Getting ready to take your business to a trade show is a huge project. Your preparation deserves careful planning, development and organization. In fact, preparation makes the difference. It serves to separate you from your competition.

Whether you are a trade show newbie or a veteran exhibitor, you may find it rewarding to set up an appointment with a professional trade show specialist to review your options for displaying, your products, and/or services. There are virtually unlimited approaches to creating a captivating marriage of lighting, image and print can feel space-age and mesmerizing. That being said, designing your trade show booth display of the 21st century has numerous options. Exploring those options with professional exhibit consultants and designers may give you just the edge you need to capture the attention of your show visitors.

The value you get out of your trade show experience is related to your investment in both time and money in getting ready. Break up your preparation plans into five different categories:

Getting ready to take your business to a trade show
Getting ready takes in everything from campaign planning to staffing to designing the print material you may wish for distribution at the show. Sometimes the responsibility to cross all the t’s and dot all the i’s falls on the shoulders of a single individual. Sometimes the responsibilities can be delegated.

Setting up
Setting up should be as simple as unpacking a suitcase. If it’s more complicated than that, then you should consider hiring exhibits installers to support your staff?At the Show
At the show you will want to keep energized. Your products and services deserve enthusiastic representation. Are you using social media to attract people to visit you?

Taking the exhibit down
Taking the exhibit down involves everything from careful labelling to inventory control. When is the best time for your staff to take inventory? Will that be when the doors close after the show and before you pack up or will that be when your shipment of leftovers arrives?

After the Show
After the Show you will want to conduct an ROI. Keeping stats on your desired outcomes during the show and after the show will help you in determining if the show was a success for you.

All this may sound awfully simple. It can be simple. But even simple needs a sound plan. And while it’s true that a large portion of your groundwork is common sense, there are always new things to consider. It pays to keep abreast of the innovations as well as being open and responsive to the tried and true “tools of the trade.”

You might be saying, “I’m not a vendor or an exhibitor; I’m a sponsor.” No matter what your role, Nexus can guide you through your choices for everything from display options to rentals, furniture, signage, print materials, product merchandising and more.

I had an opportunity not long ago to visit the premises at Nexus. Milena Radakovic, the owner, took me on a tour. And what a tour it was! When it comes to getting ready to take your business to a trade show, Milena is, indeed, an expert in her field.

Donna Dahl is the author of Trade Shows, an eBook available on Kobo, written to take you step-by-step through each phase of your trade show exhibit. If you wish a free downloadable template for planning and organizing your next exhibit, make your request here. Visit her website at