Trade Show Checklist

2019 Chamber Expo Logo with year onlyMark your calendars for Wednesday, November 6! The Sarasota and Manatee Chamber of Commerce have partnered again to offer our members the greatest of networking opportunities, Chamber Expo 2019. Only five (5) booths remain – click here to register today!

Attended by hundreds of Chamber members and guests, this networking event offers complimentary light bites, lots of door prizes, and the opportunity to make valuable connections and learn more about local businesses so we can all “shop local.”

If this is your first trade show, we’ve got you covered! This checklist will help exhibitors have a successful Expo experience, whether it is their first show or their 50th.

Gather a team and set a goal.

Having a small team and being relaxed shows professionalism and will help engage visitors. To achieve this, set specific goals in advance. Doing this will also help you evaluate the level of success you had from your event participation.

Clearly market your unique selling propositions.

First impressions matter, and you only have a few moments to show visitors why they should consider you.

Create buzz using PR or social media.

Don’ wait until the date of the trade show to promote yourself using press releases or social media. A press release can be a great way to promote yourself online, and our press release tool makes it easy to distribute. Sharing information on your social media can also create buzz, encouraging viewers to attend your event.

Assign roles to each team member.

Assigning different roles to team members helps you stay organized and work efficiently.

Have a door prize.

If possible, offer a prize that in some way complements your business and appeals to a variety of people.

If you are using technology, don’t rely on it solely.

When working correctly, technology can enhance and differentiate your booth, but technology troubles are common. Prepare in advance to ensure success.

Have inexpensive but nifty (and useful) giveaways.

Whether you choose branded canvas bags, calendars, wristbands, etc., giveaways are an effective tool at trade shows. They are a great way of drawing people to your booth, setting your booth apart from the rest, and increasing your brand reach.

Welcome everyone who comes near. 

Take the initiative to welcome and interact with visitors. Invite individuals to check out what you have to offer or start a conversation. These friendly gestures are simple, but can make a big difference.

Expect some rejection, but know that many visitors just need a friendly push in the right direction before really getting interested in your products or services.

Network with other exhibitors.

This event is a great opportunity to gain insight from other experienced exhibitors and compare and learn from how they approach trade shows.

It’s also especially easy to meet new industry experts at trade shows through networking. You never know where your next great partner or inspiration will come from!


Want to Exhibit at Chamber Expo, click here! Only five (5) booths remain.

Why Exhibit?

Exhibiting is a great opportunity to showcase your business to hundreds of business owners and decision makers from Manatee and Sarasota counties at this combined Expo and Business After Hours.

  • Exhibitor Space includes an 8-foot skirted table, two chairs, curtain backdrop and sides, identification sign, and four complimentary admissions to the event. 

*Vendors that register for a booth before September 11th have the option to choose their booth space!*

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5 Tips for Attending Chamber Expo

While we’ve been preparing for and getting the word out for the 2018 Chamber Expo next month, Exhibitors have been busy behind the scenes prepping their booths. But, as an attendee, you can also benefit from having a solid game plan in place before the show. Here are our top tips for attending a trade show:

SET A GOAL AND STRATEGY

Before you attend any event, know why you’re doing it. Why are you attending? What problems are you hoping to solve for your business? Knowing what you need will help you take advantage of Chamber Expo.

Once you have your points of interest in mind, jot down the top 5 or 10 industries that you absolutely must make time for.

BALANCE YOUR TIME

There are two ways to spend time at a tradeshow: seeking out vendors on your list or wandering to see what you discover. It’s a good idea to make time for both, but know which one you’re most interested in.

SAVE ROOM FOR EXISTING CONNECTIONS

Most people attend trade shows in search of something new. But, it’s a good idea to visit some vendors you already know. Reconnect and see what new projects they’re working on. This gives you the opportunity to verify they’re still the best fit for your business and builds a relationship by connecting face to face periodically.

BE SOCIAL

Yes, you’re most likely there for business purposes. But Chamber Expo also acts as the largest Business After Hours in the area and is an excellent place to network. You can meet other people working in your industry and collect recommendations from them of who to seek out during Chamber Expo.

ENJOY YOURSELF

This may seem silly, but don’t forget to have fun. You’re there to expand your experience and contribute to your business but you also get to make some friends while you’re at it!

We hope to see you Chamber Expo on November 7!

Presenting Sponsor:

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Get The MOST Out Of Chamber Expo

As we near Chamber Expo 2016, the largest “Business After Hours” in the area, in partnership with the Manatee Chamber of Commerce, exhibitors and attendees, alike, want to know how to get the most out of the trade show. Here are a few ways to get involved in Chamber Expo.

Exhibitors:

You’ve registered, put it on your calendar and are now preparing your booth and attend. Now what? We are here to give you some tips and feel free to use this as your checklist for the event.

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1. Get your pitch down.

Use your pitch to engage the attendees. You may have a demo or giveaways but don’t let that distract from what you’re really there to do, make connections! But, it is recommended to have a give away to invite attendees to drop off business cards for you to follow up on later.

2. Make your booth inviting.

Don’t over pack your booth with lots of inventory and large items. Leave room for people to engage with you. Try placing your table on the side or in the back of your allotted space to invite them in. And visually, sometimes, less is more with a clean, simple booth that is eye-catching. Plan it out beforehand in your office space with tape on the floor if you need!

 

3. Cut costs & not corners – know when to embellish.

When planning for a trade show, make sure you are investing in materials that you can use for the long haul that will save you money over time.

4. Follow up and evaluate.

Made some new contacts from Chamber Expo? Make sure to follow up with those people! Look for opportunities to share upcoming news on your business. Following up with those you’ve made connections with isn’t just about closing the sale, it’s about determining your return on investment. Think about referrals, retail leads, media hits, etc.

Haven’t registered for your booth yet?

Hurry, there are only a few spaces left. Contact Brittany Lamont to secure your booth today.

Attendees:

Network.

This is why you are there! Talk to everyone – even on the way to the restroom. A simple “hello” and being nice can go a long way. Meet your neighboring booths and exhibitors because you never know when or where your next referral may come from.

For Exhibitors: Don’t leave your booth unattended, you may miss your best future customer!

Engage With Exhibitors.

Drop off your business cards with exhibitors and engage with demos. Make meaningful connections with businesses across two counties! After the Expo, make sure to follow up with those you have connected with.

 


We hope that you have found this article helpful in attending & exhibiting at Chamber Expo 2016, hosted by The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce and the Manatee Chamber of Commerce. To attend, there is a $5 entrance fee at the door.

Chamber Expo 2016
November 9, 2016 | 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Bradenton Area Convention Center
One Haben Boulevard
Palmetto, Florida 34221

Sponsored by: Sam’s Club

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Visit SarasotaChamber.com for the most up-to-date Chamber Events.

Save the Date for Chamber Fun this Fall!

The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce is bringing the fun this Fall Season for Annual Events! We’ve got an event lineup that is sure to bring fun times for our members!

First up!


Greater Sarasota Chamber Bowling TournamentBowling Logo 1 Vert.

Wednesday, August 17 | 5:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Sarasota Lanes
2250 Fruitville Road
Sarasota, FL 34237

The Greater Sarasota Chamber is excited to roll in a new bowling event for all ages and skill levels on Wednesday, August 17, at Sarasota Lanes. Registration begins at 5 p.m. and bowling will begin rolling at 5:30 p.m.

This event includes networking, 2 games of bowling, contests and prizes, team bonding and much more. We hope you join us for a fun bowling night in your “spare-time!”

To register, click here!


Sarasota Chamber Golf Classic2016 Golf Classic New

Friday, September 16 | 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
TPC Prestancia
4409 Tournament Players Club Drive
Sarasota, FL 34238

The 2016 Sarasota Chamber Golf Classic welcomes golfers of all skill levels on Friday, September 16, at TPC Prestancia. Registration and lunch will begin at 11:00 a.m. followed by a shotgun start at 12:00 p.m.

This exciting day includes networking, 18-hole game and cart, complimentary beverages and snacks, a cook out lunch, contests and prizes, award reception and much more! The tournament is a scramble format, allowing golfers of all skill levels to participate.

To register, click here!


96th Annual Membership Meeting and Luncheon2016-AnnualMeeting-SaluteToBusiness-LogoNew.png

Friday, October 7 | 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
1000 Blvd. of the Arts
Sarasota, FL 34236
Hyatt Regency Sarasota

The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce will recognize the achievement of its members at its 96th Annual Meeting Friday, October 7.

Outstanding top member businesses, which have hired our neighbors, invested in the future and reached a milestone anniversary of local service to our area, will be celebrated on stage and honored for their achievement.

To register, click here!


Chamber Expo 2016 with Manatee Chamber of Commerce2016 Chamber Expo Logo

Wednesday, November 09, 2016 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Bradenton Area Convention Center One Haben Blvd
Palmetto, FL
Bradenton Area Convention Center

With over 175 exhibitors and over 1000 attendees, Chamber Expo is a three-hour, power-packed event where you can boost your brand awareness and meet your next customers. Hosted by the Sarasota and Manatee Chambers of Commerce, Chamber Expo is the area’s largest “Business After Hours” trade show of the year.

Why Exhibit? Great opportunity to showcase your business to hundreds of business owners and decision makers from Manatee and Sarasota counties at this combined Expo and Business After Hours.

Exhibitor Space includes 8-foot skirted table, two chairs, curtain backdrop and sides, identification sign, and four complimentary admissions to event. Corner booths and sponsorships available.

To register, click here!


Contact Brittany Lamont for Sponsorship Opportunities at blamont@sarasotachamber.com or (941) 556-4040.

Visit sarasotachamber.com/events to register.

Chamber Expo 2015: A Record-Breaking Night of Networking

On November 5, 2015, more than 150 members of The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce and the Manatee Chamber of Commerce exhibited their products and services at Chamber Expo, the largest business after hours event in the area.Mavella-20151105-192647More than 1,000 attendees from all over the Sarasota-Bradenton area filled the Bradenton Area Convention Center for the power packed event. Attendees enjoyed great networking, delicious food samples and tested their luck for a grand raffle prize trip to Panama City, Panama from Panama Travel Consultants. The lucky winner for this amazing 4 night / 5 day vacation was a representative from Hair Cuttery. Enjoy your vacation, we can’t to hear about it! Continue reading “Chamber Expo 2015: A Record-Breaking Night of Networking”

Make the Most of Your Tradeshow: Part Two

allison imre
Allison Imre, iHeart Media Sarasota

During our August 2015 Shumaker Chamber University, Allison Imre presented tips and tricks for connecting at “Make the Most of Your Tradeshow.” Imre is the Senior Account Manager of iHeartMedia Sarasota. With 245 million monthly listeners in the U.S., iHeartMedia has the largest reach of any radio or television outlet in America. The company owns and operates 858 broadcast radio stations, serving more than 150 markets throughout the U.S.

Imre is no stranger to tradeshows. Her experience with marketing business at tradeshows started at her previous position with the Kansas City Royals and has expanded since she joined iHeartMedia Sarasota.

While most of our attendees had exhibited at a tradeshow in the past, for some, the tradeshow wasn’t worth their time or investment. Others found success in meeting new people, closing deals and setting appointments. By opening the tradeshow conversation, Imre offered some of the best tools, tips and tricks to use when attending or exhibiting at a tradeshow.

We already took a look at what to do as a tradeshow attendee. Today, we’re following up with her tips on exhibiting at a tradeshow. Continue reading “Make the Most of Your Tradeshow: Part Two”

Make the Most of Your Tradeshow: Part One

allison imre
Allison Imre, iHeartMedia Sarasota

At a recent Shumaker Chamber University, Allison Imre presented valuable information on trade shows at “Make the Most of Your Tradeshow.” Imre is the Senior Account Manager of iHeartMedia Sarasota. With 245 million monthly listeners in the U.S., iHeartMedia has the largest reach of any radio or television outlet in America. The company owns and operates 858 broadcast radio stations, serving more than 150 markets throughout the U.S.

Imre is no stranger to trade shows. Her experience with trade shows started at her previous position with the Kansas City Royals and has expanded since she joined iHeartMedia Sarasota.

If you’re like Imre, you’ve been to your fair share of trade shows. In fact, everyone in our audience raised their hands when asked if they’ve attended one before. And their experiences were mixed. For some, the trade show wasn’t worth their time or investment and for others there was success in meeting new people, closing deals and setting appointments. By opening the trade show conversation, Imre offered some of the best tools, tips and tricks to use when attending or exhibiting at a trade show.

With The Chamber’s End of the Summer Bash Prime Time exhibit quickly approaching, let’s start with what we learned to do as a trade show attendee.

Mavella-20150520-174206
Photo courtesy of Jake Bibler of Mavella Photography.

Continue reading “Make the Most of Your Tradeshow: Part One”