What I’ve Learned

4 Lessons from 40 Years in the Trade Show and Exhibit Design Biz

By Larry Holtz
Director/Partner, Star Incorporated

Hello! My name is Larry Holtz and I’m the Director/Partner of Star Incorporated, an industry leader in exhibits, trade shows, and events solutions.

Over the past 40 years in this business of designing and building trade show exhibits, I have learned first-hand that the most significant importance of this effective marketing tool is that it is one of the best forms of promotion for a company or brand.

A great design along with an impactful marketing message are of equal value to the exhibitor’s belief behind trade show marketing.

It is said that about 50% of exhibitors participate in trade shows because they feel obligated to do so. But, really, the true winners are those exhibitors who truly believe in it, and therefore invest time and resources to achieve real results by harnessing its power.

With that said, here are some of the things I have learned along the way:

Know Your Market

It’s important to understand your potential buyers and select expos and trade shows where those buyers gather. Decide on specific trade shows based on buyers and regions. Remember, it’s better to reach out and focus on a specific market than to cast your net too far and too wide to just get lost in the crowd.

Know Your Message

Make sure your marketing message resonates with your buyers. Your message should be simply stated with a need-to-know more incentive. The “Headline” within your exhibit should address what you provide as a product or service right from the start. And, of course, don’t forget a “Call to Action!”

Know Your Goals

Clearly define your goals well in advance and during your discovery process as a marketing team. Confirm with your selected trade show vendor(s) the necessary physical and marketing criteria you hope to achieve and call out your needs in order to push a great presentation of your company and its products.

Know Your Limits

“Champagne tastes on a beer bottle budget” is every exhibitor’s challenge. Keeping in mind your total budget—including on and off the trade show floor—is essential in achieving success.

About the Author

Larry Holtz

Larry has a BFA in Industrial Design and has worked in the exhibit industry for over 40 years. He currently manages our sales and design staff, and gets directly involved in design concepts.