For the third year in a row we have exhibited at the Speciality and Fine Food Fair trade show at Olympia in London. Back in 2017 it was Nicola’s first ever trade show, and over the course of the past 3 years how we exhibit at a trade show has changed. We have become much slicker at the whole process, focusing on what’s really important to deliver at the trade show and constantly baring in mind the cost. These trade shows are really expensive and as a small business each one proves more and more difficult to budget for.
For the first two years we had really quite elaborate stands, investing in a company specialising in designing and implementing stands at trade shows. This was great for us at the time, really taking the weight off our shoulders when preparing for a trade show, and we worked with an excellent company to do this for us. However, the costs are quite high, and after a number of times of doing this, we felt that we needed a new approach.
Our aim for 2019 was to set up and break down the trade show ourselves, which is completed in a couple of hours, with the display easily transported from the car to our stand. And everything needed to fit in the back of a hire car!
Over the course of the past year we have exhibited at a few trade shows in London, and have therefore managed to refine our stand to the point where we can easily, and cost effectively set it all up ourselves and deliver an impactful stand which all fits in a hire car and then wheeled into the trade show on modified ikea shelf unit!
Our trade show stand now consists of the ikea shelf unit, which we modified by putting wheels on the bottom, and is what we use both to transport everything to the stand, and have at the front of our stand for sampling / storage. We also have some shelves and brackets to display our products on, some large brand signs, and our range of products to display as well as sample.
It definitely helps to be practical and hands on when you are a small business owner, as well as being creative and thinking differently about your approach. If you’re a small business looking at doing a trade show, we highly recommend taking a step back and seeing if you can deliver it more cost and time effective whilst maintaining the level of impact for your brand.
Much jam love,