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Trade Show Success Strategies (Part 1)

“It’s been three years since the last Clean Show. I’m excited, but I feel out of practice when it comes to face-to-face trade shows. How can I best prepare for the show? How can I get the most out of the return to Clean?”

Uniforms/Workwear Manufacturing: Dan Schwartz, Fashion Seal Healthcare, Seminole, Fla.


We are extremely excited to attend The Clean Show this year in Atlanta and have been discussing how to have the most productive show possible.

When our teams first resumed in-person meetings with customers, we definitely felt excitement around meeting face to face with our friends and partners again. We also noticed just how different an in-person meeting is from a Zoom meeting and how much more productive and attentive we all are in person.

For The Clean Show, this will be very similar as we look to fill our calendar in advance of the show with meetings.

We continue to provide our customers with information on the current state of the supply chain along with investments we have made in our business so we can provide better service.

We look to not only have informative meetings but also deepen relationships with our customers. 

Chemicals Supply: John Schafer, Diversey, Fort Mill, S.C.


Trade shows are all about generating traffic to your booth, generating interest and following up with potential customers. 

So, you have three main goals: get people to your booth, get them interested in your offering, and generate post-trade show meetings and follow-up.

How to get people to your booth—compelling story—why should they stop by? What do you have that would interest your target customer? Highlight that. Do demos. Hand out trade show items—but be careful here—some folks just like to collect stuff from trade shows. Run a contest—the main focus is to get people in your booth. 

How to get them interested. Trade show attendees are bombarded with marketing information and lots of different offerings. What is different about your company? What can you offer to solve a problem? 

Make sure your booth attendants are engaging with the trade show attendees—nothing is worse than walking by a booth with people sitting and on their phones. Your folks should be standing—engaging the traffic as it walks by. 

Have your attendants practice how they are going to engage the attendees. This is very important. Communicate to your booth attendants the importance of their engagement. 

Post-trade show follow-up. Utilize the trade show’s lead generator software if available. If not, make sure you capture the information of all that stop by—name, company and what interested them in your offering. 

Make sure you follow up with these folks no later than the day after the trade show. You’ve spent a lot of time and money on this—make sure you utilize it.  

Equipment Manufacturing: Al Adcock, B&C Technologies, Panama City, Fla.


The Clean Show is back! I’m looking forward to seeing all the folks that I’ve only been able to talk to on the phone or see via Zoom in person at the show. Having everyone together in the same building will be exhilarating after so long, and I’m sure the energy in Atlanta’s World Congress Center will be electric. 

Based on the floor plan, the show will be large and I suspect well attended as people are itching to get back out there and try to return to normalcy, whatever that looks like.

Since the show is so large, it’s a great idea to take a moment and decide who you’d like to visit before you arrive.

Luckily, the Clean Show website ( has tools that will help you to plan out your trip and make sure you don’t miss any exhibitors that are important to you.  You can search by company name as well as categories so that you can find the most relevant exhibitions for you and save them.

Plan on bringing some comfortable shoes with some padded insoles—it’s a big venue and you’ll definitely get in your 10,000 steps taking in the sights. 

I always recommend bringing along a light jacket as well. It’ll be 95 degrees outside and 72 degrees inside and that kind of a temperature differential will mean some folks might be a bit chilly. 

If you can, register in advance to avoid the long lines upon arrival. 

Finally, bring along a small notepad. Most people forget about half of what they hear within 48 hours, so don’t overestimate your memory! Commit it in writing so that later you’ll remember the important details you hear.

Don’t miss the opportunity to see what all your favorite laundry nerds have been working on for the past three years since the last show and definitely stop by the B&C Technologies booth, 444, to see what we’ve been up to—you definitely won’t regret it. 

The entire B&C team and I look forward to welcoming you to our little corner of Atlanta on July 30!

Check back tomorrow for the conclusion with trade show advice from consulting and commercial laundry experts!

Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Matt Poe at [email protected].