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HOW TRADE SHOWS WORK - by Lee Ann Obringer

About the Author:
Lee Ann Obringer is a Staff Writer for She holds a Bachelor's degree in journalism/advertising with an outside concentration in marketing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to joining the HowStuffWorks team, Lee Ann worked for 13 years in corporate marketing, advertising and communications. In addition to writing for HowStuffWorks, she works as a freelance marketing communications consultant and designer.

 1. Introduction to How Trade Shows Work
 2. Why Do Trade Shows?
 3. Selecting the Right Shows
 4. Vertical vs. Horizontal Markets
 5. Narrowing the List
 6. Designing and Caring for Your Booth
 7. Graphics - Less is More
 8. Making It Happen
 9. Other Things to Keep in Mind
10. Managing the Show Schedule & Materials
11. The Big Book
12. Training Your Booth Staffers
13. Basic Training
14. Organizing Your Staff
15. Lead Tracking
16. Filling the Fulfillment Package
17. Following Up After Follow-Up
18. The Lead Sheet
19. Lots More Information
20. See all Business articles

Introduction to How Trade Shows Work
You've just been put in charge of planning the company's trade show activities for the year and you have no idea where to begin. Maybe you've attended a trade show before so you have an idea of what they are, but planning and managing the process is a whole other animal. Trade shows are one of the best ways to get in front of your customers and prospects, but how do you decide which shows are best? How do you budget for them, how do you decide what kind of display you need, and how do you make sure you get back more than you put into it?
In this article, we'll take a look at why trade shows are so effective, how to select the best shows, and how to manage the process from start to finish. We'll also provide tips, checklists and web links that will make the job a heck of a lot easier for you. Let's start with why it makes sense to attend trade shows.

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