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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.

By Nichole L. Torres

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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

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

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