First Time Exhibitors

Are you ready for ABX19? As a first-time exhibitor to our show, we would like to welcome you and offer some helpful tips. The items below can make sure that you are ready for your staff and your booth to stand out amongst the crowd.


Important First Steps

Action Items for Success


  • Have you decided on your goal for the show? Are you looking for brand awareness, to engage new customers, write orders? It sounds simple, but having this answer organizes and aligns your team for success.
  • Contact your customer base and tell them your booth number and who they can speak to at your booth. Here’s a link to access your 150 free expo passes to hand to your best customers!
  • Link Marketing material to your website, proudly displaying that you will be exhibiting at ABX19!
  • Sponsorships help you stand out from the crowd. Studies show 15% of your show budget should be allocated to pre-show marketing.
  • Investing in a Lead Retrieval device will help keep track of sales leads and their contact info, access the order forms through your portal.
  • Designate statistics you would like to achieve within your booth so you can judge success. Examples might be number of leads, number of ‘hot prospects’, number of meaningful conversations.
  • Plan what the follow-up will be; do not wait until after the show! You don’t want your hard earned leads to go stale. Appoint one person in the office who will process all the information from the expo.
  • Who are your competitors that will be at the show? Be prepared for the products they may be offering.

Utilize the Exhibitor Portal

Each Exhibitor has their own portal to access invoices, register their booth staff, and access the service manual. It is accessed with an eCode that was sent to you in your booth confirmation, if you cannot locate it, click here to have it resent. The Exhibitor Service Manual (ESM) is located here, and is your one stop guide to show rules and regulations, shipping and move-in information, ordering carpet, furnishings, lead retrieval and more.

Now is a good time to also remind you to add [email protected] to your safe senders list so you don’t miss important emails!


Review the entire Exhibitor Service Manual, accessed through the portal.

The first few pages will introduce you to details about ABX and the BCEC, booth specs, and Quick Facts. Following that will be all of the order forms you may need for ABX19.


Know the important dates and deadlines.

Use the Deadlines Checklist to set calendar reminders for key ordering deadlines to ensure you save money and have a smooth set up. 


Know who to contact.

We are here to assist you in having a successful show!  

  • Account Executives will assist you in confirming or upgrading your booth space, making any account changes, and adding sponsorships.

Kelly Gutermuth 972-536-6455

Brian Keefe 617-391-4029

  • Operations Manager can help you find any information you need and assist in the pre-show and on-site logistics of the expo.

    Jennifer Holden 972-536-6304

  • Freeman Service Center will answer shipping and receiving questions and assist in ordering furniture, carpet or cleaning for your booth. 508-894-5100

Train your booth staff.

Boothmanship, the art of successful communication (verbally and physically) with the attendees, should be reviewed at least six weeks before you leave the office! Role playing with the team will help you create the approach and is a great way to establish specific functions in your booth (greeter and qualifier, education and closer).

It takes only 4 seconds to make a first impression on an attendee--good or bad--and you only have 1 chance to make a first impression! 

  • SMILE! Have a positive attitude. How often do potential customers make a special trip to see you?
  • Know your booth so you don’t waste time searching for things – and keep it tidy
  • While working the exhibit, don't sit in your booth or lean on the exhibit counters. You don’t want to look bored!
  • If you visit with each other, or the neighbors, remain front facing and be ready to greet anyone who walks up.
  • Make eye contact; never ignore a prospect, even if you're with another prospect. (Give them a nod and "just a minute" sign). Include them into your conversation.
  • Place your watch face on the inside of your wrist to "sneak peeks".
  • Show up early each day – give yourself 15-20 minutes to get ‘in the zone’ and ready for business!
  • Be sure to turn your cell phone to vibrate mode.
  • We can’t stress this enough…wear comfortable shoes! Test drive them around the home or office a few times before wearing them at the show.
  • Carry and use breath freshener spray or small mints.
  • Know the area; restrooms, water, food, exit doors for fresh air – this limits the amount of time you are away from your booth!

Put together your trade show survival kit.

Suggested items to pack in your checked luggage or booth freight include:

  • Business cards
  • Small tool kit
  • Cell phone and computer charging cables
  • First Aid kit with bandaids and Advil/Tylenol
  • Pens and Markers
  • Water bottle to refill
  • Notepad, tape, scissors  


  • Offering a ‘show special’ is a great way to have your customers place orders on site.
  • Make notes of what your competitors booth looked like, the product they displayed, and other pertinent information. This can help you plan next year!
  • Know your Floor Manager and Freeman reps – they will be by the booth to introduce themselves.
  • Take advantage of the complimentary education session(s) that your booth receives for knowledge and networking.
  • Bring your team to our Opening Night Welcome Party. This will be a great opportunity to network outside of your booth. Consider purchasing drink tickets to hand out to your customers!

Plan for Move out.

This is considered one of the most stressful times and it’s often overlooked! Here are a few notes to get you started:

If you are not using Freeman for your shipping needs:

  • Pre-arrange your outbound shipping with someone who is familiar with tradeshows. You don’t want to fight rush hour traffic trying to find UPS or the post office. There is a business center located in the north lobby of the BCEC, contact them at 617.869.3648 for more information on what items they will ship.
  • Allow 3-4 hours between the close of the show and your departure flight time to allow for pack-up, traffic, etc.
  • Have printed copies of all shipping arrangements and travel documents easily accessible – you never know when technology will decide to stop working!


If you are using Freeman for your shipping needs:

  • Contact them 6-8 weeks out with any questions!
  • If you chose to ship them to the Freeman Warehouse (Advanced Shipping), your material will be delivered to your booth Monday morning, Nov. 4th, and exhibitor move-in will begin at 1pm. If you chose to ship to show site, deliveries will take place in the order they arrive. Once you have unloaded it, place empty labels on all sides of crates/boxes/cases, including pallets if you would like them returned to your booth.
  • Once the show closes, it will take time to return the empties to your booth. Loose cartons and fiber cases are returned first so you may start packing, wooden crates and skids will be next. There is no set booth order and holding your empties pre-show will not help you get them faster at close
  • It may take 3-4 hours for empties to be returned and to pack your booth, so plan ahead when booking your departure flight time.

Additional Tips

  • Keep the square footage of your booth in mind
    when ordering furniture and packing exhibit materials. You want to be able to
    move around and let your customers interact with the product.
  • Take a company credit card to pay all balances
    due on show site.  

Post Show

·       Make sure that you follow up with your booth leads within a week of the show. This will help keep your company fresh in their mind, show that you want to do business, and get your leads into the next step of the sales process.

·       Evaluate the event based on your goals. What worked; what didn't?

·       Pay the deposit on your 2020 booth to take advantage of the exclusive show site opportunities!