Trade Show TalesBlog

January 2022 | Shared Knowledge Newsletter

January 24th, 2022 COMMENTS
Classic Exhibits Shared Knowledge Newsletter
Shared Knowledge Newsletter from Classic Exhibits

2022 EXHIBITOR Portable Modular Awards

Portable Modular Awards

Do you have a Classic-built design you would like to submit the for a Portable Modular Award? If so, let us know. We’ll review it, assist with the submission, and even pay the entry fee. Contact Katina Rigall Zipay for details. She’s the Classic Zen-master on structuring your submission for “finalist” consideration by the judges.

Entries must have debuted between 02/11/19 – 02/11/22

Since 2014, Classic Exhibits has been an enthusiastic supporter of the PMA (and one of several companies that advocated for the award in the first place). We’ve been fortunate to have finalists and category winners every year.

To review the PMA categories, click on this link.

Build a Better Trade Show Image, Revised Edition

Want to see your client’s project featured in an upcoming book?

Marlys Arnold is working on an updated version of her book, Build a Better Trade Show Image, and is looking for creative new examples to include.

She wants case studies of exhibits that:

  • Use creative themes (sports, food, outdoor, whimsical, etc.) to convey the message
  • Feature unique elements in the overall floorplan
  • Engage attendees with interactive elements or activities (hands-on demos, gamification, tech, etc.)

If you have client projects you’d like to share, contact her on LinkedIn or send a note via her website.

For any case studies chosen, both you and your client will receive an autographed copy of the updated edition.

Display Supply and Lighting Logo

Display Supply and Lighting EDS Gallery

If you haven’t visited the EDS Lighting Gallery lately, we encourage you to take a peek. DS&L has added lots of new LED products and accessories.

LED Products in Exhibit Design Search

Event Marketer Fab 50 & Experiential Marketing Summit 2022

Experiential Marketing Summit 2022

Each year we make the Event Marketer Fab 50 list we’re a little surprised. Not because we don’t think we deserve it. We do. But as a “white label designer and builder,” we’re not always on the industry’s radar. We’re appreciative that Event Marketer recognizes us. We’re also happy for all the other honorees, but we’re especially delighted for the 29 Classic Distributors who also make the list. Congratulations!

If you are planning to attend the Experiential Marketing Summit on April 27-29 in Las Vegas, be sure to stop by and visit us. This will be our first time at this show so any tips, tricks, or techniques for a successful EMS show will be greatly appreciated.

Event Marketer and the Fab 50 Awards

Parsons Counters and Genius Bars

Parsons Counters

Parsons Counters and Genius Bars appear to be all the rage. As a result, we’ve added designs to Exhibit Design Search, in the purchase and rental galleries. The MOD-1705, 1706, and 1707 Parsons Counters all have storage, wireless charging, and either backlit or vinyl graphic options. The MOD-1714 has a backlit graphic. The MOD-1709 and MOD-1708 are more basic (less expensive) options for someone who doesn’t need backlighting or charging.

The Genius Bars (available as rentals) are the same general shape as Parsons Counters but are wider and lack storage. Depending on the kit, they’re available in black or white laminate and with USB charging ports. See RE-1583, RE-1579, and RE-1578.

To see all the designs, including exhibits with these counters/bars, search “parsons” or “genius” in EDS.

Wunderman Thompson Annual Trends Report for 2022

The Future 100: Trends and Change to Watch in 2022

Every year, we look forward to downloading the Wunderman Thompson report on annual trends. It’s their snapshot of the year ahead. It charts 100 Emerging Trends across 10 sectors, spanning culture, tech, beauty and more. It’s free and easy to download HERE. The report is not your typical PDF teaser with minimal content. You’ll need to carve out a few hours (or days) to browse the 223 pages.

From the foreword written by Emma Chiu, Global Director:

This year ushers in a resolute positivity that encourages playfulness and creativity—so much so that Pantone created a completely new color to define 2022 (see unbounded optimism, p13). Brands and marketers are eager to provide joy in people’s lives by creating euphoric ads (p85) as they too ride the optimist wave.

The Worldwide Leader in Trivia Entertainment

EDPA Texas Chapter

Who is the Official Sponsor of the EDPA Texas Chapter Trivia Contest?

  • George Strait
  • Matthew McConaughey
  • Carol Burnett
  • Classic Exhibits

If you guessed Classic Exhibits, you would be correct. Classic is proud to be the OFFICIAL SPONSOR of the monthly EDPA Texas Chapter Trivia Contest. And now that the leadership torch has been passed from Matthew Little to Noelle Webster, we’re praying the number of questions about the Texas Tech Red Raiders declines significantly.

If you are interested in participating in the monthly trivia fun, contact You don’t have to be from, live in, or plan to visit Texas to participate.


Exhibitorlive and Classic Exhibits

Of course we’ll be there. But that’s not the exciting news. We’re planning something exciting for Classic Distributors who attend EXHIBITORLIVE.

Details to come in April. Keep it on the down low… we’ve already said too much.

Trade Shows By Industry: Popular Events & Strategies

January 24th, 2022 COMMENTS
trade shows by industry

Globally there are over 32,000 exhibitions each year featuring 4.5 million exhibiting companies. This massive industry attracts over 303 million visitors worldwide but not all trade shows are the same…

An Introduction to Trade Shows by Industry

At some point, everyone attends a trade show by industry. It may not be called a trade show, but it’s a show where people and businesses are engaged in commerce or trade. There’s a good chance you’ll attend several each year, like the Automotive Show in your hometown or your industry’s annual conference held in Orlando, Las Vegas, Chicago, New Orleans, or any of the hundreds of convention centers in North America. You might be surprised to learn that there are anywhere from 9,000 to 14,000 shows in the United States alone. 

So how big are trade shows? Actually much bigger than you may realize. The B2B trade show market in the United States was worth 15.58 billion U.S. dollars in 2019. The market sharply declined to 5.6 billion dollars in 2020 but is projected to rebound to 14.5 billion dollars by 2024.

Every industry, hobby, interest, and profession has a show(s) where exhibitors and attendees gather to learn, buy, and interact with others. Some shows may be massive, like the Consumer Electronics Show with over 170,000 attendees, or it may be a regional pet show with several hundred participants. 

Fortunately, there are two convenient search tools for locating trade shows:  Events in America and the Trade Show Calendar. In general, most B2B shows can be categorized by industry with the vast majority falling into the following groups below. 

Top Trade Shows by Industry

  • Agriculture
  • Art, Craft, & Collectibles
  • Automotive and Boats
  • Books
  • Business
  • Construction
  • Education & Science
  • Energy
  • Environment
  • Fashion & Beauty
  • Food & Hospitality
  • Government
  • Health & Fitness
  • Home
  • Manufacturing
  • Medical & Pharma
  • Retail & Wholesale
  • Society & Community
  • Spirituality & Religion
  • Sports & Entertainment
  •  Technology
  • Transportation
  • Travel & Tourism

Popular North American Trade Shows by Industry

Popular North American Trade Shows by Industry

It depends on whether “popular” means most exhibitors, most attendees, or the largest square footage of exhibit space. Here are the largest in North America by each category. 

By Attendance

By Most Exhibitors

By Square Footage

Jewelry Trade Shows & Strategies

Planning and preparing for jewelry trade shows is similar to any show EXCEPT for security. The Jewelers of America recommends following these travel and security tips. 

Be Discreet. Avoid mentioning your business and the trade show when in public places like coffee shops, airports, or taxis. You never know who is listening.

Avoid Attention. Avoid carrying a briefcase or anything that could be perceived as containing jewelry to and from the show. 

Protect Your Badge. Remove your show badge when you leave the trade show floor. At the end of the show, give your badge to the show organizers or destroy it so thieves can’t steal your identity and/or your access to the show floor.

Avoid Informal Showings. Informal jewelry shows held outside the safety of the show, like a hotel room, are never a good idea. Conduct all merchandise appointments within the security of the trade show..

Check Your Insurance Policy. Call your agent or insurance company to make sure that you are indeed properly and adequately insured.

Always assume you are a target when traveling to and from the show, and while you are there. 

Top 4 Jewelry Trade Shows:

  • JCK Las Vegas
  • International Jewelry Fair/General Merchandise Show
  • Jewelers International Showcase
  • International Jewelry Show

jewelry trade shows

Manufacturing Trade Shows & Strategies

For many manufacturers, trade shows represent up to 30% of their company’s annual marketing budget. As a result, going through the motions isn’t an option. Senior management will expect an ROI (return on investment) so tracking expenses and sales, both short and long-term, is critical. 

Measuring ROI starts with identifying your quantitative and qualitative goals and then putting processes in place for capturing those measurements. Sounds easy enough… but many companies start with good intentions but lack the discipline to record the information before, during, and after the trade show. They become immersed in designing the booth, scheduling travel, and preparing for meetings with clients. Once the show begins, the buzz and energy on the show floor takes over and all plans to measure traffic, qualify leads, and set post-show appointments falls by the wayside. It’s understandable given the chaos and excitement of seeing clients, meeting potential customers, and checking out the competition. 

Instead of simply measuring leads, consider these four metrics. 

1. The Number and Quality of Meetings

Strategic meetings have an influence on the revenue and top line. With ROI being a big concern to the C-Suite, marketers are tasked with finding ways to maximize the number and quality of meetings. 

2. Average Order Size

Companies participate in trade shows to increase their revenue and profits. However, focusing solely on “deals closed” during a show is rarely a valid measurement. Revenue targets can be better achieved by focusing on opportunities that facilitate larger deals, and measuring average deal size can serve as an early indicator of the show’s success. 

3. Space Utilization

At a trade show, you basically rent floor space for 4-5 days, whether it’s a 10 x 20 inline or a 40 x 50 island. Measuring the cost of the space, including material handling and show services, compared to the show-generated sales over the next 90 days can be a quick tool for calculating ROI. Overall, analyzing resource utilization will demonstrate if the budget is being used effectively and where to allocate future marketing investments. 

4. Meeting Effectiveness

Not every measurement is quantitative. When your sales team meets with prospects, they are doing what they do best – qualifying the sales opportunity. Sure, every sales representative wants to close the deal then and there, but most purchases usually happen after the show. Qualitative measures are a window into future opportunities and should be recorded both as potential revenue and as a method for understanding a representative’s strengths and weaknesses.

Top 4 Manufacturing Trade Shows

  • International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS)
  • PackExpo
  • FabTech
  • SEMICON West

wholesaler trade shows

Apparel Trade Show Events & Strategies

If you are a new designer or are launching a new brand, trade shows are an ideal venue to announce your arrival. For more established brands, exhibiting at trade shows is a proven method of expanding your sales opportunities with national and international buyers.

However, success is not guaranteed simply by participating in a trade show. Here are some basic tips for anyone planning to participate in an apparel or fashion show. 

Choose The Right Show

Face-to-face marketing, aka trade shows, and events can be expensive. But, when done right, the ROI at a fashion trade show can be higher than nearly every other marketing tool. For smaller companies, the cost of a trade show is often shocking, which makes it critical to choose the right show(s). Not all shows may be appropriate for your product category and price point. 

Start by asking colleagues in the industry which shows they attend and why. They’ll be able to share their experiences and the dos and don’ts. You’ll be able to determine if the show is one you should attend rather than exhibit, at least for now, and if you decide to exhibit, then what size booth space to reserve. 

It’s also a good idea to research local venues. There are quite a few Apparel Marts that produce trade events. In addition to the Dallas Market Center and Atlanta’s AmericasMart, other Apparel Marts include Denver, Seattle, Nashville, Minneapolis, and Miami.

Know Your Goals

Too often, exhibitors have one single goal:  to sell lots and lots of products. That’s not an unrealistic goal, however, there may be other goals you should consider. Those could include: 

  • Generating Leads
  • Building Contact Lists
  • Meeting with Existing Customers
  • Locating New Suppliers
  • Identifying Industry Trends
  • Introducing New Products
  • Evaluating the Competition
  • Attracting Employees 

Create a Budget and Track Your Expenses

This seems obvious but it’s not. Unlike a magazine ad spend, with perhaps one or two line items, a trade show has a long (sometimes surprising) list of expenses. And not all those costs are known upfront. Knowing your costs and comparing them to your sales will make it much easier to decide whether to invest more or less in your trade show marketing. 

Some Major Trade Show Expenses:

  • Your Exhibit (rental displays available)
  • Booth Space
  • Shipping
  • Material Handling at the Show
  • Show Services, like Electrical, Labor, Cleaning
  • Travel, Lodging, Meals
  • Marketing Materials and Promotional Incentives
  • Sponsorships
  • Entertainment

Pre-Show Marketing 

If you remember anything from this article, remember this. According to a recent trade show exit poll survey, contacting buyers and setting up appointments BEFORE a trade show was cited as the BEST way to ensure a successful return on investment (ROI). With limited time, buyers will gravitate to their existing vendors or to vendors who have contacted them to schedule an appointment.

The show organizer is responsible for attracting attendees to the show. But, they’re not responsible for bringing those attendees to your booth. Successful exhibitors dedicate time to marketing their brand to prospective attendees weeks if not months before the show. Simply showing up and showing off is rarely a recipe for success at a trade show or event.  

Top 4 Apparel Trade Shows

  • MAGIC Fashion (August and February) 
  • Private Label Manufacturers Association
  • Outdoor + Snow Show
  • ABC Kids Expo
  • OFFPRICE Wholesale Apparel Show

apparel trade show

A Recap of Trade Shows by Industry

With thousands of trade shows by industry in North America and thousands more around the world, there’s no shortage of opportunities for companies to participate in face-to-face events. However, simply choosing a show isn’t enough. Successful exhibitors set goals, establish budgets, and implement strategies that maximize their opportunities. 

Your Partner for All Things Trade Show

Classic Exhibits has been designing and building solutions since 1993. We’ve been honored as an Exhibitor Magazine Find-It Top 40 Exhibit Producers and an Event Marketer Fab 50 Exhibit Builders multiple times. Along with numerous Portable Modular Awards. 

With over 200 Distributor Partners throughout North America, there’s a Classic representative closer by. Contact us today whether you need a durable hand sanitizer stand built to last, a portable display guaranteed to attract trade show attendees, or a custom 30 x 40 exhibit with all the bells and whistles. We’re not just different. We’re better.

Your Guide to Trade Show Giveaways (with Examples!)

January 22nd, 2022 COMMENTS
Trade Show Promotional Incentives
Promotional Incentives

Trade show giveaways carefully folded into a marketing campaign are an investment in your business. If used wisely, they will spread the word about your company long after the trade show, event, or exhibition has ended. If you are considering adding incentives to your marketing strategy, you are in luck. The incentives industry is a multi-billion-dollar business with a vast range of products that can be printed, embossed, programmed, or custom-made to enhance and bring attention to your trade show exhibit.

What are Trade Show Giveaways?

Whether you use the term “premium incentives,” “promotional products,” or “trade show giveaways,” the goal should be the same. You want to capture the attention of potential clients AND be remembered for all the right reasons.

So, what are the right reasons? Everyone loves a freebie, and giveaways are a proven method for attracting people at a show. However, “If you think of them as trade show giveaways,” according to Rama Beerfas, owner of Lev Promotions“They will have as much value to your recipients as they do to you. If you reframe them as promotional incentives or gifts, you’ll start to realize that a target branded incentive can bring you closer to achieving your goals and providing measurable results.”

Many companies start by searching the web for incentive ideas. Which isn’t a bad way to explore what’s available. However, the choices can be overwhelming. Is that really a wise use of your time? Spending hours searching for the perfect ink pen? Don’t make that mistake! Work with a promotional incentives expert who will ask you the right questions and narrow down your choices. It’s what they do. And it won’t cost you any more.

Trade Show Giveaways

The Four Primary Categories of Incentives 

  • Apparel (T-shirts, hats, golf shirts, etc.)
  • Office Supplies (pens, calendars, clocks, mousepads, mugs, etc.)
  • Fun Stuff (toys, gag gifts, electronics, etc.)
  • Perishables (candy, mints, food and beverage, etc.)

Identifying Your Trade Show Giveaway Strategy

With thousands of possible options, choosing the right one(s) is less about a Top 10 list and more about achieving your marketing goals and sales results. Start by identifying:

  • Your Target Audience
  • Your Budget
  • Your Quantity (it’s not about having something for everyone)
  • Your Theme (and/or the theme of the show)
  • Your Branding
  • Your Strategy

If you’re looking to do what’s hot/trendy/cool/new, then you’re probably going to be one of many on the show floor handing out the same item. Incentives trends are a moving target, and suppliers are nimble at finding and promoting the latest gadget. It may be a charging pad this season and earbuds the next season.

The 4 “Make It” Rules to Incentives

  1. Make It Non-breakable. There’s nothing worse than getting a cool incentive only to have it break within days.  
  2. Make It Lightweight.  You don’t want them to abandon it mid-day just to lighten the load.
  3. Make It Compact. It can’t be bulky since it often has to pack in checked luggage.
  4. Make It TSA Friendly. Nothing is worse than seeing your promotional products in the trash can just outside the airport security checkpoint.

What Makes Good Marketing Merchandise?

You want items that appeal to your specific target market and that are tied into your overall marketing message. Your target market may be active adults. However, if your marketing focus is summer wear, a fall or winter incentive like beanies won’t make sense… even if you would REALLY LOVE to have a branded beanie.

The perfect marketing merchandise for one company (or even one campaign) may be completely inappropriate for another.

Consider Having BEST – BETTER – GOOD Options:

  • BEST is for your top prospects and best clients
  • BETTER is for your good prospects, good existing clients and maybe even staff
  • GOOD is for attendees who are qualified, but not really a hot prospect.

So how do you make the incentive feel like a gift rather than a giveaway? Store the nicer or higher value items out-of-sight, like in a counter, kiosk, or pedestal. Once you’ve qualified the prospect, then present them with a special gift, one they know not everyone else is getting. Perception matters!  

10 Branded Product Ideas/Trends to Consider 

1. 3M Post-It products designed for outdoor or wet settings. Great for the construction and manufacturing industries.

trade show giveaway ideas

2. Custom or packaged gifts that can be handed out or shipped to recipients.

3. Create a custom gift kit with a bit more flair, start with the packaging.

4. Personalize a branded product to the next level.

trade show giveaway ideas

5. Full-Color imprints are perfect for complicated logos or photo-quality imprints

6. Go au Naturel – Green thumb gifts increase indoor oxygen, add color, and can provide herbs for the kitchen.

eco friendly marketing merchandise

7. Bring your lunch to work.

8. Retro-inspired items are always a hit.

retro inspired trade show giveaways

9. Travel Items to make your trip easier, more comfortable, and safer.

travel themed marketing merchandise

10. Your pre-show mailers will be more memorable if you make them “bulky”.

Business Promotional Items to Avoid

  • Anything that may be perceived as in questionable taste: (e.g., a knife in many Asian cultures signifies cutting ties).
  • Anything that is against the law or shows a lack of understanding of social customs: (e.g., chewing gum in Singapore).
  • See the “4 Make It” Rules previously mentioned.
  • Anything that is of poor quality or has a poor/incorrect imprint on it. The quality of the item will reflect on your brand.
  • Anything that demonstrates a poor understanding of your target market: (e.g., a $1.50 tape measure given to contractors).

Your Partner for Trade Show Giveaways

Premium incentives can be an effective trade show or event marketing tool when connected to your company, product, or campaign. There are thousands of choices in incentive items, and the choices change all the time.

Your consultant can guide you through the process of selecting appropriate incentives. In some cases, it is as simple as a pen or pad. In other cases, you may want multiple items linked to your overall marketing message. Incentives can be fun, effective, and expensive.

A special thanks to Rama Beerfas at Lev Promotions for sharing her invaluable advice about promotional incentives. 

Hand Sanitizer Stands: Good, Better, Best

January 14th, 2022 COMMENTS
Hand Sanitizer Stands

If you’ve attended an event or a trade show recently, you know that hand sanitizer stands are in the convention hall, the booth space, the aisles, and the meeting rooms. But that’s just the beginning. You literally see them everywhere you go in life: retail shops, schools, airports, business lobbies, medical offices, and restaurants. 

You may have also noticed that some are still attractive and functional and others are battered and broken. In the rush to supply hand sanitizer stands several years ago, not every sanitizer solution was designed for daily long-term use. 

Made in the USA

At Classic Exhibits, we design and build hand sanitizer solutions to last years, not months. The Stand Tough™ line features aluminum extrusion, steel base plates, and anodized or powder-coated finishes. They resist dents, scratches, and dings from kids, vacuum cleaners, shopping carts, and customers texting and walking. 

Their modular construction makes it easy to disassemble, pack, and ship. Plus, they come with graphic, tablet, and literature trays options in a range of prices. 

The Stand Tough™ Stands are covered by a Limited Lifetime Warranty and are Made in the USA.

Getting Started with Hand Sanitizer Stands

Because every office, school, event, or retail store is different, we have 16 sanitizer stand designs.. However, we don’t have a solution often seen in supermarkets, discount stores, and gas stations. There are basic stands that are little more than a tray for a bottle of sanitizer fluid with a flip cap or a pump. Either way, they both require touching a surface. 

All Stand Tough™ Sanitizer Stands have touchless dispensers that can be adjusted to dispense either a small amount of fluid or a spray. The dispensers have a refillable reservoir rather than a sealed plastic pouch which makes it easier and more economic to refill. In addition, the dispensers are mounted to hygienic stainless steel trays for easy cleaning and for maintaining a sanitary surface. 

Let’s explore your options, both in features and price points, in three categories:  Good, Better, and Best. Every sanitizer stand has a Limited Lifetime Warranty and includes batteries and reusable corrugated packaging.

GOOD Hand Sanitizer Dispenser Stands

Stand Tough Hand Sanitizer Stands from Classic Exhibits

MOD-9004:  A lightweight yet durable stand with an anodized aluminum post and powder-coated steel base. Comes with a stainless steel tray and touchless dispenser. $358 retail. 

MOD-9008: Similar to the MOD-9008 with the addition of a double-sided graphic. Graphic dimensions are 12” W x 24” H.  $518 retail. See MOD-9009 for the single-sided version.

MOD-9006: Counter Sanitizer Stand with an aluminum post, stainless steel tray, and touchless dispenser. $234 retail.

BETTER Hand Sanitizer Dispenser Stands

Stand Tough Hand Sanitizer Stands from Classic Exhibits

MOD-9001: A heavy-duty stand in white with an engineered aluminum post and a large powder-coated base. Comes with a stainless steel tray and touchless dispenser. Available with or without a graphic wing. Graphic dimensions are 9” W x 40 ” H. $558 or $658 retail. 

MOD-9002: Similar to the MOD-9001 but with an enclosed graphic in a header frame. The frame increases the height from 54” to 73”. $758 retail.

MOD-9003: Identical to the MOD-9002 but with a non-enclosed graphic header. Graphic dimensions are 12” H x 12” W. $628 retail.

BEST Hand Sanitizer Dispenser Stands

Stand Tough Hand Sanitizer Stands from Classic Exhibits

MOD-1377: A heavy-duty stand in white with an engineered aluminum post and a large powder-coated base. Comes with a stainless steel tray and touchless dispenser. Features a locking clamshell for an iPad tablet and (2) acrylic literature trays. Prices start at $738 retail. Ask about optional Surface tablet versions. 

MOD-1378: Identical to the MOD-1337 but with 12” W x 16” H double-sided graphic. Prices start at $798 retail.

MOD-1379: Similar to the MOD-1377 but without the acrylic literature trays. Prices start at $748.

CUSTOM Hand Sanitizer Stands

Not seeing the perfect solution? No problem. As a builder of stands and not an importer, we can design and build a custom sanitizer solution for your specific needs.

Many clients have requested colors that match their logo or store design, like red, black, blue, or green. Still, others have asked for a more customized counter or pedestal with storage. We’ve also mounted the sanitizer dispensers to existing fixtures or exhibits so they blend into the theme or design. In addition, we can create a sanitizer solution with larger graphics or multiple dispensers for stadiums, convention centers, or arenas. Just give us a call or send us an email.   

hand sanitizer stands

Your Partner for All Things Trade Show

Classic Exhibits has been designing and building solutions since 1993. We’ve been honored as an Exhibitor Magazine Find-It Top 40 Exhibit Producers and an Event Marketer Fab 50 Exhibit Builders multiple times. Along with numerous Portable Modular Awards. 

With over 200 Distributor Partners throughout North America, there’s a Classic representative closer by. Contact us today whether you need a durable hand sanitizer stand built to last, a portable display guaranteed to attract trade show attendees, or a custom 30 x 40 exhibit with all the bells and whistles. We’re not just different. We’re better. 

Home and Garden Trade Show Ideas & More!

January 11th, 2022 COMMENTS
home and garden trade show

Nearly every city in North America has a Home and Garden Show that attracts thousands, and often tens of thousands of attendees. For homeowners (and future homeowners), the Home and Garden Show is a “must-see” event. It’s the ideal one-stop-shop for the latest trends, and the perfect place to find suppliers for indoor and outdoor renovations, remodeling, and landscaping.  There’s a good chance you’ve attended one, two, or a dozen over the years to see the latest in landscaping, kitchen renovations, interior design, and home repair services. 

While most are called Home and Garden Shows, there are many variations on the theme. There are garden, patio, and outdoor shows, Others even include gifts and furniture. Here are a few examples:

Unlike most exhibitions which are industry specific, Home and Garden Shows are open to the general public. Even if you don’t have anything specific in mind, wandering through the convention center filled with creative trade show exhibits can be inspiring. While your only goal may be to get a little exercise on a rainy Saturday afternoon, you would be hard-pressed to find a better indoor activity than at your local Home and Garden Show.

Home and Garden Show Designs

Preparing for Your Home and Garden Trade Show

For exhibitors at a Home and Garden Show, creating the perfect experience for attendees can be challenging and stressful. You are probably wondering, “How do I attract attendees  wandering the show hall into my booth space?” Unfortunately, there’s no one perfect answer. It depends on your product or service, your goals for the show, your budget, and “your team.” 

Yes… your team. You need to evaluate their strengths. Do you have a group of outgoing “anything is possible” employees? Or is your team quieter? When you design your booth space, you need to take your team’s strengths into account. You want a booth that plays into those strengths. 

Let’s say you are a landscaping company with more “doers” than “sellers.” Consider a larger space that demonstrates creative walkways, flower beds, and borders. Then within these, place large photos of past jobs along with testimonials. This allows your work to “sell” your services and your team to consult with interested potential clients.

garden exhibits

Home and Garden Trade Show & Garden Exhibits: Tips and Ideas

Ask yourself this:  “If I was attending the local Home and Garden Show, rather than participating as an exhibitor, what would attract my attention?” Home and Garden Trade Shows are an excellent place to show your work with either images or demonstrations. If your product or service solves a problem, then show potential clients how it does that. 

Some quick tips and suggestions:

  1. Demonstrations:  Home and Garden Show attendees are there to learn. And you’re the expert. A demo accomplishes three things. First, it validates your professional services. Second, it forces them to linger in your booth space. Third, it gives you an opportunity to hear about their needs. In some cases, an ongoing demo makes the most sense, like showing how a tool will transform their garden. In other situations, scheduling demos at a specific time and taking reservations allows for longer presentations. 
  2. Experts: Do you have in-house experts? Why not promote them? Putting a face to a skill personalizes it to your audience. You’re not just an excellent company that does kitchen remodels but you have Sarah who has an MA in Interior Design. Sara has been creating award-winning kitchen designs for your clients for 15 years. Make her the star – someone potential clients would want to meet and ask her questions. 
  3. Exhibit/Booth Design: This can be tricky for many Home and Garden exhibitors. They want to build their exhibit, which is fine, or they decide to bring fixtures in from their store. However, it’s important to remember that a trade show is a specialized marketing event. If you want to truly succeed at your next show, then consider working with a trade show professional. They’ll be able to guide you on your booth layout, display options, strategy, and even giveaways. Too often, Home and Garden Show exhibitors “wing it” and then don’t understand why the show wasn’t successful for them. They blame the Home and Garden Show or trade shows in general rather than on their booth presentation or poor planning. Like you, trade show professionals are professionals and there are proven techniques to maximize your success. 
  4. Sponsorships: If you can afford it, being a show sponsor can bring added recognition before, during, and after the event. But not all sponsorships are equal. Make sure your sponsorship has tangible benefits for your company… and not just the show. The show organizer may have classes you can teach. Or demonstrations that they’ll promote. Or financial incentives for attendees if they visit your booth. Most show organizers are open to ideas and will gladly tailor the sponsorship to match your specific needs. They want you to be wildly successful and if you have an idea that benefits the show, the attendees, and you, then they’ll most likely be on board. 
  5. Attendance: All too often, exhibitors assume the show organizer is 100% responsible for driving traffic to the show. And they are. But that doesn’t mean they’re funneling attendees to your booth. Smart exhibitors tap into their existing clients and promote their participation in the show. They drive attendance to their booth. Sometimes it’s an incentive, like a coupon, other times it’s educational. We all want to feel special and giving your exhibits customers a reason to visit you will feed their ego and drive traffic to your booth. And there’s nothing more appealing to attendees than wondering why Company XYZ has a crowded booth.  
Home and Garden Show Tips and Tricks

Professional Insight For Home Improvement Exhibits

Are you a remodeling contractor? Finding the right contractor can be a challenge for most people. They don’t know what questions to ask, what should be included in a quote and whether a contractor is bonded and licensed. Consider giving potential clients a guide, either in paper or electronic, that guides them through the process. And then encourage them to use it not only with you but also with other contractors.

Are you a flooring specialist? Potential clients want to see and touch flooring products. That can be a problem at a trade show since it’s impossible to bring your entire inventory to the show. However, it’s not impossible when the physical is combined with the virtual. Whether it’s laminate flooring, rugs, carpeting, tile, or vinyl, consider a touchscreen display with each product category. That way, potential customers can see and touch the sample and then click to explore more colors and textures along with photos of past jobs. 

Are you a lighting specialist? Lighting can be tough to show in a large convention center. Many vendors will bring lots of examples, which can be expensive. However, most attendees don’t understand how the correct lighting can enhance their living space aesthetically and visually. Consider focusing on how your professional expertise will improve their home and their lives. Anyone can sell products. But expertise is much more valuable.    

home improvement exhibits

Interior Design Tradeshow Tips

For many people, working with an interior designer can be intimidating. They might not understand the many benefits of having an interior designer on your side. Overcoming their hesitation may be the biggest part of your messaging. 

  1. Why should they consider professional interior design services?
  2. What are the benefits? 
  3. Will it save them time, money, and headaches?
  4. How are your firm’s services different from your competitors? 

Those can be challenging messages to convey to attendees who are strolling past your booth at the show, but it’s not all that different from any other exhibitor at the Home and Garden Show. All too often, there’s a tendency to overwhelm attendees with information. As a result, it becomes difficult for them to absorb and internalize your marketing message, it all just becomes visual noise. 

Consider working with a graphic designer with trade show experience. They know that designing graphics and text for a trade show isn’t the same as a website, a magazine, or even a brochure. They’ll be able to help you create a targeted and compelling message that entices attendees into your booth. 

Your Home and Garden Trade Show Guide

Our team at Classic Exhibits has been in the trade show industry since 1993. In our many years of experience, we’ve happily supported clients in a wide range of industries including tech, financial, health, and clients showing at home and garden trade shows. We think it’s best for your team to do what they’re great at and to hire professionals to spearhead your trade show design and execution. Reach out to us today and see how we can help you have the best home and garden show you’ve ever had!

Home and Garden Show Advice