Lock Tile Blog

Portable Interlocking Tiles for Your Trade Show Exhibit

ByAllen Czermak


I have had the privilege to work in sales at a trade show exhibit several years ago. Trade shows take place in venues such as the Jacob Javits Center in New York City and at different arenas throughout the United States. Retail sellers become buyers as the roles reverse as store and business owners look for the latest and greatest products on the market for their niche. Each trade show is geared toward specific products such as The Toy Show, The Gift Show, The Jewelry Show etc. Each show is unique, but what they have in common is the setup work that goes into making each business’s booth unique to their image. Many contracting companies make a living by setting up specific booths with each company having their own strata. There are the electrical service companies that set up the lighting of the booths. Showroom fixtures that house and present the products must be rented and flooring companies can be hired to set up the booth’s floor in the style that is unique for the product presenter. The arenas do have their own floors to use for the display booth. However, each presenter may want to decorate their station in a distinctive way. Some businesses want to reflect the atmosphere of their actual store in a portable way.

For the flooring, interlocking tiles are a perfect choice for a noticeable appearance for potential buyers. Who lays the floor would depend on the requirements of the venue and the rules of the unions if they are involved. Perhaps in smaller cities the regulations would be more flexible, and a presenter could bring their own tiles to each show saving the money that would be paid for professional setups. These details are some things that each trade show manager and presenter would have to make up in advance of the show’s schedule. In any case, buying your own interlocking tiles would put your booth at a great advantage.

The Buyers

Some retail buyers wait all year to attend the show in their city or travel to other cities rather than buying wholesale online. There is nothing that compares to seeing and touching items that you will be buying in quantity. The booth hosts will show the retail buyer how to display their items in their own store back home and explain the background of each item and the best way to make the sale work. It is also crucial for the retail buyer to develop a good relationship with the wholesaler so that when they return home a phone call will be sufficient to continue the blooming relationship.

The Sellers

Trade show presenters work hard all year to get ready for the trade shows where they will display their wares. At a typical trade show there are many common wholesalers selling identical or similar products. How can each wholesaler hone-in-on the buyer and get them to come to his booth instead of the booth of another seller? Something must draw the attention of the retailer to come to a specific booth rather than another especially if they are selling similar or identical products. For example, at the Jewelry Show, a buyer will not always see the specific items that are being sold since they are tiny. Here is where the booth’s décor is crucial.

Trade Show Flooring

You have decided to use interlocking PVC tiles for your booth in the colors of your company décor. For instance, you might have your shopping bags decorated in a red, white, and blue coordination. What if you had interlocking tiles for the floor in matching colors? If your competitor is using the arena’s floor, not adding a carpet or a floor to the decor then the chances are good that the buyer will be drawn to your booth. Together with quality merchandise, the good sales personalities of your reps and fair pricing you may have a potential buyer right in front of your nose.

What makes the interlocking tiles so useful and unique is that they can be assembled and disassembled easily and taken from trade show to trade show as needed. Your products and miscellaneous items will have to be trucked somehow anyway so the additional stowage of the interlocking tiles may not make a big difference, especially if you are selling larger products like furniture.

Trade show contractors also rent carpets to ease the pain of the sellers standing on their feet all day long. Trade shows start as early as nine in the morning and go on all day. Along with a comfortable pair of shoes, the presenter will benefit greatly from standing on a comfortable floor. Carpets will do the trick, however, interlocking tiles are way more current.

I have had the opportunity to study trade shows from both sides, as a seller and a buyer (I once owned a small baby hat business). As a seller, you really must have a good understanding about how people function. The buyers survey the trade show arena looking for various products for their stores or businesses. You will not know if they have been to other competitors or if you are the first booth they have chosen to view. By experience, sellers can learn who is ready to buy and who is just looking. It can be compared in some way to the retail buyer in your store. However, there is one major difference. Sellers at the trade show have a minimum ranging from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars depending on the item. These sellers have spent many thousands of dollars to rent the booth depending on the size therefore they are not there to sell as a retailer only as a wholesaler. Sometimes new business owners who do not want to invest in a large inventory may expect the seller to let them buy a couple of samples. This usually does not happen unless they will give you a higher than wholesale price. When you buy in a store you buy one product at time with the option to return if that is their policy. With wholesale buying returns are not the norm unless there is a faulty product.

When buying for a retail business it is usually for keeps and that can make it exciting as well as threatening. The best thing that could happen to a buyer is to fall in love with a new product and from their previous buying experience know that the product is a winner. This is extremely exciting because the hesitation of buying a large amount of a product will disappear with the prediction that the product is perfect for their customers at home. Many toys and novelty items got their starts at trade shows and the savvy buyer will know what to pick. Often buyers come in pairs so that with two heads together the confidence keeps growing as they fine-tune their purchases. It is nice to see business owners of the same products from different cities compare notes and help each other out since there is no competition between them. Often, they will give each other advice about how to improve their sales and customer base.

What lures the eye on first look, is so important in commercial wholesale and retailing. This is just as important in the setup of the trade show booths. Some people add curtains and tablecloths and come-ons like candies and free samples, but the eye will hit the floor if it is brightly decorated. The liveliest way to decorate the booth is with interlocking tiles of bright colors. The more established companies will have their logo right on the floor itself. Some companies will have each tile stamped with their logo. This is a good business strategy because the potential customer will remember and memorize the name of the company easily. This is particularly important since the trade show arena is so vast with several floors. It is so important that when the potential buyer comes back to the floor it will be easy for him or her to find the booth. That is when the sale will take place as the buyer has already scanned all the other booths.

Final Words

Interlocking tiles have several advantages for trade show booths. They are attractive to buyers and at the same time have a very classy and polished look. The sellers have an additional comfort when standing for long periods of time. The interlocking tiles with logos are advertisements for the product and each time a potential buyer passes the booth they will remember both your unique logo and the name of your company. Customers who are carrying shopping bags from a company that gives them out gratis will be able to match the floor to the shopping bag and come back to make their order when they are finally ready. Trade show selling is hard work. To be successful a company must come back home with orders greater than the large amount of money they spent on renting a booth. Standing all day in a cheerful atmosphere with great products and great decor gives the seller the stamina he or she needs to make some great sales.

All Blog Articles

Get Free Estimate

Give us some info and we'll get right back to you with a quote


    How can we help?