Trade shows can be a bit overwhelming to plan: not knowing where to start, how many vendor tables you’ll be able to fill, how many attendees you’ll have, and how to structure your day to ensure your vendors get enough facetime with attendees. Look no further than The Four Points by Sheraton Norwood Hotel and Conference Center in Massachusetts. Conveniently located on Route One in Norwood, MA, the Four Points by Sheraton Norwood is an ideal location for attendees traveling by car, train, or those flying into either Boston Logan, or TF Green Airport.
With an expansive foyer space outside of the 7,080 square foot ballroom, our team is well versed in how to successfully set up our trade show space and has the knowledge to guide you through the process. Our dedicated conference coordinators will work closely with you to develop an outline of the day, including but not limited to, an agenda with breakout spaces, general session, locations for your food and beverage stations and a layout. If you are hosting a trade show without a meeting on the same day, your needs will be different than someone who is having a trade show with general session, breakouts etc.
If you have ever booked a table at a trade show, you most likely have been presented with a multi-page document in fine print outlining table placement, and all the rules of the show that you must adhere to. Putting together the vendor table assignments, collecting payment, communicating load in and load out procedures and communicating the rules and regulations are not for the faint at heart.
Here are a few key things to consider when organizing a trade show. Remember to over communicate the points that are most important to you and your host location.
- Do the vendors require electricity for their booth?
- How will you manage booth selection? Organizer assigns? Vendor selects? First Come, First Serve Basis?
- What is the location’s move-in and move-out policy?
- Are there any items which are prohibited at the location?
- Are vendors allowed to serve food and beverage or is a permit required?
TRADE SHOWS SET UP
The Tiffany Ballroom at the Four Points by Sheraton Norwood can accommodate up to 50 vendor/registration tables in the foyer space, with additional capacity in the Tiffany Ballroom if you are not utilizing the space for a general session. A 6’ clothed table with 2 chairs is included in each vendor table fee. There are also several local exhibit companies that can be hired to set up full pipe and drape booths, providing a physical division between each table. When possible, try to plan tables that need electricity along the walls or need outlets to avoid cords running through your space.
TRADE SHOWS WITHOUT A MEETING
If you are planning a large, multi-vendor exhibit trade show without additional meetings, you’ll find that attendees will be flowing in and out throughout the day. Having a well-marked centrally located registration table is important to ensure you capture all those entering. Also consider pre-registering and collecting payment (if necessary) online. A swag bag or show information can be handled at this time as well. You should consider adding food and beverage to your show to entice people to stay longer. A simple coffee or beverage station is a nice touch, or to really WOW guests, add in some hors d’oeuvres that can be passed throughout the crowd. A cash bar is also a nice touch!
TRADE SHOWS WITH A MEETING
When adding vendors to a meeting, the timeline and set up become a bit more challenging. When charging vendors to display and have access to your attendees, you’ll want to ensure that they are getting enough facetime with attendees to feel they got their money’s worth. With our complete meeting package, your AM and PM breaks and lunch buffet are included in one complete per person price. Make sure to include your vendors in this count, this means getting an accurate account of how many people will be staffing each booth. Ideally, we will be able to station your AM and PM breaks in or near the area where vendors will be exhibiting. This ensures more facetime with the vendors. If having breakout sessions, set times between sessions for vendor networking is a great idea.
KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL TRADE SHOWS
Keeping attendees engaged and ensuring they get to each vendor table is always a hot trade show topic. Bingo, trivia answers, scavenger hunts that require a stamp or check in at each booth are all great options to keep your attendees awake and lure them to every table. Asking vendors to donate a door prize or raffle prize is another enticing way to drum up interest. This can be done as one big raffle where guests must turn in a completed card or can be done at each individual vendor table only for those who drop a card at their booth. Remind the exhibitor – it is their job to get the attendee to engage with them in more of a conversation than a simple getting!