Tips When Attending Trade Shows

Trade shows can be an excellent opportunity for you and your business, whether you are an entrepreneur or you’re representing the company you work for. Thousands of people set up trade show booths and trade show displays across the country at a huge variety of industry events. However, many people don’t know how to take advantage of the opportunities a trade show offers. Some plan on simply attending, setting up their trade show booth, and then staying there all day hoping to attract new business.

Manning a trade show display is only part of the reason you should be attending a trade show. The other vendors at a trade show can provide you with a wealth of new information and contacts in your industry; all accessible in the same room on the same day—this is the unparalleled attraction of a trade show for your business.

If you plan to attend a trade show, make sure you are not the only person there representing your company, even if you are a small business owner with few employees or a sole proprietorship. You will need at least one person to staff your trade show booth, and another to walk the floor taking in the other trade show displays.

If necessary, get your spouse or a good friend to come with you and give them a crash course on how to handle your trade show booth while you check out the other vendors – and only do so when it is slow so you don’t miss important business opportunities. When you make reservations for the hotel you will stay at during the show, try to find a room as close as possible to the actual location—preferably within walking distance. That way, you won’t have to bring anything with you to the venue other than the materials for your trade show display.

Before you attend a trade show, go over the list of vendors who plan to put up trade show booths. Make lists of the vendors you must see, the vendors you would like to see, and those you can live without seeing. You may even be able to schedule appointments with your top priority vendors.

Research the companies and determine ahead of time what you would like to find out from each trade show display and what your goals are regarding each vendor: are they competition, or a potential contact? If they are a potential contact, how would they specifically benefit your company? Have questions ready to ask vendors to save yourself time walking the floor.

Another good time saving strategy is to obtain a map and a directory of the trade show when you arrive on location, before the show begins. Use the map to plan your route, and check your prioritized list of vendors against the directory to find out whether any vendors have been added or dropped out.

During the trade show, be active in your quest for information. Don’t feel bad about passing by trade show booths that don’t interest you. Like you, they are attending the trade show to generate new business, and they don’t want to waste time talking to someone who isn’t a potential customer.

Visit your targeted trade show displays, engage in a dialogue with the vendors, and ask questions. If the trade show booth offers handouts, samples or other materials, take only those you actually want to find out more about. It can be difficult to tote a loose stack of glossy brochures, catalogs, and bulky product samples around a busy trade show floor.

If possible, arm yourself with an empty briefcase or duffel bag to stow materials. Use your time wisely to gather intelligence on your competition and make new industry contacts that will benefit your company.

When the trade show ends, especially if it is a multiple-day event, take the time to make notes and organize the materials you gathered before you leave the event. If you need to mail reports, brochures or other materials to your colleagues, prepare the mailings right away while “who gets what” is still fresh in your mind.

Make sure to store your trade show display safely so nothing is damaged and you can find everything you need the following day. When you return from the trade show, remember to follow up with the contacts you have made—and start preparing for next year’s trade show!

Introduction to Trade Show Exhibits

When you are planning for your next trade show exhibit you should look back to when you were only browsing the many different booths, exhibits, and displays. Remember what type of exhibits got your attention. Your presentation should also draw the crowd.

Before you just rush out and purchase displays for your trade show exhibition you must take into consideration many different aspects of how you desire your presentation to look and feel. You know you want it to speak to the potential customers that are passing by and hopefully bring them over so you can speak with them. Your exhibit must get their attention so will they walk over, and then you can get their undivided attention.

You must first decide which type of exhibit will be the best to present your products, services and your company image. You should also consider your budget. No matter what your budget you can find the perfect trade show exhibits that will convey your message with the image that you want others to see.

The size of your trade show exhibit can either make or break you. If you have one to large, the exhibit will be overwhelming and if you choose one to small it will look overcrowded and cluttered. The most common sizes for trade show exhibits are 10 feet by 10 feet, 20 feet by 20 feet, and 10 feet by 20 feet. Within this size limitation, you must also choose from pop-up designs, panels or complete Truss trade show display booths.

In the 10 feet by 10 feet size, you can find some great displays in various styles and designs. With the Clever 10 foot panel, you can choose from Backlit Header, lights, the color that you prefer for the lower panel and a different one for the upper panel. The benefits of using these panels are that they are sturdy and durable but very lightweight and easy to transport. The average weight of these panels is around 130 pounds.  The Genius I 10 foot panel you can also choose whether you want lights, the counter base color, Counter Laminate Color, the color of the lower panel and the upper panel. The features of this type of panel is that it is a folding panel display system, has 6 upper hinged panels, 6 lower hinged panels, 1 backlit header and lights, 1 alcove counter top and 1 alcove counter base. This wonderful panel is very impressive for all types of displays and normally weighs around 200 pounds.

If you prefer a larger size like the 20 feet by 20 feet, you should like at the features that are included with pop-up displays and Truss display booths. The best pop-up display of this size is the Trilogy 20′ x 20′ Island Pop up Trade Show Display. The features of this unique display are that it is in actuality three trade show booths in one. It has the 10-foot wide back-to-back exhibiting area that creates a triangular or star shape. If gives you the ability to present your products or different aspects of your company all the way around the display. You will also be able to choose the color and fabric that you desire along with a case to counter conversion kit and the colors and fabrics of this kit, lights, shelf package, Backlit Header Package and Reconfiguration Panels. 20 feet by 20 feet Truss booths come in a few unique styles such as the Cassiopeia, which features a steel construction; high shine silver color, 4 tabletops, and the ability to assemble with just four screwdrivers that are included. The Centaurus features the same quality steel construction, the high shine silver color, 24 silver spotlights, and the ability to add tabletops in either light wood or silver in color. The Neptune is sure to grab attention with features like a modular system that is quick and easy to assemble. The Jupiter is another modern and innovative display which gives you great features such as high shine silver color, quality steel construction, 6 tabletops in either light wood or silver, 8 silver spot lights, and easy to assemble with screw drivers that are included. The Vega is similar to other Truss booths but is an eye catching and appealing booth with options for tabletops, colors, and design.

The 10 feet by 20 feet size of displays gives you styles and designs to choose from such as pop-display’s, panels, and Truss booths. All of these also have many unique styles and designs that are sure to aid you in presenting your products, your company, or your services in a manner that is not only unique, stylish and original, but with prices within your budget.

Tips When Displaying at Trade Shows

Almost all products being sold in the market today have already been sold before by their competitors but what makes other products a hit despite their being new in the market? Most entrepreneurs say it is a matter of marketing your products to your target market.

Marketing can be done in various ways depending on the expertise of the marketer. However, one common way to market a new product is through participation in trade shows. Trade shows are held at any time of the year and they do attract buyers and prospective customers.

There are general trade shows but you can choose from niche trade shows depending on your area of business. Companies join trade shows not so much for actual selling but most importantly for showing off their products and for the possibility of getting bulk orders during the trade show.

A company or a sole proprietor planning to join a trade show should take note of the following:

1. Able personnel to man the trade show booth. A trade show is not just an ordinary selling venue but it is a venue where prospective clients abound so make sure that you send your best personnel to man the booth. Some companies take trade shows for granted and allow inept personnel to watch the booth. The people who are put in charge of your trade show booth can make or break your product. A good staff with public relations skill can attract more clients to your products. It is also important to instruct your booth personnel to dress properly depending on the venue of the trade show. Business attire will always be safe.

2. Invite visitors to your booth. The booth personnel must be trained and instructed to invite visitors to the booth. Most visitors walk away from trade show booth when they see the staff busy with their own thing. Tell your staff the main reason why they were assigned to the trade show and that is to get as many visitors to see your products. Booth personnel should be able to answer questions from the visitors because the visitors may already be potential customers. A booth demo will catch the attention of visitors especially if the demo is useful to them.

3. Prepare your brochures, leaflets and business cards and make sure you do not run out of them.  Always expect plenty of people to visit trade shows so never be caught without your marketing tools. Imagine if a potential client asks for your brochure or your card and then you cannot give him anything just because you did not prepare for an influx of people. It is better to have plenty of left over marketing materials after the show rather than miss the opportunity of showing off what you have to offer.

4. Keep a visitors’ book. Most companies who join trade shows require visitors who get their free marketing materials to sign up in a guestbook. However, only a few of these companies will communicate with the people who signed in their guestbook. Be creative and use the guestbook as a sourcebook for potential clients. The people who visited your booth and who got your materials are definitely interested in your products or else they will not even glance at your booth. Why not take advantage of their contact information?  Mail them a thank you letter along with more information about the product and where they can buy the products.

5. Promote your products but do not be too pushy. Visitors are often turned off by very eager booth personnel who call out to the visitors using their loudest voice. No one would want to visit your booth if your personnel are boisterous. Allow the visitors to go inside your booth and look at the items you have on display but always keep a welcoming smile. Entertain their questions and try to respond to them accordingly. Never shout your words of welcome to the visitors since they might feel defensive all of a sudden and decide against looking at your products.

Anatomy Of A Successful Trade Show Exhibit

A trade show, also known as a merchandise show or market week, is an exhibition or a business gathering organized by companies that showcase and demonstrate their new products and services and also their latest offerings. Trade shows also provide opportunities for companies to meet their customers, to learn new trends and to identify new prospects.

Trade shows are not open to the public and can only be attended by company representatives, members of the trade and members of the press. One advantage of holding a trade show is that it shortens the time it takes for companies to look for prospective customers. But the major disadvantage is that customers and prospects pay little attention to the many exhibitors and their products due to the many distractions and the busy atmosphere inherent in trade shows.

Exhibitors can make effective use of trade show displays in trade shows to direct visitors to their main display area. Trade show displays are used to give visitors a better understanding or appreciation of the products or services being marketed. Although exhibitors are only supposed to put their trade show displays within the confines of their designated trade show exhibit area, exhibitors also display items in strategic areas of the fair grounds. Trade show displays often used include banner stands, counters and cabinets, panel display etc. that clearly display the company logo, basic company information and company slogan.

The trade show booth is an important component of the trade show display as it aims to enhance the brand and marketing experience for the visitor. It facilitates valuable direct face-to-face contact between the companies and their prospective customers. The whole booth set-up includes counters kiosks, lighting, flooring, literature racks, banner stands and high impact graphics, with the booth design, the staffing and the handouts the main factors to a successful trade show booth.

Many companies prefer to rent pre-owned trade show exhibits and displays rather than to buy or to create them from scratch to save on the trade show booth construction costs and also on the expense of warehousing the displays after the trade show is over.

Trade shows demand a lot of work and effort, and exhibitors have to plan well in advance so as to make the trade show a success. It is because any successful trade show offers exhibitors with a very valuable opportunity to build relationships face-to-face with their clients and to close lucrative business deals.


In the ever-evolving journey to take the trade show industry in a more sustainable direction, certain stakeholders appear to be getting creative by experimenting with fun and unique ways to cut down on the massive amounts of waste most events typically produce, including food waste.

Case in point: the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and its exclusive food and beverage provider, Centerplate, which hosted a “Zero Waste Lunch” on May 10 at WasteExpo 2017, held May 8-11 at the New Orleans-based facility.

Created in partnership with the convention center, Centerplate, GES, Salvage Supperclub, The Green Project and The Composting Network, the uber-sustainable meal was served to 15 waste industry attendees inside a rented dumpster equipped with salvaged wood seats and flooring, and rescued doors that served as a table, all of which came from local companies.

Created by Executive Chef Brandon Felder and his team at the convention center, the delectable, NOLA-style menu was composed entirely of food waste that would otherwise have been discarded.

 “The (purpose of the) lunch was to display how you can make fine dining/fancy food out of food scraps and undesirable products – in essence, transform the so-called waste into a great meal,” Felder explained.

He continued, “We basically used scraps and leftovers from other services from the show and saved onion skins, tops to bell peppers, shrimp shells, grits from breakfast, small pieces of cauliflower, pecans that were too small and started coming up with a fun, flavorful NOLA menu.”

Felder’s “Zero Waste Lunch” menu consisted of the following ingredients:

•           Beet Salad: Mixed greens, goat cheese, candied pecan bits and beet puree with champagne vinaigrette. Pureed beet scraps, trimmed tops and bottoms were turned into confit. Pecan bits that would otherwise be disposed of topped the salad. Remaining champagne from Centerplate’s bars department was combined with white vinegar to create the dressing.  

•           Abita Amber BBQ Shrimp: Pan-seared Gulf shrimp and yellow stone-ground grits topped with grilled peppers and onions. Shrimp shells were ground down and used for stock with remaining Abita Amber Beer product, which were combined and used as the sauce. The grits were a combination of remaining yellow stone-ground grits and pureed cauliflower curd and stems (otherwise tossed pieces).

•           Bananas Foster Bread Pudding: French bread, bananas and rum sauce. French bread (otherwise considered stale) was used for the bread pudding, and salvaged bananas that would otherwise be considered “too old” to sell/display were caramelized and added to the dish. The sauce was made from the rum leftover from Centerplate’s bar inventory.

According to Felder, not only did the successful culinary experiment please the select group of diners, but also his kitchen team, who enjoyed whipping up a palate-pleasing meal made from the kind of food products that would normally end up in a convention center’s compost pile, or worse – landfill.

“We had a lot of fun with this lunch, as there are not many times you get to cook for people who are sitting in a dumpster,” Felder said.

He added, “The attendees loved it. They were very impressed by how we came out of the box to make such a high-caliber lunch from potential waste.”

Seven Ways to Use Mobile Messaging at Your Event

June 22, 2017
Alexa Lemzy

Alexa Lemzy is a customer support specialist at U.K.-based business text messaging service ]]>Text Magic]]>. She also oversees the company’s content strategy.


Coordinating trade shows and exhibitions come with their fair share of challenges and one of them is how to best engage attendees.

Did you know that messaging apps are used on average ]]>nine times a day, compared to 1.9 times a day]]> for all other apps? Text messaging and mobile apps can be used to communicate information to attendees to increase the success of your event.

Text messages that inform attendees about events or remind them to check out an exhibit they expressed an interest in, as well as those that conduct polls, contests and Q&A’s, can all improve attendee satisfaction.

Here are some ways to use mobile messaging to help ensure event success:

1.     Inform attendees of events they’re interested in

Mobile apps for events have a lot of great features such as integrated calendars that allow attendees to mark events and exhibitions they’ve expressed an interested in. If an attendee has signaled that they’re keen on visiting a specific booth, you can send them an automatic reminder during the event to remind them to check it out.

A map that highlights where a booth is located can make it easier for the attendee to find it. By using mobile messaging to help link interested attendees with the exhibitions they want to see, you can increase the overall success of the event and improve attendee satisfaction.

2.     Advertise your event

Mobile messaging can be a great way to get the word out about your event and make sure you have a killer turnout. Here is an ]]>example of how a nonprofit organization SAWA Australia used text messaging]]> to inform people about upcoming events, noting that attendance increased after they started using text.

3.     Send updates and event schedule changes

If there’s been a shift in schedule or a featured exhibit has been canceled, you can send attendees a message letting them know about the changes. This cuts down on overwhelming your event staff with attendee questions while helping attendees plan their time at the event.

4.     Take polls to find out how the event is going

The best way to make your next event better is to find out how things are going at your current event. Text has high response rates (]]>45 percent]]>), making it the ideal platform for you to send a poll to attendees during your event. A poll will help you find out if guests are happy with the exhibits, if the venue is suitable, if there’s enough parking, if the layout is intuitive and other key information that can help make your next event run more smoothly.

5.     Q&A

A lot of people who attend trade shows or exhibits don’t always get the opportunity to ask a question and get an answer, but messaging can let everyone ask their question through a Q&A channel. It’s also better for the exhibitors to be able to attend to a wider audience instead of being limited to the ones they speak to one-on-one.

6.     Run a contest

A contest can be a fun way to get attendees more engaged during your event. Giving a prize for the attendee who visits the most booths, for example, can be a great way to spark some healthy competition and increase the booth traffic throughout the entire show.

7.     Allow attendees to message each other

Networking is important for attendees, so allow an in-app networking system that’s specific to that event and helps them keep in touch with the people they want to reach. This way they will know exactly where to look for their contact list when they want to reach out to someone during the event.

Text and mobile apps can go a long way in enhancing engagement at your event. So, go ahead and try using mobile messaging to improve services for attendees, increase attendee networking and up the foot traffic throughout the event.

MGM Grand Breaks Ground on Conference Center and Stay Well Meetings Expansion

June 22, 2017
Lisa Plummer Savas

Lisa Plummer Savas is Content & Marketing Editor for TSNN. 


In response to customer demand and in pursuit of an ongoing effort to grow its group business throughout Las Vegas, MGM Resorts International has officially broken ground on an approximately $130 million expansion of the MGM Grand Conference Center.

Scheduled to be completed at the end of 2018, the project entails a 250,000 square foot expansion of the facility that will increase its footprint to more than 850,000 sq. ft.

In addition, Stay Well Meetings, a wellness meetings experience featuring amenities and programs designed to stimulate healthy, productive and creative work environments, will also grow an additional 22,000 sq. ft. and encompass the Conference Center’s entire second floor.

“The Conference Center expansion allows us to grow with the needs of our clients and drive new and expanded business to Las Vegas,” explained Ernest Stovall, vice president of sales for MGM Grand.

He continued, “The expansion of Stay Well Meetings, along with our 340 Stay Well (hotel room) accommodations, allows MGM Grand to offer a completely unique destination for groups that carries through the entire resort experience – from the board room to the guest room.”

The new 250,000 sq. ft. space at MGM Grand will seamlessly connect to the existing Conference Center on all three levels and include a new 5,500 sq. ft. outdoor courtyard available for private events; a 49,000 sq. ft. ballroom; a 32,000 sq. ft. ballroom, three junior ballrooms and 11 breakout rooms. 

The resort’s unique meeting spaces include the stand-alone, 92,000 sq. ft. Marquee Ballroom and the 16,800-seat Grand Garden Arena. 

The new conference space comes on the heels of meeting and convention space expansions at MGM’s sister properties, Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino and ARIA Resort & Casino.

Mandalay Bay recently completed a 350,000 sq. ft. expansion that grew its convention space to more than two million sq. ft., while ARIA is currently adding 200,000 sq. ft. to its LEED-certified conference center to create more than 500,000 sq. ft. of meeting space at the resort.

ARIA’s new space is slated to open in Feb. 2018.

Upon completion of these projects, MGM Resorts International will boast a grand total of 4 million sq. ft. of premium meeting and convention space within a two-mile stretch on the Las Vegas Strip.

“The interest in Las Vegas and specifically MGM Resorts destinations has been tremendous,” said Michael Dominguez, senior vice president and chief sales officer for MGM Resorts.

He continued, “Because we deliver extraordinary events that achieve client goals, we have been able to continue cultivating loyal relationships with companies that want to grow with us. The increased demand for space compelled us to develop more robust and creative meeting options throughout our portfolio.”

People News: Ungerboeck, CadmiumCD, New Orleans, Houston and Phoenix All Make Hires

June 20, 2017
Rachel Wimberly

Rachel Wimberly is president and editor-in-chief of Trade Show News Network. Follow her on Twitter – TSNN_Rachel.


Hiring and promoting was fast and furious during the past month, with several trade show companies growing their company rosters.

Ungerboeck, an event and venue management technology company, added Eric Kaser to the company’s executive leadership team.

As vice president of sales, Americas, Kaser will lead sales strategy and execution from company headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri.

“Eric is a powerful addition to the Ungerboeck team,” said Ungerboeck CEO, Manish Chandak. “He has a proven track record of success in software sales and sales leadership that is going to be instrumental in accelerating our growth and helping us reach new heights.”

Prior to his position at Ungerboeck, Kaser enjoyed a successful career as a long-term sales leader at the Reynolds & Reynolds Company.

CadmiumCD has brought on Bryan Scott as their new CSO. Scott’s experience provides the company with a unique opportunity not only for their organization but also for their clients.

With more than 20 years of experience, Scott has brought product offerings to market during his career that have empowered all stakeholders throughout the event lifecycle.

Scott is former president of the Convention Division at Wyndham Jade, and founder and CEO of pioneer event tech company, Taptopia.

Michelle Minyard has been named as national sales manager at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

In this role, Minyard will be responsible for developing and servicing clients in the Washington D.C. and Southeast markets. She also will work closely with the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau on prospects to generate business for the Convention Center.

With her career in the New Orleans hospitality industry spanning more than 25 years, Minyard brings rich sales and event planning experience to the position.

Previously, she served as sponsorship director for the Festival International de Louisiane and the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience. Minyard honed her sales skills in sales manager roles with the Hilton St. Charles Hotel New Orleans, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (2004-2005) and the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Ronnie Collins has joined Visit Phoenix’s convention sales team as director of sales. He takes over for former Director of Sales, Lorne Edwards, who was recently promoted to vice president of sales and services.

Collins joins Visit Phoenix with an extensive career in the hospitality industry. He most recently served as director of sales and marketing for the newly opened Hilton Cleveland Downtown, a 600-room new build property attached to the Cleveland Convention Center.

Houston First Corporation has brought a pair of seasoned professionals to its staff with the appointments of Cynthia F. Decker as vice president of sales revenue and marketing strategy and B. Todd Holloman as director of convention services at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

Decker has an extensive career in the hotel industry with more than a decade of revenue management experience. Her most recent position was vice president of revenue management with Houston-based American Liberty Hospitality.

Holloman brings high-profile event skills to Houston First’s convention center.  Most recently Holloman served as the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee’s vice president and executive producer for Super Bowl Live.

He’s also worked in other high-visibility roles in Houston for the NCAA Final Four Organizing Committee, Hobby Center for the Performing Arts and the Mayor’s Office of Special Events.

Holloman also worked for the Bayou City Art Festival, engaged in numerous consulting positions, served in community leadership posts and is a graduate of Baylor University.

Holloman was hired to succeed John Gonzalez, who was promoted to vice president of the GRB earlier this year.

In addition, Katelyn Orenchuk has been named an event manager at the GRB. A native of Canada and a graduate of the University of Texas, Orenchuk comes to Houston First from Texas Medical Center, where she was an executive liaison for special events.

Event Planning 2.0: How Technology Has Changed the Face of Event Organizing

June 19, 2017
Hemani Sheth

Hemani Sheth is a content marketer for ]]>Hubilo,]]> an event automation platform.


From big trades to trivial activities such as grocery shopping, technology has made its way into our daily lives and it’s here to stay. One such field that has embraced the technological revolution is event planning.

Technology has changed the way events are planned, executed and managed. The past decade has seen multiple innovations, some bordering on brilliant that have completely transformed, and in a way, simplified the way we execute events and how attendees see them.

Here are five ways technology has transformed event planning.

1.     Event Automation

Event automation is a boon to event planners. Taking traditional event management software to the next level, event automation tools help automate multiple aspects of event planning including the creation of event websites, registrations, e-mail marketing campaigns, social media marketing as well as feedback.

Such tools also help in keeping track of the event management process with the help of reliable metrics. An additional bonus to event automation is the ability to customize. Hence, event automation makes life really simple and convenient for event planners while facilitating personalization and event branding.

2.     Simplification Through Mobile Apps

Event technology has led to the elimination of a lot of earlier complications in traditional event planning and has simplified many aspects of the process, such as registrations, event schedule, navigation, etc. Pen and paper registration forms, printed schedules and paper maps are all passé.

Event bots are also a fast-emerging trend in event apps. For example, the event app for the 20th E-governance conference held in India last January had a virtual assistant integrated within the app that guided attendees based on their profile in terms of whom to meet, which booth to check out, etc., thus making their experience easier and more convenient.

3.     Active Interaction

Virtual reality concepts at trade shows have been known to generate a lot of interest from planners and audiences equally. Beacons can also be used to make the event even more interactive and personalized. When an attendee passes by a booth where beacons are installed, an exhibitor can access certain information about them with the help of a Bluetooth-enabled device.

For example, beacons were used at the 2016 GSMA Mobile World Congress in various innovative ways, including one that led attendees to premium exhibitor stands.

Beacons can also help in the geo-tagging of attendees. Thus, the attendees can be actively engaged in the events in a more personal way.

4.     Near-Field Communication System

Near-field communication (NFC) is a major technological innovation. As a wireless system that allows the exchange of information between two devices, NFC can be incorporated into events via wearable gadgets.

NFC can also help events avoid the hassle of security checks, payments and entry verification via simple NFC-enabled digital bands that can be beeped at the show’s entrance, thus handling all those complex processes in one go.

5.     Targeted Promotion

Geo-filters help event planners promote their events to a specific audience at a specific location. For example, an event in New York City can advertise through multiple digital and social media platforms within that city using geo-filters.

Apart from this, it is possible to target selective audiences based on their interests using their social media profiles, through which planners can get data on potential attendees that may be interested in their events and advertise accordingly.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Technology is bringing about the revolution and the only constant is change.

New SmartFood Expo to Collocate with Fresh Food, Produce and Floral Show Partners in 2018

June 19, 2017
Lisa Plummer Savas

Lisa Plummer Savas is Content & Marketing Editor for TSNN. 


A fifth new trade show will collocate with United FreshMKT Expo, United FreshTEC Expo, International Floriculture Expo and Global Cold Chain Expo in June 2018 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

Dedicated to the exploding category of healthy foods, SmartFood Expo is designed to provide retail and foodservice buyers with a one-stop shop for learning about the newest products, trends and opportunities to increase their share of the “better-for-you-foods” business.

Launched by the United Fresh Produce Association, EnsembleIQ and Progressive Grocer, the new expo will feature a wide variety of consumer products including natural foods; plant-based foods; fresh and healthy; organics; raw foods; products with clean labels and limited ingredients, and a wide variety of items designed to appeal to growing consumer demand.

“We’re excited to be partnering with United Fresh, as well as all of the show partners in Chicago, to meet a glaring need in the healthy food space,” said Jeff Greisch, chief brand officer of EnsembleIQ.

He continued, “We know from our readers/users that buyers are anxious to grow their healthy foods offerings to meet increasing consumer demand. Until now, they’ve had to work too hard to find those products and learn how to take advantage of these business opportunities. With our commitment to retail success, we’ll be bringing focus to this diverse marketplace, employing the full resources of the EnsembleIQ team, including the Path to Purchase Institute, Progressive Grocer, Convenience Store News and our other properties.”

For its conference component, SmartFood Expo will bring together industry leaders to explore consumer trends, market data, merchandising strategies and additional topics to help retailers and foodservice executives build upon the excitement and business growth in the “healthy foods” segment.  

“We’re equally excited to be partnering with EnsembleIQ, calling upon their deep knowledge and experience in the retail food space,” said Tom Stenzel, president and CEO of United Fresh.

He added, “Our own experience has been focused on meeting the growing consumer demand for innovations in fresh produce and fresh foods across all retail and foodservice channels. We’re now pleased to bring the SmartFood Expo side-by-side with our fresh foods, produce, floral and cold chain shows at McCormick Place in Chicago. A show focused exclusively on healthy foods is the ideal complement to our current events.”

The primary audience for the SmartFood Expo will consist of buyers from multiple retail and foodservice channels sourcing “better-for-you” foods, including major national chains, independents, health and specialty food stores, restaurants, online marketers, home delivery and meal kit marketers.

In addition, a number of larger Consumer Packaged Goods companies and private equity investors will be seeking new food products suitable for their own portfolios.

The new show’s primary exhibitor audience is expected to include some of those same CPG companies marketing “better-for-you” foods, as well as a wide range of small and mid-sized companies seeking product exposure and sampling opportunities.

“While a few trade shows include a small selection of food products in this space, there are no shows targeted exclusively at the growing healthy foods segment,” Stenzel explained.

He continued, “The show’s mission is to provide a unique opportunity for buyers to concentrate their focus on healthy foods. Chicago is an easy flight from anywhere in the U.S., as well as a major international destination, enabling widespread retail and foodservice attendance with minimal disruption to busy buyers’ daily work.”  

Exhibit sales, educational program development and attendee promotion for SmartFood Expo will begin immediately following the four 2017 shows, taking place June 13-15 at McCormick Place, while sales and program development will be handled jointly by the Ensemble IQ account staff and the SmartFood Expo team.

“We’re thrilled to continue growing the footprint of healthy food, fresh foods, produce, floral and the cold chain services needed to deliver the highest quality to consumers,” Stenzel said.  

New SmartFood Expo to Collocate with Fresh Food, Produce & Floral Show Partners in 2018

June 19, 2017
Lisa Plummer Savas

Lisa Plummer Savas is Content & Marketing Editor for TSNN. 


A fifth new trade show will collocate with United FreshMKT Expo, United FreshTEC Expo, International Floriculture Expo and Global Cold Chain Expo in June 2018 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

Dedicated to the exploding category of healthy foods, SmartFood Expo is designed to provide retail and foodservice buyers with a one-stop shop for learning about the newest products, trends and opportunities to increase their share of the “better-for-you-foods” business.

Launched by the United Fresh Produce Association, EnsembleIQ and Progressive Grocer, the new expo will feature a wide variety of consumer products including natural foods; plant-based foods; fresh and healthy; organics; raw foods; products with clean labels and limited ingredients, and a wide variety of items designed to appeal to growing consumer demand.

“We’re excited to be partnering with United Fresh, as well as all of the show partners in Chicago, to meet a glaring need in the healthy food space,” said Jeff Greisch, chief brand officer of EnsembleIQ.

He continued, “We know from our readers/users that buyers are anxious to grow their healthy foods offerings to meet increasing consumer demand. Until now, they’ve had to work too hard to find those products and learn how to take advantage of these business opportunities. With our commitment to retail success, we’ll be bringing focus to this diverse marketplace, employing the full resources of the EnsembleIQ team, including the Path to Purchase Institute, Progressive Grocer, Convenience Store News and our other properties.”

For its conference component, SmartFood Expo will bring together industry leaders to explore consumer trends, market data, merchandising strategies and additional topics to help retailers and foodservice executives build upon the excitement and business growth in the “healthy foods” segment.  

“We’re equally excited to be partnering with EnsembleIQ, calling upon their deep knowledge and experience in the retail food space,” said Tom Stenzel, president and CEO of United Fresh.

He added, “Our own experience has been focused on meeting the growing consumer demand for innovations in fresh produce and fresh foods across all retail and foodservice channels. We’re now pleased to bring the SmartFood Expo side-by-side with our fresh foods, produce, floral and cold chain shows at McCormick Place in Chicago. A show focused exclusively on healthy foods is the ideal complement to our current events.”

The primary audience for the SmartFood Expo will consist of buyers from multiple retail and foodservice channels sourcing “better-for-you” foods, including major national chains, independents, health and specialty food stores, restaurants, online marketers, home delivery and meal kit marketers.

In addition, a number of larger Consumer Packaged Goods companies and private equity investors will be seeking new food products suitable for their own portfolios.

The new show’s primary exhibitor audience is expected to include some of those same CPG companies marketing “better-for-you” foods, as well as a wide range of small and mid-sized companies seeking product exposure and sampling opportunities.

“While a few trade shows include a small selection of food products in this space, there are no shows targeted exclusively at the growing healthy foods segment,” Stenzel explained.

He continued, “The show’s mission is to provide a unique opportunity for buyers to concentrate their focus on healthy foods. Chicago is an easy flight from anywhere in the U.S., as well as a major international destination, enabling widespread retail and foodservice attendance with minimal disruption to busy buyers’ daily work.”  

Exhibit sales, educational program development and attendee promotion for SmartFood Expo will begin immediately following the four 2017 shows, taking place June 13-15 at McCormick Place, while sales and program development will be handled jointly by the Ensemble IQ account staff and the SmartFood Expo team.

“We’re thrilled to continue growing the footprint of healthy food, fresh foods, produce, floral and the cold chain services needed to deliver the highest quality to consumers,” Stenzel said.  

Leveraging Social Media Engagement in Your Trade Show Display

June 16, 2017
Tim Brown

Tim Brown is a marketing associate for ]]>GES]]>, where he enjoys helping represent brands with live event technologies.


Trade show managers are always searching for the latest marketing trends to drive their booth’s attendance. Social media participation is key for any large event, enabling trade show goers to stay more engaged with instant updates on floor activities, educational opportunities and speaker sessions. 

Every exhibitor wants to have some sort of social engagement during a show and smart trade show marketers are taking advantage of a wide range of social media strategies to broadcast their message to more people than ever before.

So, if you want to get a larger audience at your booth, leverage social media in your trade show display using these techniques.

Launch Your Social Media Campaign Early to Build Anticipation

If you want people showing up at your event booth, ensure your social media campaign starts well before the event kicks off. Get them excited about your brand by offering product sneak peaks, contest announcements and swag giveaways. Most social platforms allow you to do sponsored content that can be targeted towards people with certain job titles, industries, interests and more.

You can also go the organic route and engage industry influencers. Reach out personally and tweet directly to people who you know will be at the show or to important thought leaders, encouraging them to visit your booth. Getting the attention of show-goers before the show starts will translate into a crowded exhibit from the get-go. 

Using the Power of Photos to Capture an Audience

Experiential marketing is all the rage right now. People love to share photos of their experiences on social media, so give them an opportunity to do it. This provides opportunities for attendees to showcase your brand to their network. Try out one of these photo-centric social media strategies at your next trade show:

·      Photo Contest: Set up a photo contest where people visit your booth, take a photo or write a post using your event hashtag, and post it to their account. Once it goes up, the attendee is entered to win a prize. 

·      Photo Opportunities: Get a celebrity or other public figure to show up and provide photo opportunities for attendees. People love to share photos of themselves with influential or affluent individuals, making it a perfect way to get your message spread across their social networks. 

·      Photobooth: Everyone enjoys stopping by a photobooth and taking silly pictures with their pals, so why not set one up in your exhibit area? You’re giving users a memento that can be shared across social media, so make sure to include features like a Facebook link, Twitter handle and hashtag on the photo booth background and printed pictures. Additionally, you could include a promo code on the photo that users can use for your product, giving them a reason to follow up with your brand. 

Stay Connected to Attendees via Social

Throughout the trade show, work to identify attendees who are using the hashtag or checking in at the convention center or surrounding hotels. Reach out directly to like, comment on or share their posts. Show your brand’s human side to connect on a more personal level and invite them to swing by your booth. 

While many event-goers may feel timid around salespeople in real life, they may be more inclined to inquire about your brand if they connect with your brand online. After the event is over, continue to follow up and nurture those leads that provided social media information to see if there’s any further interest. 

Try Going Live

Video is one of the most dominant platforms on social media today. Facebook’s recent feature, “Live,” lets users host their own real-time broadcasts right on their page. You can take advantage of this at your next trade show by showcasing your exhibit, new innovations and technologies, or interview spokespeople and industry professionals. Live is a powerful tool and can be harnessed by trade show exhibitors to enhance their message across the social media giant.

Reed Exhibitions & Urban Expositions Expand Trade Show Portfolios with Niche Industry Events

June 15, 2017
Lisa Plummer Savas

Lisa Plummer Savas is Content & Marketing Editor for TSNN. 


Two major trade show producers recently have added specialty conventions to their extensive event portfolios.

Reed Exhibitions acquired the Tiny House & Simple Living Jamboree, a consumer event focused on the growing tiny house movement.

The event will collaborate with the National Tiny House Jamboree to host the world’s largest tiny house and simple living consumer convention, set for Oct. 27-29 at the Arlington Convention Center in Arlington, Texas.

Founded in 2015, the Tiny House & Simple Living Jamboree grew to attract more than 50,000 attendees in just its second year, while the 2017 show is expected to draw close to 60,000 tiny house enthusiasts, builders, sustainability advocates and curiosity seekers.

While the exact number of tiny homes in the U.S. is unknown, there are more than 30 tiny house communities across the country, and the trend appears to be growing as more people look to lessen their environmental footprint, live debt-free and take on less financial risk with large homes and mortgages in uncertain times.

“We are thrilled to bring the Tiny House & Simple Living Jamboree to Arlington,” said Nancy Walsh, president of Reed Exhibitions U.S.

She continued, “We recognize the growth in the tiny house movement and appreciate the passion of those devoted to small, smart and sustainable living. As we grow the event and increase education around the industry, we are looking to expand into other cities to expose more people to this exciting movement.”

Featuring 60 tiny house structures, exhibits, keynote speakers, entertainment and kids’ zones, the event will also offer 30 hours of educational programming covering a wide range of topics including preparing for your first weekend in a tiny house; tiny building practices; techniques for downsizing, and simple, smart and sustainable living solutions.

In addition, attendees will have the chance to explore a variety of tiny living products and services such as construction equipment, furnishings and appliances, interior design and outdoor living products.

New to the show will be the DIY Village, where tiny house owners can relocate their living quarters to the event’s outdoor exhibit space.

Throughout the festival, curious visitors will have the opportunity to explore the structures and ask homeowners about building and living the tiny house life.

Meanwhile, Urban Expositions acquired HAuNTcon, the Haunted Attraction National Tradeshow and Conference for the Haunted House Industry, complementing its specialty portfolio that includes Halloween & Party Expo, while reinforcing its market position for the Halloween, party and celebration industries.

Beginning in 2018, HAuNTcon and Halloween & Party Expo will collocate under one roof at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

Set for Jan 12-15, the combined events will provide Halloween and haunt professionals with one-stop access to a comprehensive range of products and services including haunted attractions, costume stores, party stores, amusement and theme parks, family entertainment centers, grocers, drug stores and gift stores. 

In addition, the two global industry brands will join forces to share industry trends, offer innovative and relevant education, and provide a collaborative environment for networking and business exchanges, thereby providing an enhanced experience for an anticipated 3,000 industry professionals and 350 exhibitors.

“HAuNTcon brings together people who love Haunted Houses, Halloween and scaring people, for four fun-filled days and nights of haunt tours, special events, education and networking,” said Leonard Pickel, HAuNTcon founder, who will continue with the show as industry advisor and work with the Urban team on joint activities including educational offerings, specialty tours and the HAuNTcon costume ball. 

He continued, “Teaming up and co-locating with Halloween & Party Expo allows us to take HAuNTcon to a totally new level that we could not have possibly done before.”

With U.S. consumers spending more than $8 billion on the spooky holiday in 2016, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey, it makes sense that Urban would combine the two events into a larger, more enhanced experience for those who make their living from one of the nation’s largest commercial holidays.

According to Michael Carlucci, senior vice president of Urban Expositions’ specialty show portfolio, Halloween attraction owners will indeed benefit from an expanded exhibit hall, advanced education program and more networking opportunities. 

“We are thrilled to offer our customers this opportunity to develop relationships with professionals representing the entire spectrum of the Halloween market in New Orleans this January,” Carlucci said. 

He added, “This collaboration is just one example of our strategic priority to add value for our customers. We look forward to working with Leonard, who brings a level of expertise in Haunt to our team.”

Going forward, the goal of the two events will remain the same – to offer both buyers and exhibitors new business opportunities and in-person connections within the industry, according to Michele Biordi, executive director of the Halloween Industry Association and partner of the Halloween & Party Expo.

“The decision to collocate these two events was made to offer face-to-face business and networking solutions to haunted attraction owners, as well as Halloween and party retailers, to network and share best practices all under one roof,” she said.

LVCVA Board Approves $1.4 Billion Las Vegas CC Expansion/Renovation Project

June 13, 2017
Rachel Wimberly

Rachel Wimberly is president and editor-in-chief of Trade Show News Network. Follow her on Twitter – TSNN_Rachel.


The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s Board of Directors gave final approval for the $1.4 billion expansion and renovation of the Las Vegas Convention Center, paving the way for 600,000 new square feet of meeting space.

“Today marks a monumental occasion for not only the LVCVA, but also the entire destination,” said Rossi Ralenkotter, LVCVA President and CEO.

He added, “We commend the foresight of our community and state leaders for recognizing the importance of the LVCCD and we are eager to get to work! We will ensure that the LVCVA continues to provide the world-class facility and experience our clients expect when they come to Las Vegas.”

Prior to being presented to the full LVCVA Board, the plan recently met the approval of both the Oversight Panel for Convention Centers in Clark County and the Las Vegas Convention Center District (LVCCD) Committee, a sub-committee of the LVCVA Board of Directors.

LVCVA staff worked in partnership with Cordell Corporation principal Terry Miller, the agency’s contracted builder representative, to develop the vision for the expansion and renovation project.

Nev. State legislators and Nev. Gov. Brian Sandoval approved a bill during a 2016 special legislative session paving the way for development of the Las Vegas Convention Center District.

The legislation established a 0.5 percentage point increase in Clark County’s room tax to help fund the Las Vegas Convention Center District.

The legislative session followed a 14-month vetting process by the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee, a group created by Governor Sandoval to review several projects critical to the future of Southern Nevada.

“Las Vegas has maintained its reputation as a leading destination for business travel because our destination has a long tradition of working together to make great strides that benefit both our visitors and those who call Southern Nevada home,” said Lawrence Weekly, chairman of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and Clark County Commissioner.

He added, “The LVCCD project is among the most thoroughly vetted, most approved projects in this region and it represents a tremendous opportunity to create jobs, support local families, stimulate our economy and continue to move Las Vegas forward.”

Las Vegas has been the No. 1 ranked trade show destination for number of shows on the TSNN Top 250 list since it began. 

The convention center expansion and renovation is expected to support nearly 14,000 construction jobs and nearly 7,800 full-time permanent jobs upon completion.

The project will generate an additional $1.4 billion into the economy during construction and have an annual incremental economic impact of $810 million while attracting one million additional visitors each year.

The LVCCD expansion and renovation will be completed in a phased approach, with a projected completion date of 2023. Phase 1 will be the construction of the new 1.4 million-square-foot expansion with 600,000 square feet of exhibit space and the accompanying meeting rooms and support space. This phase is projected to be complete by 2021.

The second phase will be the complete renovation of the existing 3.2 million-square-foot facility. The phased approach will ensure that no business will be displaced during the construction and renovation, according to LVCVA officials.

The project will allow the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to pursue new business opportunities, while also growing the shows currently taking place in the destination.

The LVCVA has identified 70 additional, new events, that could potentially be brought to the destination in the next decade.

These 70 shows would grow the economic impact of Southern Nevada’s $12.4 billion meetings and conventions industry by nearly 50 percent.

Following the plan’s approval from the LVCVA Board, the organization will begin soliciting submittals of qualifications from local, regional and national architectural professionals.

The request for qualifications will identify the criteria that must be met to be considered to provide design services for the LVCCD.

Qualifying firms and/or teams will be asked to submit proposals detailing specific information regarding their approach to the project. Finalists will deliver public presentations in a Design Competition before a firm/team is selected. The LVCVA will also commence the selection process for a construction manager.