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Trading Spaces

From start to finish, these "booth basics" will help you make the most of that first trip to the trade show floor.

This story appears in the April 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

You're about to attend your first trade show to promote your cool widgets and to generate leads. So what can you do to make it an unforgettable sucess? Keep in mind, your first foray into a trade show is your introduction to the business community. If you're planning to find great leads--and if you hope to make your trip worthwhile--then listen up. Susan Friedmann, founder of coaching firm The Tradeshow Coach in Lake Placid, New York, and author of a library of how-to books for trade show exhibitors, shares her insights on exactly what goes into a successful trade show.

Before you go, Friedmann says, make sure you're attending the appropriate trade show for your product or service. Will the show attract your target customers? Does the show have good attendance--enough to merit your investment? Call past exhibitors to find out what kinds of people attend the shows, and ask how well those exhibitors did.

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