhibiting at the SEMA Show. Now that you know what the deadlines are, you can start planning ahead for the next show.

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What is the SEMA Exhibitor’s Manual?What is the SEMA Exhibitor’s Manual

The people at SEMA take steps to ensure their exhibitors have a full understanding of all the aspects of exhibiting at the trade show. That’s where the SEMA Exhibitor’s Manual steps in. It’s a document that’s been written to answer any and all questions exhibitors might have when they attend the show and display their booths. They discuss all the resources you should know about.

Every aspect of the show and what exhibitors should know about it is discussed in the clearest and basic way possible. They don’t assume that you already have an understanding of the show and how it works from an exhibitor’s point of view. That makes it an ideal and truly helpful manual for anyone who is looking to exhibit at the SEMA Show for the very first time.

First of all, they provide a section on the trade show, what it’s all about and all of the basic information that you should know about it before exhibiting at it. They’ll also talk about things like badges, registration and special events that take place. This is important information for exhibitors to have available to them ahead of the show.

Logistical issues, such as parking, hotels and travel are all covered because that stuff is important too. Booth information and display information is also provided, which is key because that kind of thing tends to differ from trade show to trade show.

Things like timing are discussed, so you’ll know when your freight needs to arrive at the show. Again, these are logistical factors that will be utterly vital to the smooth functioning of your exhibit at the show.

All the information about marketing and advertising opportunities at the SEMA Show are included as well. You should definitely take the time to read all of this information if you want to get the most out of the exhibit.

SEMA Exhibitor Checklist

It’s vital to have a complete SEMA Exhibitor Checklist at your disposal ahead of the event so you can be clear about all of the things you need to do and get right before you exhibit your display at the next SEMA Show. It’s easy to miss things and fail to cover all of the relevant bases when you’re planning for a trade show appearance, so let this helpful checklist make your life easier.

  1. Start by understanding all of the deadlines and everything that you need to do ahead of the trade show. SEMA has a range of things you need to do and things you need to submit if you’re going to display at the event, and you’ll need to meet those deadlines, as we discussed above.
  2. Create your own schedule for your own preparations. Decide what the aims of your display will be and which goals you want to hit at the event. Make sure each department that’s going to be involved understands what they need to do and what’s expected of them.
  3. Think about scheduling booth meetings with clients and other important prospects. The booths that do things like this tend to be the ones that are most successful at SEMA.
  4. To make the most of the event, you need to make it clear that you’re going to be there. Be active on social media and make sure that your presence is felt. You never know who might see those posts and decide to pay your booth a visit. It’s also good for your audience to see you’re attending these important events.
  5. Your forward planning should involve logistics, which we’ll talk more about later. If you’re traveling to the SEMA Show, you should plan ahead to ensure your goods and all the elements of your booth arrive at the show location on time and ready to use.
  6. It’s a good idea to think about giveaways. What are you going to hand to clients and prospects to ensure they remember your business and the interaction you shared after they walk away from your booth? Something similar and audience-appropriate could make a real difference.
  7. Practicing conversations and planning out how you’re going to direct discussions and interactions is important. The people doing the talking should have good interpersonal skills and know how to engineer productive interactions. That comes through planning and practice between you and your team.
  8. You should think about what’s going to happen after the event as well. Plan some debriefing exercises and think about following up with the people you spoke to. For this to happen, you need to plan it in advance and come up with workable strategies.

Hopefully, this checklist will have helped you gain a better understanding of the things you need to get right before you attend the next SEMA Show. The SEMA Exhibitor Checklist can help all kinds of companies looking to attend the show. Whether you’re attending the SEMA Show for the very first time or you’re a seasoned veteran, good preparation is always key.

The companies that get the most out of the many benefits the SEMA Show has to offer are the ones that prepare in advance and get everything right. It’s impossible to do that if you’re not planning ahead and making preparations for how you’re going to come out of the SEMA Show with the best possible outcomes.

The SEMA Exhibitor Checklist above should provide you with all the help and guidance you need when you’re preparing for a big trade show event. It can be confusing a little overwhelming, especially when you’re planning to attend the SEMA Show for the very first time, but you’ll find it much easier with the help of our exhibitor checklist.

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What Else Do SEMA Exhibitors Need to Know?

There’s plenty you need to know about the SEMA Show before you attend as an exhibitor. First of all, it’s vital to know that if you want to exhibit at the show, you’ll need to submit an Exhibit Space Design Notification if you’re planning on creating a display that’s more than 20’ x 20’. For multi-level exhibits, even more information and details will need to be provided in order to ensure safety and structural integrity well in advance of the event.

Freeman Electrical Services are available at the event, and you should make the most of these services. The people at SEMA know how challenging it can be to set up a display and to get it all working as it should. During that whole process, good electrical support is vital and you should make the most of it.

SEMA uses freight target dates so that you know exactly what you need to have your freight arrives at the location where the event is taking place. If you miss the target date, it’ll be more difficult for everything to be set up on time and ready to go by the start date of the show. It’s one of the reasons why shipping and freight planning are so important and should never be overlooked.

Exhibitor staff will need to be registered ahead of the event. You should receive an email from SEMA telling you about this and how you go about registering them. But don’t assume that you can just turn up with a team of people ready to work at your booth for the duration of the trade show if you haven’t first registered them as employees. It doesn’t work like that and they won’t be allowed to work if they don’t have registrations.

Trade Show Shipping with R+L Global Logistics

If you’re thinking of attending the SEMA trade show as an exhibitor and you want to make sure that all of your stuff and the things that are going to make up your exhibit get there safely and on time, our shipping services are for you. R+L Global Logistics has established partnerships with trade show booth shipping organizers, making us ideally placed for clients looking to ship their things to trade shows like SEMA.

The whole process will be easy and seamless at your end. And as long as you follow the SEMA exhibitor checklist outlined above, you’ll be able to ensure the task of presenting at SEMA is smooth from start to end. After all, that’s the way it should be. We’ll support you throughout the process and keep you informed so that you never have to worry at any point throughout the process.

We have a very large network in place - even for selling Canadian goods -  to ensure your shipment makes its way to the trade show in a timely, efficient and safe kind of way. You’ll find the whole process effortless because our professionals will take care of everything on your behalf. Call or reach out online to get a quote today!

If your business is considering the possibility of selling Canadian goods at a U.S. trade show, then it’s important to remember that it’s not just a case of packing your goods in a suitcase and crossing into the U.S. The process is somewhat similar to moving imported goods across countries; they need to be declared and they will likely be subject to a number of different duties and taxes. If you want to sell goods across the border, then it’s important to consider a customs broker that can help you transport your goods duty-free so you can safely showcase your products at an international trade show.

In order to get the latest information about selling Canadian goods at a U.S. trade show, it’s important to consult the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for more information. While your customs broker will likely explain most of the information to you first, it’s a good idea as a small business to do your research to see what type of fees you’ll be subjected to and what type of products you can take across.

What Documents Do I Need for Shipping Trade Show Materials from Canada?What Documents Do I need for Shipping Trade Show Materials to Canada

Before you cross the border with your trade show materials, products and other similar goods, it’s important to prepare your documentation to make things easier. In most cases, a customs broker will be able to handle most of the work by reporting and clearing your goods with customs. In some cases, they might also arrange for shipping and transportation if you have a lot of goods to send.

Whether you decide to self-clear your items or speak to a customs broker, you’re going to need the following documents to get into the U.S. with your goods.

There may be specific documentation required from you if you plan to ship very specific goods or shipping a trade booth. The requirements will change depending on the individual circumstances of your business, so it’s a good idea to speak with a customs broker to get more information regarding the documentation you need before you ship your Canadian goods to be sold or displayed at a U.S. trade show. Thankfully, most of this will be handled by the customs broker unless it’s something personal such as acquiring a work permit.

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Canada Customs Clearance for Trade Show Goods

While most trade show organizers will have some kind of recommendation for a customs broker, it’s a service that can be provided by many different logistics-focused businesses such as R+L Global Logistics. This means that it’s worth looking around at different services to see which one would be best suited for your needs.

Most exhibitors that are only carrying a few items will actually have the option to declare and clear their goods at the border. The more prepared you are, the less time it will take to finish the declaration of your goods and the more time you have to get to the show.

The most common options for customs clearance for trade show goods include:

Each method comes with its pros and cons, so it’s important to speak to your customs broker and ask for information on each one to ensure that you pay the least amount of duties and taxes when crossing the border.

How Do You Declare Trade Show Items at Customs?How Do You Declare Trade Show Items at Customs

In order to declare your goods, you must prepare a commercial invoice to present to U.S. customs. If customs finds that something in your shipment hasn’t been declared, then it could delay your shipment by several days and you could miss the trade show date.

Here are some important concerns when preparing your commercial invoice.

  1. Make sure every item is listed on your commercial invoice and do not generalize. Instead, be highly specific.
  2. Value every item accurately. If something is intended as a gift, make sure it’s assigned a nominal value like 0.01 cents.
  3. Describe every item in great detail, such as its purpose and what it’s made from.
  4. For food items, you must be registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The commercial invoice will include a lot of information that must be filled in correctly in order for your shipment to arrive on time for your trade show. Failing to do this will put your trade show at risk, hence why speaking to a customs broker can be one of the best ways to save time, money and be more efficient with the shipment.

Do keep in mind that most of this will be handled by a customs broker should you decide to choose a service like R+L Global Logistics. By planning well in advance and partnering with a global logistics company that can handle your customs declarations, it’s guaranteed to go much more smoothly.

Trade Show Shipping with R+L Global Logistics

As experts in trade show shipping services, R+L Global Logistics understands the logistical challenges and concerns that international companies face when attempting to break into a new market or grow their audience overseas. That’s why we’ve specialized our services to be one of the most efficient and knowledgeable trade show shipping logistics services in the world.

So if you’re interested in selling Canadian goods at a U.S. trade show, don’t hesitate to contact us today for more information or to request a quote.

Before you attend your next exhibit, you must learn how to ship a trade show booth. Trade shows can take place in so many different locations, and all of your booth materials must arrive on time. The last thing you want is to turn up for an event completely empty-handed. It’ll be a waste of money as you already paid for your place on the exhibition floor, but now you’ve got nothing to show all the attendees and command their attention. In this guide, we’ll show you everything you need to think about when shipping your trade show booth. 

There are a few primary concerns when you look at how to ship a trade show booth. It has to arrive on time, and all in one piece. Things to consider when shipping a trade show both include things like price, value, speed and quality. You’ll also need to consider options like advance warehousing or direct-to-show shipping. Insuring your shipment is also an option.

Explore Your Options

The majority of big trade shows and exhibitions will provide vendors with a list of preferred carriers that the event works with. You can use these if you want, but you’re not always forced to do so. Some events are very strict with their exhibit shipping demands, so they will make you choose one of their recommended carriers. But, for the most part, you should explore your options to find the best carrier for your needs. 

Naturally, you’ll find plenty of trade show shipping companies to choose from. To separate the best from the rest, you need to concern yourself with these key points: 

So, explore your options and choose a few services that suit your requirements. Then, you can make a direct comparison between them. 

Provide Accurate DetailsProvide Accurate Details

Knowing how to ship a trade booth will heavily depend on the details you provide the shipping company. First and foremost, they must be accurate. Double and triple check all of your information before you send it out. 

There are two main things to worry about; exhibition materials details and the logistics details. 

For the exhibition materials, we’re talking about things like: 

If you give inaccurate details, then this will lead to higher shipping costs. For example, if you say that your exhibition booth is a certain size and weight - then it ends up being bigger and heavier - it will obviously cost more than you were initially quoted. 

You can potentially save money by opting for trade show booths made out of lighter materials. Things like fabric booths are much lighter, so you will incur lower shipping costs. 

For the logistics, we’re looking at:

These details can also affect shipping costs as you may give the wrong date or location, meaning your trade show materials need to arrive much quicker than initially stated, and in a location that’s further away. Plus, it also increases the chances of your items being lost or delivered to the wrong place at the wrong time. 

All in all, pay attention to all of your details by using a trade show exhibitor checklist and make sure they’re 100% accurate before you agree to any service. 

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials? 
Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

Choose Advance Warehousing or Direct to Trade Show Shipping

You’ve got two main shipping options:

Both of these options will ship your exhibition booth from A to B, they just change where B is. They also have a series of advantages and disadvantages, so here’s what you need to know…

Advance Warehousing

This method means you ship your trade show to the event’s warehouse around 45-60 days before the event begins. It’s potentially beneficial as you guarantee your trade show materials arrive on time, and you can be one of the first people to move into the convention floor. Usually, a general contractor will handle your materials and take them from the warehouse to the trade show floor when you need them. 

The downside is that this is usually the more expensive of the two options. Plus, you need to prepare your exhibit way in advance of the date. 

Direct to Trade Show

With this option, you ship directly to the trade show, usually a few days before it starts. As such, you have far more time to prepare everything and can make final changes to your booth a week or so before the event. It also means your booth won’t be handled by lots of different people, so this minimizes the risks of damage - and also keeps the cost as low as possible. 

The problem is that your booth could arrive late. Shipments aren’t allowed to arrive earlier than three days before, or you’ll be charged extra. 

Both options are reasonable, it depends on what suits you best. Do you want to have more time and keep the costs to a minimum? Or, would you rather have the safety of knowing your materials have arrived weeks in advance of the trade show date?

Insure Your MaterialsInsure Your Materials

When most people ask how to ship a trade show booth, they forget one key element: insurance. Most shipping companies should have insurance options for their services. But, you can also purchase additional insurance for added protection. 

Now, this isn’t technically essential, but it is highly recommended. Remember, most trade show booths are custom-made and cost a significant amount of money. So, if they’re damaged, they need to be completely rebuilt! If they’re insured, then you at least have some financial protection to avoid paying for the booth all over again because of damages that occurred during shipping. 

How To Ship A Trade Show Booth: Choose R+L Global Logistics

If you’re looking for a reliable and experienced trade show shipping company, then choose R+L Global Logistics today. We have well over 50 years of experience in the logistics industry, with plenty of resources and contacts in the trade show world. This lets us provide an excellent service that’s catered to your needs. We’ll design everything around your budget, ensuring you get a shipping service that delivers your trade show materials on time and all in one piece. 

So, if you want to know how to ship a trade show booth with minimal stress, then contact us today. We have relationships with some of the biggest exhibition suppliers across the U.S., along with our own vast span of warehouses. Let us take care of this, and you can focus on all other aspects of your trade show booth shipping. Give us a call today or contact us online to get a quote.

Planning for a successful trade show can be quite a difficult task, especially if your company has yet to attend one. This could be due to financial constraints or simply because your brand hasn’t been given a chance to be in the limelight. When you do get an opportunity to appear at a trade show, the last thing you want is to make a fool of yourself and give your company a bad reputation. Whether it’s assigning the right booth staff or having a solid social media strategy to get the word out that your business will be attending, we’ve put together this trade show exhibitor checklist that will help you plan ahead for a successful trade show exhibit.

Items on your trade show exhibitor checklist should cover the basics and make sure the show goes on as planned. Your checklist might include:

We’ll be covering seven of the most important components of any successful trade show. From the hardware and general items that you bring to a tradeshow to networking strategies, this article will educate you on the best practices to develop when attending trade shows and also give you some advice on how to measure their impact on your business. This will help you understand the value of trade shows and how they can help your business grow to new heights.

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials? 
Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

1. Determine What You’re Bringing to the Trade ShowDetermine What You’re Bringing to the Trade Show

You’ve got one chance to really impress show attendees at a trade show, so it’s important to make a checklist of things that you want to bring to a trade show. There are some basic items such as office supplies which are always handy, such as for writing down notes, but there are also some less-considered items and also the knowledge that you should bring with you to the trade show.

For starters, make sure that the product or service that you want to sell can be taken with you in some shape or form. For instance, you may be required to bring several computer setups and hardware if you’re trying to sell a piece of software, and it’s always a good idea to bring a working prototype or demo unit for physical products. If you’re selling a consumable product, then bringing samples with you is always a fantastic idea. You may also want to consider bringing small gifts for attendees such as branded stationary or something unique such as cupcakes to offer.

You’ll also want to consider bringing a couple of members of your staff depending on the size and scope of your trade show booth. This can depend greatly on the type of product or service that you’re offering. For instance, if there are technical aspects of your product that you don’t quite understand, it’s a good idea to bring engineers and developers that have been working on the project so that they can explain things in more detail to attendees that are interested in specifics.

2. Coordinate the Logistics of Getting Your Materials to the Trade Show

Once you’ve built a list of things you want to bring to a trade show, you’ll want to start planning the logistics of getting everything to the show itself. For larger or heavier items such as computer setups, samples of your product and prototypes, you’ll want to hire a logistics service to help you ship the items to and from the trade show itself. Depending on the distance, this can be a rather expensive investment but it can be made cheaper and easier when connecting with the right businesses that are designed specifically to help trade show exhibitors.

You’ll also want to coordinate things such as travel. This can be especially important if you have employees that work remotely who are scheduled to attend the trade show itself. This will involve booking travel tickets like flights or trains, and it can also include booking a hotel for the trip so that you have a place to stay. Depending on the event itself, you’ll also likely need to book a booth spot so that you have somewhere to put your things. In some cases, a hotel room can also be used to showcase your items if it’s part of the event. These are all things that need to be taken into consideration.

To help make things easier, we’ve compiled a small but concise checklist of considerations when it comes to coordinating the logistics of a trade show.

Logistics is an important consideration when it comes to planning for a successful trade show, hence why it’s vital to contact a trustworthy and reliable shipping solution. Coordinating something like trade show logistics can take a lot of time and involves a lot of intricate details, hence the importance of hiring a service that is confidence and experience in trade show logistics.

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials? 
Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

3. Establish and Plan a BudgetEstablish and Plan a Budget

Another important component of a successful trade show is budgeting. Whether you’re a relatively small startup or a large corporation, you need to have a budget in mind because, at the end of the day, an appearance at a trade show exhibition is an investment in your brand and measuring its success can help you fine-tune your approach in the future.

There are countless considerations when it comes to budgeting for a trade show, so we’ve put together a brief list of things that you’ll likely be spending money on.

As you can see, budgeting for a trade show involves many different expenses, hence the importance of planning weeks in advance to ensure you have everything covered.

4. Develop and Implement a Marketing Strategy Around the Show

For your trade show booth to be successful it’s important to develop and implement a marketing strategy that focuses on the show. This can involve areas such as social media and reaching out to influencers so that more people know about your attendance at a specific trade show. These considerations are typically split into three sections; pre-show, during the show and post-show.


A pre-show marketing strategy involves a lot of planning around the show itself and the attention it’s getting from the media.

  1. Identify the type of audience that attends the trade show you plan to take part in. It’s important that you identify this and compare it to your intended audience to ensure the two are synonymous.
  2. Use social media and your website to talk about your attendance at an event in order to spread the word and get people interested in visiting your trade show booth.
  3. It’s vital to set our goals for the trade show. Much like any marketing campaign, you need to plan your strategy around a set of goals that are measurable and realistic in terms of results and time spent.
  4. Trade show appearances should focus on new product launches and reveals depending on the type of trade show it is.
  5. Designing and printing marketing materials early on can ensure that you have a way to continue exposing your brand to a wider audience even once you arrive.
  6. Think about how you plan to follow-up with other trade show attendees, such as giving out business cards or compiling a list of leads that you’ll contact at a later date.

During the Show

During the show, you’ll want to implement pre-show strategy and planning to use. For example, you’ll want to take a note of all the people you speak to that could be considered leads and trading business cards can help ensure that you can be contacted by the people you’ve spoken to at the show itself.

This is also a good opportunity to continue updating your social media pages with posts regarding your appearance at the show. The show exhibition will likely have an associated hashtag on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook that you can take advantage of to gain more visibility. This is also a good time to network with other businesses and potential clients to help grow your list of contacts.

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials? 
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Once the show has concluded, it’s time to follow-up on your leads and the business cards that you’ve traded. This will also be the time when you calculate if your trade show was a success or not based on factors like the number of leads you have, the sales you made or even the people that you’ve networked with. There are countless ways to get value out of a trade show and its success depends on the goals that you originally set out to achieve. If you were able to reach those goals then you can consider the event a great success. Even if you fell short of those goals, you could still continue to get value out of the trade show by following-up with your leads.

You’ll also want to continue using social media to reflect on the event, thank those involved and essentially keep the ball rolling so that your appearance and meetings are still fresh in the minds of those that attended. Recapping the event on your website or blog can also be a great way to keep your audience in the loop and refresh them on what happened during the event. There are endless ways to follow-up after a trade show concludes and it’s vital that you try different things to see what works best for your company.

5. Rehearse Your Presentation and PitchRehearse Your Presentation and Pitch

Discuss the importance of practicing a presentation or sales pitch. If any technology is involved, be sure to test the technology prior to the show.

Before you attend a trade show it’s vital that you understand how to market your product or services to the audience that the show itself. For this, you need two main components; a presentation and a pitch. A presentation is essential for explaining your products or services to a wide audience. It should be comprehensive, concise yet interesting to keep people’s attention. If your presentation doesn’t captivate your audience then it can be difficult to network and build your reputation. For a presentation to be successful, you should also ensure that any technology related to your product (such as computers, hardware or the product itself) is in full working condition. It’s also not a bad idea to have backups in case something breaks or stops working.

You’ll also want to put together a convincing pitch to help you make a good first impression. Whether it’s grabbing someone’s interest once they glance at your booth or even getting someone’s attention in an elevator, having a concise pitch that promotes your product and gets people interested is a great way to spread the word and get more people talking. Make sure you rehearse both your presentation and pitch to ensure that you appear as confident as possible.

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials? 
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6. Network With and Gather Ideas from Other Vendors

When you attend a trade show it’s vital that you get as much value out of it as possible. This means that, in addition to showing off your products and services, you should be networking with other vendors and not just potential clients. This is important for a number of different reasons.

Networking is common at trade shows, but in order to truly make the most of your attendance, it’s vital that you network with other vendors in order to gather ideas and potentially form partnerships with other companies that are mutually beneficial.

7. Measure the Success of Participating in the Trade ShowMeasure the Success of Participating in the Trade Show

It’s important to treat your trade show appearance as an investment in your business. After all, you’re probably spending a considerable amount of money on trade show booth materials and it’s not cheap to send a team of staff members to a trade show for a couple of days. As such, it’s vital that you consider how to measure the success of your participation at a trade show. This can vary depending on your initial goals and also the type of product you put on display, but we can boil it down to three different categories.

These are the most common performance metrics to consider when measuring the success of your trade show participation.

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials? 
Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

Need Help Shipping to a Trade Show?

One of the most difficult things about planning a successful trade show is the logistical side of your trade show exhibitor checklist. It’s perhaps the most involved aspect that, if planned poorly, could result in a disastrous trade show booth that doesn’t serve its purpose. So to help you with trade show planning, it’s important to hire a reputable and confident company that can help you ship all of your materials to the trade show with minimal disruption and issues.

No matter whether you’re shipping to SEMA or shipping to a furniture trade show, R+L Global Logistics can help.  R+L Global Logistics is a solution that you can trust. As an experienced and well-equipped global logistics provider for convention shipping, we’re capable of helping you ship your company’s materials to any trade show in the United States or the rest of the world. Contact us today to see how we can become your logistics partner for your next trade show appearance.

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