Healthy Exhibiting

Tonight on the local news, they announced a school district has cancelled all classes for Monday due to a flu epidemic. While this winter hasn’t been nearly as illness-prone as some years, it does draw attention to some important points that most exhibitors overlook.

  1. Be careful with bins of promotional items — especially candy. It’s never a good idea to let attendees rifle through items because everyone ends up touching more than just the item they select. And forget about bowls of unwrapped candy! Placing previously-handled items in your mouth is just asking for trouble.
  2. Wash your hands often, or keep hand sanitizer in your booth. All that handshaking can add up to lots of germ swapping. (Not to mention handling those germy escalator rails!)
  3. In addition to washing your hands, you should use some kind of sanitizing tool on your computers and demo equipment. Again, these can become like petri dishes after 50 or 60 visitors have handled them!
  4. When was the last time you wiped down your carrying cases? Who knows where these have been, right? All it takes is a quick once-over with a disinfecting wipe to eliminate some well-traveled germs.
  5. And finally, use hygiene as an inspiration for clever promotional products. Consider getting branded hand sanitizer, which now comes in alcohol-free versions (to avoid drying out skin). This way, you show attendees that you care about helping them stay healthy too.

Here’s to a healthy trade show season!

© 2009-12 Marlys K. Arnold  (Adapted from the May 2009 TradeShowTips Online. To receive tips like this in your inbox every month, please take a moment to fill out this request.)

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About the Author:

With experiences as both an exhibitor and a show organizer, Marlys Arnold has a unique perspective on trade show exhibiting. She travels the country consulting and training both exhibitors and show managers, and is the author of Build a Better Trade Show Image (2002), host of the Trade Show Insights podcast and creator of the ExhibitorEd training kit. She can be reached at

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With experiences as both an exhibitor and a show organizer, Marlys Arnold has a unique perspective on trade show exhibiting. As an exhibit marketing strategist, she travels the country consulting and training on how to create experiential exhibits that produce significantly higher numbers of qualified leads. She’s led workshops for events ranging from local consumer expos to some of the largest trade shows in the U.S. She hosts the Trade Show Insights blog/podcast, and is the author of Build a Better Trade Show Image, the Exhibitor Education Manifesto, and the ExhibitorEd Success System. Exhibit Design That Works (the first book in the YES: Your Exhibit Success series) debuted in July 2017. She’s also the founder of the Exhibit Marketers Café, an online education community.

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