Trade Show Survival Guide

Trade shows are a fantastic tool for promoting your business to others in the industry and potential clientele alike, and with so much to gain from exhibiting at a trade show, it is important you get everything right in order to make the most of the experience. Whether you’re an old hand or an exhibition newcomer, we’ve put together a trade show survival guide to help you get through the long and chaotic day.


Before the show

Preparation is key when attending a trade show, and the more organised you are, the easier the day will be. You should start planning for the event a good six months prior to the day in order to avoid any last minute crises!

  • If you can, attend a trade show before you exhibit at one. This will give you more insight into how the day works, how to stand out, and how hectic these events can be!
  • Book your place to reserve a space for your stand
  • Start designing your stand. You will want it to be bright, attractive and a good representation of your business
  • Send out invitations to other exhibitors that you’d like to visit your stand to lay the groundwork for making some good connections
  • Organise your travel and book a hotel room, if you need it. Hotels around the venue will become fully booked very quickly so it is best to do this as early as you can
  • Plan which stalls you want to visit yourself and how long you can spend networking – you don’t want to dawdle too long at one stall, aim to visit lots of different stands in the time you have to make as many industry connections as you can
  • Order your promotional items for your goody bags – giving visitors to your stall goodie bags ensures that you’ll be remembered after the event. Opt for promotional pens, bags and mugs as they’re inexpensive and so best suited for mass marketing
  • The night before the trade show, get a good night’s sleep, and pack plenty of water and snacks to get you through the day ahead

On the day

  • Take regular breaks to eat and rest, otherwise you’ll soon become lethargic and won’t be performing at your best
  • Early in the day, take the time to familiarise yourself with the layout of the event and the locations of other stands. This will help you navigate easier later in the day when it’s time to network
  • Take plenty of photos so you can upload them to social media later. You can also consider live tweeting the day and tagging people and companies you’ve met at the event in order to maximise your online exposure and start making those all important connections
  • Make yourself as approachable as possible, smiling, being friendly and drawing people in. Remember that you and your staff represent your company, so you have to sell yourself as well as your business. The more people like you, the more interested they’ll be in your company


  • Update your social network pages with the photos you took, and try and tag people and companies in them
  • Follow up with any contacts you made – whether that’s a phone call, an email or contact through social network, if you don’t make the effort to approach people afterwards, you’ll soon be forgotten in the masses of exhibitors met on the day

Midway Clothing & Promotions have a wide variety of high quality personalisable clothing, workwear and promotional items to represent your company. We guarantee a fast turnaround and exceptional customer service, making the transaction as smooth and stress-free as possible. For more information on any of our products or services, get in contact today and we’ll be happy to help.