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Clock at Grand Central Terminal with USA flag                                            









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Tips for the First Time Trade Show Exhibitor page 3

a lot more if you need a full color process banner that is much larger like a 3 foot by 8 foot. Kinko's seems to frequently run specials on their banners.    If you don't have camera ready art, then it will run you another $10.00 to have them produce a simple design on the spot. If it is a detailed design, the set aside a couple of days for them to generate art if you don't have an in-house designer.  The turnaround time was quick on the simple small banners I have done - one day.

     If you are giving out food, check with the association to confirm if there are restrictions.  I have found regional shows don't have a problem with food samples, whereas the nationals might have restrictions with you even giving out something as simple as mints because the convention center does not want anything interfering with the food and beverage offerings. That is what it says on the paperwork, but I have seen people hand out mints, sausage, soybeans, and other food products.  The rules on food do not always seem to be strictly enforced, but there is no reason to jeopardize your standing with the association.

      Regional shows are very accommodating to vendors.  The last few regionals have had complimentary coffee, soda, and bottle water available at stations on the vendor floor and one even provided free white bag lunches to exhibitors.  I thought this was a nice touch.  I have yet to see a national trade show offer any complimentary beverages other than the water fountain found outside the exhibit hall. There are times when a sponsor might offer a complimentary lunch for the attendees, their target market, and not for the other exhibitors. A recent national show that I attended found lots of exhibitors grabbing the free sponsored lunch due to the low attendee turnout.

     See if there are any other restrictions with any give aways you might have to offer.  A local show explained that sticky items were prohibited. I called for verification to check if one of my give aways, sticky pads, were prohibited.  Thankfully they were not. It turned out that the item they were referring to were bumper stickers.

     Figure out what conference show give aways you will offer and if you will have a raffle (find out more about raffles). Some attendees simply give out catalogs or brochures, whereas others will pass out a pen, sticky pads, or water bottles with the company name and contact information printed on it.  

     If you don't have any trade show give aways, and you should in your normal course of business, then you should plan on two weeks from the time you place your order from the time you have that conference hand out item in your hands. The typical production time will vary by item, but most items are produced in 5 working days, and continued