Done the National Stationery Show?

I’ve applied for next years show (2013) and I’m confident that I will get a booth.

It’s my first time doing any trade show, and I’m scared! Anyone have any experiences to share, or some tips on creating a good booth display? Help!

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Look into this:

They will have a NSS course in the Fall.

megahurt, Tradeshows are notoriously expensive to exhibit at. I just launched a software company and was dismayed at the costs charged for services (e.g., internet connectivity, electricity, etc.) or booth displays. This is a big business and a real downer when you see how much additional money is required to put together a nice looking presentation.

My advice:

1) Scour craigslist for a used booth. They can be found for $200-500. But before you buy find out what type of printing will be required and what that will run (~$500).
2) Ship everything to the hotel that you’ll be staying at. This avoids having to pay the union guys to deliver your stuff to the booth location.
3) Bring a friend or someone that will allow you to take a break, visit the restroom, or tour the convention floor.

Best of luck to you!

Check out Ladies of Letterpress. Also, you might want to try and go to the Conference. Good Luck!

I’ve done the show twice – first with Ladies of Letterpress and then last year in my own booth.

I highly recommend Tradeshow Bootcamp – Katie, from Kelp Designs runs it and she always has a great list of speakers. Also, if you are unsure of doing your own booth, the LofL booth is a great way to get your first show under your belt w/o a ton of overhead. Every year, their presence has grown and they get amazing retailers in there shopping.

Good luck!

Hi Megahurt,
I just did the show this year for the first time, as part of the Ladies of Letterpress booth. I walked the show last year (after having done it as a buyer 5 years ago) just to make sure I knew what I was getting myself into. I would recommend walking the show first before you commit, it is such an overwhelming experience. I was used to smaller indie craft shows and being in such a big space with hundreds of other established vendors was completely a shock. If you’re already sure you want to do it, look at all the design sites (design*sponge, oh so beautiful paper, mohawk and neenah paper’s blogs) for an overview of a lot of the smaller vendors. You can get an idea of the varied booths- some simple, with preinstalled walls or drapes, some completely built off-site and assembled (check out Blue Barnhouse’s booth.) You’ll also have to allow for the many many additional expenses- carpeting, lights (get the parcan lights, they are soooo worth it), walls, electricity, fireproofing your pre-built booth, pre-show advertising, hotel/travel… it adds up. Even splitting with the LofL group my expenses for 1/11th of a 12x40 booth were almost $2k. I left with 7 orders, and some leads- which was beyond my expectations for my first year.
I did the Tradeshow Bootcamp, and highly recommend it! But definitely look for the reviews on design/paper blogs, and you should be able to get an idea of what you’re in for.
Best of luck!

I already sent in my application, but I certainly would be interested in sharing with LoL. Is that something I can choose to do, rather than having my own booth at this point? I obviously haven’t been given a contract or anything yet.

Since it’s your first year, GLM will send out your contract and booth position @ the end of Sept./early Oct., with deposit info.
You could contact them before this and tell them to take you off their list for this year. But before you do this, I’d contact Kseniya or Jessica at LofL to let them know you want to be included in their booth.

Val @ Bower Box’s advice is great – I highly recommend looking at blogs to see what goes into the booths. We built and shipped ours (hard walls) and it was quite expensive. There are other soft wall (like paper) options out there.