10 Travel Trade Show Hacks


Everyone knows that trade shows can be an effective way to market yourself. We just got back from one. Our first one in fact! I learned a few very valuable lessons that I’m going to drop right here:

  1. Expect the unexpected - Our flight out of St. Louis was cancelled at the last minute, but the nice folks at the Delta counter in St. Louis got us on a KLM flight instead (and it was probably much nicer than the plane we were supposed to be on).
  2. Get there early - Having never been to the Olympia Center I had no idea getting in was going to be as busy as it was. That being said, they did a pretty good job getting everyone through the doors as quickly as possible.
  3. Stay somewhere who could be your customer - We stayed at the K+K Hotel George. A great hotel, that is very nice and modern and with a super friendly staff.  They also have one of the best breakfast spreads. And... we were able to meet with their Revenue Manager, Arnold. A super nice guy that was happy to sit down with us and take a look at Hoperator.  Arnold, if you’re reading this… we are happy to give you a discount!
  4. Split a booth - Do you have an integration partner or another company that you know might be there? Split the cost of the booth with them and save some money. Plus, your booth will look busier and there’s a pretty good chance someone talking with your co-exhibitor may be interested in your business and vice versa. 
  5. Bring lots of water - There’s a pretty good chance that you will not have much opportunity to leave your booth. We didn’t. And, you will do lots of talking. So, make sure you bring a few bottles of water.
  6. Don’t expect customers - Seriously? Yep. Just don’t. Because what you will get may even be better than that. Meet as many people as possible. Especially with other companies. 
  7. Get the word out - Let your customers, potential customers, partners, etc. know that you’re going to be there. Better yet, broadcast the message across your social channels and put the information on your website as well.
  8. Bring more giveaways - chachkies or whatever you call them. If you bring something good, and you should… they will go fast. In our case it’s t-shirts and I always think we are bringing too many and we go through all of them. So for the next show I’ll have more. 
  9. Be approachable - I can’t tell you how many booths around us had people that just stood there and played with their phones. They didn’t smile at anyone or even acknowledge people coming by. If you’re standing there with someone else from your company you should talk to them. Have fun and have a good time. It will make others want to stop and see what’s going on. 
  10. Meet people and have fun - it might be work, but it should be fun. And after the day is over go and have a beer with a new friend. 

Thank you @TravelTechEu for having us and thank you to the Evan and Tikky Davies from The Booking Factory, Erik Muñoz from Vertical Booking and everyone that stopped by and talked with us! We had a great show.

Chris Douglas