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Show And Tell

Tips From A Pro

Ellen Yarnell, producer of INPEX (Invention/New Product Exposition), offers this advice to inventors who are attending their first shows:

  • Provide a visual depicting the inventio--either a product, a prototype, a working model or drawings.
  • Make your booth eye-catching. Include photographs, posters or props that relate to your product.
  • Dress the part. For example, an exhibitor for a cooking product could wear a chef's hat.
  • Provide information for interested attendees. This can include brochures, fliers, other promotional materials and business cards. Usually about a hundred pieces of literature is sufficient.
  • While making certain to hand out material, you also need to collect contact information from attendees. Don't rely on them contacting you. Remember that follow-up is your responsibility.
  • Greet attendees with enthusiasm and prepare a targeted sales pitch beforehand in case some interest is expressed.

Invention show managers also caution inventors that the show is a public display of their product. If you are concerned that your idea may be stolen, you should have a patent, trademark or copyright, or your invention should be patent-pending, before attending the show.

Contact Sources

Advanstar Communications, (949) 360-0362

Young Kim,

Lightsaber Inc.,

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This article was originally published in the March 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Show And Tell.

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