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.

General Rules

  • 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:
    • Brochure/flyer
    • 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.