Making it Happen: A Guide for Successful Trade Shows

Posted by: Bill Cook 04/07/2015

Wood-mode Design Center

The team here at SBA has attended quite a few trade shows in the past three months. From the Las Vegas strip to Pier 94 in New York City, we have witnessed the good, the bad, and the ugly of booth design and sales/networking techniques. That said, we must acknowledge that any trade show exhibitor, whether they are “successful” or not, has accomplished a lot just by attending a show. They don’t just show up and say “come and get it,” they have to make it happen.

We are proud to say that our own clients really made it happen during this first wave of design and construction industry shows. From the Wood-Mode puppies at KBIS (below), to INSTALL’s live demonstrations and industry-leading warranty announcement at Surfaces/IBS, we were able to help our partners step up their game and attract press and social media coverage. Additionally, their booths were full, feedback was great, and they left lasting impressions. To read more about Wood-Mode and INSTALL, check out our Design & Construction Week 2015 blog post.

This shouldn’t really come as a surprise, considering how long we’ve been at this. The team tried to count up all of the shows that we have attended in the past 20+ years, but we lost count after we hit a few hundred. We can’t even begin to imagine how many miles we have walked and flown…how far is it to the moon again?

Thanks to this collective experience, and a revived trade show industry (seriously, this year’s shows by far are the best we have seen since the start of the recession), we thought it was time to put together a comprehensive Trade Show Essentials eBook.

Maximize Your ROI: How to Justify Your Trade Show Spend takes readers from pre-show planning to at-the-show tips, techniques, and mistakes to post-show evaluation and follow-up suggestions.

It’s still tough out there for the industry that we love. However, things are getting better, stronger and more innovative all of the time. Thanks to the influx of digital technologies, trade shows are moving on from staid convention centers full of products and middle management to social media hubs full of tweeters, posters, sharers and likers of all things innovative. The smarter and more focused you are when it comes to capturing the attention of this new generation of show-goers, the more successful you will be as an exhibitor and marketer.


Ready to see how Stoner Bunting can help promote your brand, product or service? Contact Dana Gulick at or fill out an inquiry.