Planning a Trade Show: 5 Effective Tips that Sell Booths

trade show with blue and white pipe and drapes

Planning a successful trade show (as part of a convention, expo, or as a stand-alone event) is a carefully coordinated effort that requires a substantial amount of time and effort. Indeed, the “how to organize a successful trade show” is utilizing the tips that can attract more vendors—and lead to continual requests for trade show booths year after year.

Start planning well in advance

The foundation for a successful trade show starts months before the start of the show. When initiating trade show planning, set a goal for the trade show and identify the target audience for marketing. The latter step is important for marketing, giving trade show organizers key insights as they prepare online and traditional marketing materials. Ask “What features would attract these businesses? How can we attract attendees that gives trade show vendors an excellent return-on-investment?”

green trade show pipe and drapes Identifying a target audience can also be a valuable step toward identifying ideal trade show sponsors that can contribute to event success. When designing the trade show map, designate ideal locations and bigger trade show booths for these sponsors. Aesthetically, choose pipe and drape booths that create a uniform and professional impression; however, don’t be shy about creating professional signage that signifies trade show sponsors.

Market booth value

To attract trade show vendors, it’s your job as a trade show organizer to spell out the value of trade show attendance. If the trade show is an annual event, utilize past videos and photos to visually demonstrate the value of the event; visuals can be a powerful marketing tool. Create a calendar with promotional trade show offer deadlines. Schedule online and traditional marketing mailings strategically. The most effective marketing tactics depend on the target audience; for example, an e-mail marketing campaign may be the most successful method for reaching IT firms.

Be creative

A trade show theme can be the impetus that captures trade show vendors’ attention and appeals to their creative side. The theme can also give direction to planning the trade show aesthetics; contact an event planning company to choose pipe and drapes that coordinate with the theme and occasion. If the trade show is part of a convention or expo, use the same theme and aesthetics so the trade show feels like a coordinated part of something bigger. When designing marketing materials, communicate the theme to trade show vendors so they can plan accordingly and use the theme as a way to stand out.

Roll out the red carpet for vendors

trade show informational booths Satisfied trade show vendors equate to repeat booth customers. Make every effort to ensure that trade show vendors are achieving their goals and feeling satisfied with the experience. There are many ways trade show organizers can achieve this:

  • Provide informational booths for vendors and attendees so everyone gets their questions answered in a prompt manner;
  • Ensure that all trade show vendors’ needs are met throughout the trade show;
  • If included, hire a quality caterer so trade show vendor employees are fueled and satisfied throughout the event;
  • Execute an aggressive marketing campaign that attracts interested buyers;
  • Drive trade show attendees to the trade show throughout the event, such as serving a meal or program near the trade show;
  • Add strategic seating and tables (or seating areas) throughout the trade show to encourage conversations;
  • Do a periodic check-in with vendors to ensure they are satisfied with their experience.

Survey the results

A continually successful trade show is a trade show is always evolving to meet the needs of vendors and attendees. When the trade show is complete, survey both parties to gauge their level of satisfaction and ask for feedback. Utilize traditional and electronic surveys to ensure that as many trade show vendors and attendees are reached. Compile and organize the results so they can be used when planning next year’s event.

20+ Chicago Party Rental Ideas (& Great Event Themes!)

royal theme event with party rentalYour party can be the event of the year—if you “dress it up” with the party rentals that make your event the talk of Chicago. Plan your fundraiser, corporate party, or community event around these fantastic party themes, then put it over-the-top with party rentals like popcorn machines, linens, chairs, and portable bars. The sky is the limit with party planning (just ask us for party rental ideas).


checkered linen party rental for carnival party themeA picnic or carnival theme is one of the most popular party themes, primarily because guests love every second of a good picnic! For a fantastic picnic-themed party, give your fundraiser or party guests numerous sources of entertainment, such as a dunk tank, ring toss, balloon pop game, and gone fishing game (other ideas for carnival-themed party games here). But the fun shouldn’t stop there; a good picnic or carnival is full of all the delicious carnival treats that complete the carnival theme.

Party Rental Ideas: Checkered Linens, Popcorn Machine, Hot dog Steamer, Cotton Candy Machine, Snow Cone Machine, Slushy Maker, Ice Chests, Sound System (for background music and announcements)

Casino Royale

event lighting with dice for casino party themeTransport your guests to Las Vegas without the plane ride! Think card dealers, show girls, lighting, and all the glitz and glam that comes with a day at Casino Royale. To pull off this party theme, think big. Nothing less will do—and certainly won’t have the larger-than-life impact party guests expect.

Party Rental Ideas: Lighting, Red, black & gold linens, Gaming machines and stations, Portable Bar, Margarita Machine, Sound System (for background music and announcements), Stage (for main stage entertainment and announcement)


beach themed table with food service dishesA beach party or tropical theme can be a great break from a cold Chicago winter day or a chance to cool down from blistering summer heat. Give your guests the chance to show off their best beach or tropical wear with a selfie station—and a few other themed party rentals that can put the event over the top.

Party Rental Ideas: Margarita Machine, Portable Bar, Grass table skirts, Slushy Maker, Chill Tables, Stage (for a tropical band), Sound System (for tropical background music)

A Night at the Movies

popcorn machine party rental for movie party themeMake your party guests feel like the star of the show with this party theme. Dress up your event space with the lighting and décor that makes guests feel like they are headed to a Hollywood show. If your party is a fundraiser, raise money by selling delicious movie treats, such as popcorn, hot dogs, candy, and sodas.

Party Rental Ideas: Checkered Linens, Popcorn Machine, Hot Dog Steamer

A tent INSIDE of Union Station?

A local charity decided to use the historic Great Hall in Chicago’s Union Station for their annual fundraiser, but wanted something to differentiate their event from the dozens of other events hosted there each year. After consulting with them to brainstorm different ways to modify the space to create a unique environment, we proposed something that had never been done before: “What if we put a giant tent INSIDE of the Great Hall?”

This not only achieved a never before seen “Wow factor” for their event but it also lowered the ceiling height of the space, giving them improved acoustics for their music and speeches so that their guests could enjoy dancing to music that has never sounded better due to the of normally difficult to control acoustics inside the Great Hall.

Of course, driving stakes was strictly forbidden because the the floor in the Great Hall is made from historically significant ornate stonework, so we used our proprietary Alternative Weight Anchors (extremely compact and made from steel) to anchor the tent to the floor with no damage and to provide an architecturally rock solid installation that also was aesthetically pleasing since no water barrels or concrete blocks were needed and the beauty of the Great Hall was preserved.

We are always ready to listen to your needs and come up with creative ideas to create a truly unique experience for you and your guests, call us today at 847.375.8510 to find out how we can help make your event one of a kind!

Mention this blog post when calling for a complimentary in person consultation with a senior member of our design team.

Beautiful North Shore Wedding Reception

Our stunning clear ceiling clearspan is the perfect complement to this beautifully designed architecturally significant home on Chicago’s North Shore.
The newlyweds chose this tent structure along with our real hand-scraped hardwood plank flooring to set the tone for a chic lounge environment for their guests to relax in and celebrate their special day in style.
We have this and much more waiting in store for you, call us today at 847.375.8510 to find out how we can help make your event truly unique!

Mention this blog post when calling for a complimentary in person consultation with a senior member of our design team.

Clear Top Tents

Clear Top Tents  are unique and create an extraordinary environment for a late day or evening event.  They are available in many sizes and are used for many types of events.   Let the splendor of a beautiful day or the sparkle of the night sky make your wedding ceremony or reception, a gathering in your yard or a celebration in a park memorable.  They can be used with or without clear sidewalls providing a stunning environment to experience the beauty of the outdoor surroundings, while being protected under a tent.


Create A Unique Wedding Venue

Create a wedding venue that is uniquely yours with a stylish and elegant wedding tent.  A tent is a blank canvas.  Design a perfect magical and memorable outdoor wedding event by incorporating your ideas, style and personality.  What an unforgettable experience for both you and your guests, enjoying the beauty of the outdoor surroundings while being protected under a tent.  Here are some pictures of a recent outdoor ceremony with a tented wedding reception.


Check the Wedding page on our website for more beautiful photos, ideas and inspiration for your outdoor tent wedding.

For Planning Tips check Consider an Outdoor Tent Wedding and What To Consider When Choosing A Tent Rental Company .

City of Chicago Event Tent

Does your event in the City of Chicago include a tent?   The city allows tents but there are restrictions and requirements.  Depending on the size, you may require a permit.

Indestructo Party Rental has worked with many individuals and organizations on many types of events throughout the City of Chicago.  They understand the procedures related to tents permits, rental time frames as well as parking and delivery requirements.

Indestructo Party Rental is also proud to be on the Chicago Park District Preferred Professional list providing tents and equipment for weddings, corporate events and other special occasions at some of the most extraordinary places in Chicago.

Promontory Point 4Promontory Point 8






Contact Indestructo Party Rental at 847-375-8510 to guide you through the process of hosting a tent event in Chicago.