Trade shows can be an effective sales and promotion tool for your small or large business, but they can also be a complete waste of time and money if not done correctly. Whether your trade show booth is a huge success or an outright failure depends on your advanced preparation. Get the best return on your investment by adding an organized trade show binder, price sheets, and strong promotional materials to your booth.
When exhibiting at a trade show, there are five essentials you need: your booth, trained staff, promotional materials, laptop, and a trade show folder.
The contents of the trade show folder, which is a reference guide, includes the tools and information your staff need while talking to booth visitors.
Here’s how to build a trade show folder and what to include:
The three-ring binder
The fair binder should be a three-ring binder with D-rings that can hold a large number of materials. Choose a brightly colored folder that is easy to place on your booth.
What materials will you need at the fair? Use the binder tabs to separate materials into categories. It will help your staff find the information quickly. Make tab labels as general or specific as you like. The main categories can include:
- General company information. Important people, departments, corporate offices and telephones.
- Training. Instructions and materials for the pre-show training. Reference sheets with sales information and phone numbers of the exhibition staff.
- Dirty. Updated lists of contact information for your sales office, dealers, distributors, and demo center in this section. This section will probably be used more frequently. List the names, phone numbers and addresses of key people and facilities in your sales organization, and include branches in case a booth visitor asks, “Who is your representative in Philadelphia?” Price sheets must be added.
- Product. Copies of all product brochures, spec sheets, photos, samples and more.
- Marketing. Company and product logos, CDs, special fonts and all display graphics. If the graphics are lost, damaged, or incorrect, you can easily recreate them at the fair.
- Personal. Place copies of your staff’s airline itineraries, hotel confirmations, and exhibition staff schedule in this section of the folder.
- Finance. The company’s income statements should be in this section. Staff may be asked for the latest annual report or recent news articles on the latest company earnings report.
- press kit. If the press stops at your booth, be ready with a press kit that includes current press releases. If you are planning a press event, store extra invitations in the sturdy sheet protectors in this section for hand out.
- Stationary. If sending leads to the office, include pre-printed corporate overnight shipping forms. Store some corporate stationery and fax forms in sheet protectors at the back of the binder, including the number 10 and booklet-size envelopes. As you collect your resources, talk with your sales, product, and marketing departments to find out which materials are most helpful to them. Lastly, set up a table of contents for the folder. You can color code this section to match the color tabs used to separate the categories.
4 Tips for Trade Show Binders
- In each tabbed section, insert sturdy sheet protectors or interior pockets to hold the documents you will collect. Alleviates the need to punch documents.
- Keep the folder in a central location in the cab. Make sure staff members know where to find it and what it contains.
- Updating your organized folder is easy. Keeping it current prevents your booth staff from answering “I don’t know” or the time-consuming search for someone who knows the answer when attendees ask tough questions.
- The information in the folder is confidential. It should not be removed from the information desk. Keep the book locked up when not in use.
Following these tips ensures that your booth staff will be safe, efficient, and productive.
Don’t visit a large retailer for your company’s trade show, sales, product, marketing, and other department folders. Get a quality, durable three-ring binder the first time. Consult with a three-ring binder specialist to help you find the perfect binder for the job.