Preparing for a Trade Show: 4 Crucial Steps

The weeks leading up to a trade show can be exhilarating, stressful, easy, sleep-deprived, or completely relaxed. Every business experiences the preparation stage a little differently. But pretty much anyone who’s exhibited will tell you there is one running constant for every brand at every show: blink once, and the week of the event sneaks right up on you. And if your massive laundry list of to-do items is still massive when the show must go on tomorrow, this means trouble.

We know from experience that there are a few steps you can never skip when preparing for a trade show. These steps will give you the best chance of success and the clearest line of sight to help you see show day from a mile away.

Start Early

When it comes to getting your people ready for a trade show, it’s almost impossible to start too early. Your first steps should include analyzing whether this trade show is the best for your business, and then quickly booking the booth space, starting on the budget, and booking travel if necessary. These steps should be taken care of at a minimum of six months in advance. From there, the show should be kept on the forefront of everyone’s minds – all employees should be part of the process somehow from the very beginning.

Get Organized

Your accountant isn’t the only person that has to have an eye for organization. Keep yourself tidy and task however you can, whether that be mapping out your own task spreadsheet spanning from now until the show, or something small like reorganizing your desk to be able to withstand the influx of trade show product and print materials without becoming overwhelming. At the very least you should create a company-wide comprehensive schedule tracking all timelines and clearly marking every deadline to communicate clearly how you expect to be ready by showtime. Also pay special attention to make sure all exhibit materials are scheduled for a timely delivery — you really don’t want to deal with extra delivery fees once the show has started, so prior planning is key.

Clarify Goals

Company-wide organization is also important for making sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to motive and intention. You have your own reason for choosing to attend this show, but your team might not be aware of it and steer things in a different direction. Start a conversation that addresses the really important questions: Why this show and not another? Who are you targeting and what kind of action do you want them to take? What will have made the show a “success” in your mind? The answers will guide both your team and your exhibit design heavily.


Right around the time you’re booking your spot at the show, make sure your customers (and potential customers) know you’ll be attending the show and what they can expect. A couple of months in advance is a great time to announce giveaways, contests, and tease any major launches you have planned for showtime. As long as you stay on top of your advertising efforts and give your target audience time to plan, you’ll be in a good spot and see better attendance because of it.


There are lots of things you can do right off the bat to prepare your company and yourself for a great trade show run. Starting with these will help you (and help us help you) design a killer booth and sow the seeds for a strong presence and flawless execution. If you’d like to get started today, contact us by phone at 1-877-381-9133 (EXT 3), or email us at

Outdoor Adventure Trade Show Booth Design

Top 5 Tips to Stand Out at a Trade Show

Thinking outside of a box is one thing; to stand out at your next trade show, you’ll have to try thinking outside of a really big box, a giant convention hall full of competitors and like minded exhibits. To really distinguish your brand, you’ll have to create a presence at the show that will be truly memorable and not just “flashy.”

Luckily, it’s easier to do than you might expect. We’ve compiled our list of strongest tips for great first impressions that become long-lasting impressions. No matter what industry you’re in, these moves will single you out from the crowd in an organic and honest way.

Do Your Research

Before you get started on your exhibit and campaign design, it helps to know what kind of outside “distractions” you’ll be up against. Check out who your main competition will be based on a list of attendees. If you’re researching far in advance, attend the trade show a year early and feel out the place. At least check out old booths online and figure out the current status quo for your show – that way your brand will have a much better chance of rising above it.

Create a Buzz

An effective way to stand out is to make sure people have heard your name well before you get to the show. This is probably the most difficult tip to apply, but any effort you make can go a long way in giving your brand name some lip service. Market yourself and remind the world of your show presence over social media, through press releases, and with strategic advertising, both before and during the event. You can even use humor and/or shock value to make your point, if appropriate. A unique campaign will never fail to make newcomers recognize you quickly on the floor.

Focus on Displays

The most surefire way to snag immediate attention is with an attractive booth. An emphasis on good design will always help draw the eye away from neighboring exhibits, especially with strong, quality graphics and the right deliverables (e.g. standalone posters vs. integrated booth design). You can also use your displays to announce benefits and giveaways, which might include drinks and a party atmosphere, or something low-hassle like free quotes or discounted on-site services. The more of an “attraction” you can make your booth, the more people you’ll attract.

Choose Your People Wisely

Often what makes your brand the most memorable for attendees that stop by the booth is the unique people that you have representing said booth. Carefully select your trade show staff members; train them in important areas like sales and customer service, and make sure they have a natural knack with people. It usually helps to prioritize employees with a charming, safe sense of humor.

Leave Them With Something

Handing out traditional swag isn’t enough to make a mark. Your handouts have to be unique to help you stand out among the rest of the pen-throwers out there. Whether you pass out wacky, original items, or opt for standard items with interesting messages, make sure to color outside of the lines for best results.

It goes a long way to elevate your brand well before the big day. Time and time again we see firsthand that those who put in the time and energy to think these through ahead of time have the most success at showtime– and beyond! If you need help with this part of the process, call Mackenzie Exhibit because this is what we do! Reach us by phone at 1-877-381-9133 (EXT 3), email us at, or fill out the form on our website to request a free quote.

How to Create an Eye-Catching Trade Show Exhibit

When designing your upcoming trade show exhibit, you have to think about more than just the function and messaging your space will provide. It won’t exist in a vacuum; rather, it will be surrounded by the booths of like-minded vendors and brands who will be fierce competition once the showroom floor opens. Because what is the most important thing you will be competing for at any trade show? Attention.

Striking the balance between a glimmer and a glare is tricky. Same goes for the balance between a gimmick and a truly on-brand way to catch the eye of a passerby and keep it long enough to make them remember you. We enjoy this part of the process, and have gathered a few tips that help us help you create your most beautiful, eye-catching trade show exhibit possible.

Consider Color Choices

The colors you choose for every design element – graphics, wall color, and even the product you set out – can decide whether your exhibit will command attention, or push it away. It’s not even as simple as using bright colors; some vibrant shades might be “eye-catching,” but can also be overbearing and invoke a sense of chaos and clutter. We start with your traditional brand colors and help you select accent tones (as well as organize them around some surprisingly eye-catching empty space) that help give your piece an effective focal point.

Estimate the Flow of Traffic

You only have a few seconds to catch attention, so think about your booth placement. Are you located on a corner? At the end of a row? Though there’s no real pattern to the paths of trade show guests, you can expect a lot of passersby to pass closely from the “right lane” and experience your exhibit from its frontal right side to its left. It’s important to consider this when designing the space, and placing any digital elements or assertive graphics closer to the frontal right side can help you significantly to attract more visitors.

Never Skimp on Lighting

A well-designed lighting setup will truly make all the difference in a world for your exhibit. Good lighting not only draws the eye to where you want it, it also has the power to create the tone you want for your space. Cooler colored lights are brighter and tend to pop more, but you can also attract attention with a warm lighting setup if you’d like guests to mingle and browse through your product for longer.

Your brand story is important. Telling your brand story in the most organically attractive way is your ticket to pulling all your visuals together and, as a result, pull passersby in for a closer look. We enjoy helping you find that delicate balance, and hope to build you up to be a top showroom competitor! Feel free to give us a call at 604-422-0025, email us at , or fill out a form on our website to receive a quote any time.


Attractive Trade Show Booth Rentals

Getting your company noticed at industry trade shows is all about your trade show booth setup, design and display; however, depending on the frequency of trade show events that your company attends, it’s not always economical to invest in the purchase of attractive trade show booth equipment. Mackenzie Exhibit completely understands this; therefore, we also offer trade show booth rentals. If you’re interested in a renting a trade show booth as opposed to buying, here are 3 reasons to rent from Mackenzie Exhibit:

Plenty of options and flexibility

One of the benefits of renting an attractive trade show booth as opposed to buying is the reduced responsibility. There will be no need to stress over the maintenance and storage of the trade show booth afterwards; furthermore, you can easily change up the design every time you rent a trade show booth, allowing you to customize and configure it to suit each show. With trade show booth rentals, you won’t need to worry about sacrificing size either. The team at Mackenzie Exhibit is fully capable of meeting all of your sizing specification and requirements.

Incredible value

Purchasing your own trade show booth can become expensive if the booth isn’t being used on a regular basis each year. It can also become expensive to re-configure the booth to meet the different specifications of each trade show. One way to avoid this cost is through trade show booth rentals. Not only does renting a trade show booth from Mackenzie Exhibit save you money, it also saves you time. You can leave the graphics, floors, lights, furniture, delivery, installation and dismantling all to us. This allows you to spend more time generating leads and interacting with potential customers!

Industry expertise

When you rent a trade show booth from Mackenzie Exhibit, you’re getting more than just the booth itself. Mackenzie Exhibit will work with you to ensure you’re getting the most value out of the entire trade show event. We have over 30 years of trade show experience and expertise and we’re happy to pass along our knowledge. Our team is dedicated to ensuring that every intricate detail is properly planned for and executed.

If you’re looking for an attractive trade show booth rental to grab attention, drive foot traffic and increase sales at industry trade shows, contact the trade show experts at Mackenzie Exhibit. We can help take your trade show efforts to the next level. By leaving the design to us, you will have more time to focus on networking with potential customers and industry influencers. If you have any questions about our trade show booth rental services, please contact us or visit our website for a free quote. You can also reach us at 604-422-0025.



Professional Trade Show Exhibit Design

Whether you’re a veteran of the trade show industry or you’re preparing for your very first trade show, it’s important to nail down the design details of your exhibit. The design of your trade show exhibit is the fundamental variable for attracting and maximizing foot traffic to your booth. Unfortunately, not everyone is a natural trade show booth superstar by nature. That’s where Mackenzie Exhibit comes in. Mackenzie Exhibit has been helping companies of all sizes maximize their trade show exhibits for over 30 years with innovative, cost-effective solutions. Here’s how working with a team of design professionals can help generate serious results for your business at the next professional trade show.

Why trade show design is important

Having your trade show exhibit stand out amongst the competition at industry trade shows can often be challenging. The design of your trade show booth can often be the difference between a potential customer passing by or stopping to inquire and learn more. Making use of bright, bold graphics throughout your booth along with a clear message will help generate interest and maximize foot traffic. At Mackenzie Exhibit, we specialize in unique, eye-catching designs that will help build this interest.

How it works

Our team of custom trade show designers and builders are highly flexible when it comes to helping you achieve your trade show objectives. We’ll work alongside your team to ensure your custom trade show booth effectively represents your brand and helps bring your vision to life. Our skilled craftsmen and project managers will take care of all of the details, so you can focus on qualifying leads.

Why use Mackenzie Exhibit

There’s a reason why leading brands continue to partner with Mackenzie Exhibit for their custom design trade show exhibits. From the pre-design stage to the functional requirements, we’re all about the details. Visit our testimonials page to see what some of our clients say about their trade show experience with us.

No matter what type of industry you’re in, Mackenzie Exhibit can help amplify your company’s trade show efforts with innovative, cost-effective solutions that will maximize your booth’s return on investment. Leave the design of your trade show booth to us, so you can focus on interacting with potential customers and valuable leads. For questions and inquiries, please contact us through our web page or request a free quote.

mackenzie EXHIBIT Team Thrilled with Move to New Office

The entire mackenzie EXHIBIT team has spent the last few months designing and building our new office space inside the Ogden, Utah facility. Now just in time for summer, we are all moved and thrilled with the results.

Google Instant Apps Poised to Positively Change Event Apps

Event apps have long suffered from low downloads and small adoption rates, but Google’s Instant Apps could be a much needed solution to these problems.


Designing Engaging Trade Show Product Displays

Designing great trade show product displays is an art that when done correctly can enhance your trade show experience by converting leads to sales.

Trade Show Exhibits Lightheaded Lighting

Lightheaded Lighting Wins Best Booth Award at LIGHTFAIR International

Best Booth! It’s always rewarding when hard work pays off. Our client LIGHTHEADED (formerly Dasal Architectural Lighting) was awarded best booth at LIGHTFAIR International over the weekend in San Diego.

Trade Show News

Trade Show Industry Off to Positive Start in 2016

The first couple months of the year show a positive increase in several key benchmarks for the trade show industry, according to the publication Trade Show Executive.