Creative Entrepreneurship: News

Trade Show Dos and Don'ts

Peter Massey, a friend of the programme and one of the organisers from 100% Design, joined us last week at a club event and gave his thoughts on the essential trade-show Dos and Don'ts...

Peter Massey

100% Design

Trade shows are great for promoting yourself within your preferred industry - you can make great contacts, get your product or service solid press and add to your brand's presence and value. Beware, though - sometimes trade shows aren't what they're cracked up to be. Trade shows can be costly and time consuming - if you aren't sure that a trade show is right for you, should you really shell out the cash on travel, registration fees and precious time spent away from your business? Peter Massey, a friend of the programme and one of the organisers from 100% Design, joined us last week at a club event. 

"An event needs a solid exhibitor list. If there aren't any reputable brands involved, beware," Peter says, "Also, if there's no press or marketing or website, that's not good."

Peter asked our YCEs if they've been burned by trade shows before and if there's anything to avoid when signing up for a show.

Dan Ziglam, Deadgood, UK Design finalist 09

We've been stung in the past when it comes to trade shows. I would advise anyone to get a referral for a show or, if possible, visit the show before you decide to register. Find out if the show is right for you and your business. Trade shows have great salespeople, so it's easy to get sucked in. Also, ask about the fire regulations before you sign up - you need to know what these are before you sign up to anything.

Annegret Affolderback, CHOOLIPS, UK Fashion finalist 09

Trade shows partnered with catwalks can be troublesome if you're not showing on the catwalk. The catwalks are always well-produced, but the exhibitions aren't focused on as much and undermarketed. Really ask yourself if you will benefit from an exhibition space.

Reeme Idris, The Collective, UK Fashion longlist 10

In my experience with trade shows, a good secret is to wait as long as you can to register. Don't sign up early on, you'll get the worst space. For example, I know of a large company that was slotted in one of the biggest spaces in a recent show because the organiser couldn't find anyone to pay for the large space.

Simeon Harwig, Bantum, UK Fashion winner 08

Before you decide to register, ask the trade show where you'll be placed. I went to a show where I was right beside a huge exhibit and my stand couldn't be seen. It was a waste of time and money.