Trade Show Exhibiting – How Your High School Science Fair Can Make You Money!

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This is a guest post written by Bev Gray, CEO of Exhibit Edge, a full-service trade show exhibit and consultation company serving the Virginia, Maryland, DC areas as well as international clients.

So, in high school, I bet you never thought the skills you learned making that poster board of your science project would actually help you in promoting your own business a few short years later.  Well, go back to that science fair and let’s look at this from a marketing perspective.  You had to research and create a science project that was unique, creative, and functioned properly in order to earn an “A.”  You had to create the poster describing and showcasing your project.  Then, once the fair came around, you had to repeat whatever the project was in front of judges or teachers, fingers crossed that it would work correctly each time.  Sound familiar?

As much as you may not want to admit it, your science teachers were on to something bigger.  Think of this in terms of your business.  As an entrepreneur, you developed a product or service that you were passionate about and/or thought had potential to become profitable to you.  You had to tweak and adjust this in order to deliver the best possible final product to your customers.  Once this was ready to go to market, you had to convince your potential customers that they needed your offering.  Are you earning an “A” in your real-life business science fair?

To ensure you get your well-deserved “A,” consider exhibiting at a local trade show.  Using the strategy described below, you can launch your business to exciting new levels through a hands-on, personal approach by incorporating effective trade show exhibiting into your business marketing plan.

Showcasing Your “Science Project”

Other marketing methods may describe or talk about your business, but having a trade show exhibit gives your customers the ability to experience and see for themselves the quality of your product.  This is your opportunity to stand out above your competition and reach potential customers that may have overlooked your product in the past.

Creating your “Poster”

To guarantee that your business is memorable to the hundreds or perhaps thousands of attendees, your exhibit must be creative, unique, and consistent.  Reinforce your company’s logo and colors throughout your display, marketing materials, and promotional items.  As is made clear in the articles throughout Dorm Room Biz’s ‘branding’ blog posts, branding and consistent imaging are critical components to a company’s success.

Earning your “A”

To maximize the profitability and ROI from your exhibit investment, you must follow the below guidelines.

  • Your exhibit must be innovative, memorable, and represent your company and product.  Don’t skimp on the details, and take advantage of a local exhibit company to ensure your display is the best at the show.
  • Give away something with your logo and contact information.  Make sure it’s something useful and won’t just get thrown away in the nearest trash can!
  • Collect contact information!  Announce a give-away or contest at your booth, and collect personal information you can use to follow-up with the attendees after the event.
  • Talk to each person who passes your exhibit.  Everyone is a potential customer and knows a whole network of potential customers, so be friendly and greet everyone.  Leave them with a positive impression and a good feeling!


Have you had recent experience with trade show exhibiting?  Or do you have questions on how to get started?  We’d be glad to help – just share your question or thoughts in the comments section below.

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