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4 Ways A Small Business Can Succeed At Trade Shows

Deciding to participate in a trade show can bring a lot of extra business to a company. But one important thing—especially for small businesses—is to ensure a return on investment. Spending too much on a trade show can hurt your yearly finances more than help.

Unfortunately, small businesses don’t have the corporate revenue to buy out huge event spaces with large, custom exhibits that take up hundreds of square feet. That doesn’t mean a small business shouldn’t attend a trade show, but it’s important to be smart about spending. Here are a few ways to make an impact at a trade show without breaking the bank.

Promote Widely

While it’s true that trade shows are there to attract new business, it’s also important to make sure you let as many people as possible know about your presence. Social media is a cost-effective way to announce and market your presence at a trade show and promote your product or service.

If the trade show has a hashtag on social media, take advantage of this as the trade show is happening.


Everyone loves food, and food is a cost-effective way to attract visitors to your exhibit space. It doesn’t need to be elaborate, but even properly packaged snacks or beverages can make a difference in bringing more people to an exhibit. Once they are there, it’s an opportunity to educate and promote.

Gift Certificates

Another way that word gets around to visit a particular booth is to offer gift certificates. The only thing people like more than getting something free or getting a discount now is a certificate that entitles them to something free or a discount later.

For food and drinks, stick to packaged goods for safety, neatness, and portability reasons.

Emphasize Your Display Table And/Or Board

If you don’t have a big exhibit, then your table will be the centerpiece of your space. Make sure you invest properly in this and get the look right. Good decorations and, more importantly, a properly planned and executed display will do the bulk of the work for your exhibit.

Tables and display boards catch the eye and often act as both signage and brochures or introductions to your product or service. You don’t need an expensive exhibit space if you can get this right.

If you’re thinking of taking part in a trade show and want to plan your exhibit, we can help. Contact Lighthouse Exhibits, and we can assist you with designing and constructing your trade show exhibit.

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