What I learned from Kaleidoscope’s first trade show

October 30, 2014

What I learned from Kaleidoscope’s first trade show

Last week Kaleidoscope participated for the first time in a trade show as an exhibitor. It was an useful experience for the three reasons outlined here.

Bring lots of fluids & people

You will barely have time to leave your exhibitor’s table, so make sure you have snacks and drinks with you. I got a bit cold in the air-conditioning so hot tea was appreciated! You will continuously speak from the start of the trade show until the very end; a warm drink helps preventing losing your voice and getting a sore throat.

As you can glean from this, make sure you have two to three people helping you out throughout the day. Luckily I wasn’t by myself, but I barely had the chance to sit down and take notes about whom to follow up with. Let alone have the opportunity to make a short video about our day!

Dress up your booth

I came prepared with a banner and materials. Still, I felt initially intimidated standing next to booths with huge banners that were triple the size of mine. I forgot about intimidation as my booth gained more traffic than theirs but the lesson was learned: dress up your booth.

Now, it is not just about “go big or go home”; my take-away was that professionalism and expertise come first, along with the chance to further brand yourself and your company. As one visitor told me “The energy at your booth is what attracted me and the expertise kept me”.

Next time, I will certainly invest in showcasing that expertise even more – with a TV that shows a clip how the online mentoring platform works. Because after all, people get so much information you need to tell them what you do, show it to them and then give them materials to take with them.

Share plenty of materials

People coming to your booth want to take something with them to remind them about you and your business. I had promotional postcards that attendees loved. Two colourful flyers showcasing how Kaleidoscope’s online mentoring platform works made the explanation less dry for two reasons.

First, people had something to look at. The flyers showed a random selection of downloadable resources and the profile pictures of our mentors. It became more real with faces and names. Second, tradeshow visitors would immediately claim the flyers and take it with them.

Image Credit: by S C Hargis, via Flickr.com.


Lisette Andreyko

Lisette is the founder of Kaleidoscope and is passionate about start-up leadership, personal growth and women in business (and psst.. about tea!). She enjoys connecting with small businesses through her network. You can find her on LinkedIn.