Conferences provide the opportunity for many primary organizations and leads in the rural health industry to network. Effectively exhibiting at a conference or other event requires significant preparation and presence. A display should not stand on its own but always have a representative available to speak to the mission and purpose. This provides an opportunity to speak to a research agenda, share recent reports, and learn about what interests others.
- Plan ahead, identify the appropriate conferences, and fill out applications on time.
- Market prior to the conference, letting the target audience and members of existing networks know when and where the exhibit will be displayed.
- Always follow up with contacts/leads after the exhibit.
- Update the exhibit to ensure that relevant material, graphics, and information are displayed. The older the display, the less innovative booth visitors will perceive the organization/company.
- Ensure that people staffing the booth are well informed, able to answer questions, and engage the audience. Never assume visitors know who you are or what you do.
- Use technology to your advantage.
- Be aware of the booth size and what is included, (for example, access to internet or a power cord if necessary).
- Share the exhibit experience on social media in real time.
Recommendations for Format
- The display should include who you are, what you do, and how you can help.
- Keep the space clear, open, and not crowded with display items and promotional materials.
- Provide something the attendee can take with them. Items may include:
- Copies of recent publications/research products
- Promotional items (e.g., pens, flash drives, note pads)
- Avoid jargon, acronyms, and abbreviations.
- The more words on the trade show display, the fewer times they will be read.
Graphic Design and Layout
- Have the display and products for dissemination developed by professionals.
- Use bright colors, bold images, dynamic graphics, and photos/illustrations that are appealing.
- The bigger the main visual image on the trade show exhibit, the better the audience will understand the message. Use high quality graphics.
- Ensure that the words on the exhibit are legible and that text is not too small, has high contrast with the background, uses a font that can be easily read, and presents information that is not hidden by other exhibit components.