1) Exhibit Space – Contract early to get a great space and pay full price, or contract late and ask for a discount. Most shows currently have more space than exhibitors have contracted for.  The only way to get the discount is if you ask. 2) Labor and other services.  Avoid hiring outside services. Use an exhibit that you are allowed under show regulations to set-up yourself.  Typically, you are allowed 15 minutes to 1/2 an hour to set-up each 10 x 10 booth before you are required to hire union labor. 3) Shipping.  Hand-carry everything you can. Avoid shipping whenever possible. 4) Packing for the show.  Person going to the show - packs for the show. They have nobody else to blame if it isn't there or arrives broken. 5) Packing list.  If you can't explain why something you are bringing will make you more profitable or productive - don't bring it. The goal, is quality face to face encounters, not to hand out pens. Anything that is not contributing directly to achieving your goals, is just superfluous. 6) Service orders.  Bring a copy of each order for rented equipment or services.  Bring the fax confirmation from your fax machine to show date and time of order.  GES sends you a fax confirmation for each order.  Bring this as well. 7) In the booth.  Be alert and ready.  Stand as much as possible.  Make eye contact.  Acknowledge passersby.  Turn your cell phone off. You are there to talk to people in person. That's why you have voice mail. Leave the booth and just check it periodically. Bring staff members that can build rapport quickly and represent your company best. 8) Marketing Collateral – Company literature.  Don’t hand out literature freely at the show - it weighs a ton (freight handling costs) and most of it winds up in a dumpster. Get prospects and customers complete contact information and mail or email information after.  This gives you a reason to speak with prospects after the show and continue to build the relationship with them.  9) Follow-up.  Process follow-up packages and calls to land on the client’s desk 3 to 5 days after the show. Be sure to follow-up to qualify all prospects.  Lead collection and follow-up is one of the quantifiable reasons to go to the show in the first place. 10) Constantly look at what works and what doesn't. It is not about what you want or like. It is about creating an environment and an experience for your prospects and customers that they want and like. The single most important thing you can do is to improve your staff.  And remember, your booth is your corporate headquarters during the show. Questions about this article?  Call Exhibit & Display Consultants at 508-695-0544 and ask for Brett Lipeles, founder and author of the Professional Trade Show Exhibit Manager’s Handbook.