Trucking Shows Tips For Exhibitors,
Truck Drivers to Save Money
Trucking shows are a good bit like the many fairs,
festivals and expos we
have attended and been exhibitors at over the years -- except with a
truck-specific theme. These shows are places where
manufacturers/distributors and consumers (sellers and buyers) meet,
where industry executives discuss the future of the industry, and where
drivers can show off their rigs. You can find lists of the actual
events in other locations online.
On this page, we will provide some tips for
exhibitors and truck
driver attendees for the purpose of helping everyone maximize
time and save money.
Money Saving Tips for
Exhibitors at Trucking Shows
As a general rule, exhibitors
are at trucking shows
- to get visibility for one or more products or services,
- to land new paying customers, or
- to get repeat business (if possible).
If an exhibitor does a poor job of attracting
he/she/they will have wasted their money on buying booth space, sending
staff or representatives and spending time during the event.
Exhibitors at trucking shows
can greatly improve their chances of attracting
potential clients (professional truck drivers and trucking companies)
and turning them into
paying customers if they will do the following things:
- Have an attractive booth that is well laid out.
Unless you have a display case, be aware that putting a table between you and your
potential customers could also represent a psychological barrier. Try
to have your tables along the sides of your booth to "invite" customers
sure that you have your most important and basic information
printed on an at-a-glance display, including
- your company's name,
business website (URL),
- your mission or goal, and
- how you achieve your
Don't make truckers guess what it is you do. They won't waste their
Make sure that your signs are easy to read at a distance
- text in a font that is large enough, bold enough and easy-to-read;
"justified" or "bulleted";
- with good
contrast against the background it's on.
Compare, for example, these two signs with exactly the
same information. Which is easier to read? Why?
- Be able to explain (preferably show) a common problem
that truckers have and how you fix it. Be prepared to answer questions
that visitors have.
- If it meets your needs, have something in your booth
that draws people in and makes them want to learn more. Show truckers
their need (even though they may not
realize they have one) and how you go about solving it.
One incentive to draw professional truck drivers into
booths at trucking shows is to offer give-aways. You
decide on the freebies or discounts and then how you want to award
(For example, we offer to
list the freebies and discounts of exhibitors
who have booths at the Mid
America Trucking Show.)
Freebies and discounts can be large or small, but they should have a
definite value and be usable.
- If possible, have a demonstration model of your
product or service in your booth or space so that visitors can see,
touch it. If attendees at trucking shows can get their hands on the
model, they may be more
inclined to buy.
- Have plenty of business cards and material for
truckers to take away with them. It is unrealistic to engage
every visitor or booth passerby in conversation at a
large event. Putting info out will increase the likelihood that
visitors will review the information and follow up later.
If you have CDs or DVDs that show your product or service in action --
instead of just inanimate brochures -- so much the better.
- Have enough people in the booth at all times the
event is going on so that potential customers' questions can be
answered. A big no-no is leaving a booth poorly staffed or
unmanned during announced "open" hours of trucking shows.
- When it comes to answering questions, never ever fake
an answer. If you
don't know the answer,
say you don't know and offer to get the answer for them later. Make
sure you have the person's contact information for follow up. If your
visitor is willing to wait a few minutes, perhaps you can make a phone
call to get the information on the spot.
- If you plan to stand in your booth, make sure you
shoes. The lady in this picture is wearing dress
shoes with heels. Unless she has special shoes and she is used to
standing for long periods of time, her feet will probably
be sore and tired at the end of the day.
- Assure those who sign up for anything in your
potential customers' contact information like gold.
- Make sure you get a "release" for publishing a
or photo of prizewinners so that you are covered legally.
- Some trucking shows may require attendees to
pay to park on the grounds or premises. There are two different ways
that this is
- pay on the way in or
- pay on the way out.
If attendees get a
parking permit on the way in and pay on the way out, see if you can
validate their parking permits to lower their costs to attend. (Every
little bit saved helps.)
- Assuming there is ever a period when they can
register for free, you can help attendees who didn't register for free
to save money by offering free tickets, VIP tickets or early admission
to the show.
- Focus on one theme at a time in your booth. Don't
mix your message. This doesn't mean that you have to sell only one
product or service. But all of the products or services you showcase in
a single trucking show booth should be centered on one theme.
- Offer your visitors a comfortable place to stand or
Anti-fatigue mats or carpet may help. Make sure that any chairs you
provide can handle truckers in both size and weight.
- If you have the proper permit and/or license to do
so, offer complimentary beverages and
food. (This may require getting a booth with an electrical
outlet.) Plan in advance for the number of expected visitors throughout
the trucking show. Do not put all of your goodies on the table at the
of the day or event. Replenish your supply as needed.
- If you run an audio or video message, make sure that
it is good quality, can be scheduled to run repeatedly, and can
heard without drowning out everything around it.
- Make sure you have the adequate insurance
(liability) to cover anything you do in your booth. Eliminate tripping
hazards in your booth.
- If you have an outside booth or expo area,
in advance for adverse weather.
- Wind? Have anchors on your paperwork.
- Rain or sun? Use a gazebo to block precipitation or sunburn.
Saving Tips for
Truck Driver Attendees at Trucking Shows
From a buyer's point of view, truck drivers attend
trucking shows for completely different reasons than exhibitors. Here
is our list of tips for you.
- To maximize your time, have a map or layout of the
trucking show or expo for the event you will attend. Mark which
exhibitors whose booths you want to visit first and work out a route.
Afterwards, you can visit booths of secondary importance and so forth.
- Wear comfortable walking shoes as preparation to
do a lot of
you'll be outside, a cap can help shield your eyes. Also, if it is
sunny or hot outside, protect yourself against sunburn and dehydration.
- Realize that most food at a fair or expo for sale
commercial vendors is very
expensive. If you can, bring your own food
and drink. Something non-perishable (like a peanut butter sandwich as
opposed to an egg salad sandwich) might work out best.
- If you have to eat at the show, do your body a favor
by skipping the high fat, high sugar and/or high calorie offerings.
Some people don't consider their attendance at fairs is complete until
they've had a funnel cake. You can spare your body the task of trying
to ingest less healthy items if you substitute more healthy ones.
- If exhibitors are giving away free samples, don't
afraid to "sample" what they're giving away. (Don't take too much.)
- If you will be taking a substantial amount of
material with you -- say, more than will fit in your pockets or a
"belly pouch" -- you can take a backpack, small rolling
case with you.
Save your back and your legs as much as possible.
- You may have to pay for truck parking or parking
hook-up to run your truck. Don't forget to get a receipt for whatever
you pay for so you can declare it on your taxes. Also, explore less
expensive options of parking your truck and trailer. Is there a truck
stop nearby where you can park and get a ride to the event?
- If you will not be sleeping in your truck, shop
around for accommodations. Remember that in addition to getting
commercial hotels for truckers, there are also opportunities to
housesit or rent a room from private individuals.
- If you bring your rig to a show -- such as for a truck beauty contest -- watch your
See if you can cook in your truck as much as possible to save money.
(See our Food
and Recipes and Meal
- Do you plan to enter your truck in a beauty
Use good quality cleaning products but explore your options about
saving money on them.
- Don't forget to take a breather occasionally when
you've been working hard to connect with exhibitors. Give yourself some
time to "decompress." Feel free to pick up information provided at the
booths and look at it later.
- Resist the urge to buy high-priced items on the
of the moment or get caught up in the "glamour" of new trucks or truck
products. Give yourself some time to think through your purchases and
research the product or service you're considering buying versus those
similar. Just because one manufacturer touts his product doesn't mean
that it is the best at what it does. Consider your money saving goals
and think long-term.
- When you consider purchasing a product, consider
you will know whether or not it does what it is supposed to do. For
example, if you add a device to your rig to enhance aerodynamics, have
a "before" and "after" set of numbers. Same thing with fuel additives, idling
alternatives and other things.
you sign up for anything at a fair
booth -- or sign a petition -- make sure you are comfortable
with the exhibitor and/or know their
set up a freebie email address for sign-ups of this nature, just in
case there is a spam issue later on.
- If you win a prize, freebie, discount or other
give-away at one or more trucking shows, the exhibitor may want to take
your photo. Because it is far better to be safe than sorry, ask in
advance for their release form and understand in
advance how and where they plan to use your photo and name.
If they do
not have one, you may search online for such things as a "photo release
form," "media release form" or just "release form."
- If the set up at a particular trucking show
getting a permit to park in a lot and then paying on the way out, see
if an exhibitor will validate or stamp your parking permit to save you
the cost of parking.
At present, we're not aware of any way to obtain reimbursement for
parking on the way into an expo, fair, festival or show. If you do,
- If you plan to get a free health screening of any
kind at one or more trucking shows, know in advance what will happen to
your collected personally identifiable information. You do not
want this information falling into the wrong hands, especially if there
is an indication that you may have a medical condition.
may be tempted to have measurements made such as
height, weight, neck size, calculation of your BMI (Body Mass Index),
body fat percentage, blood pressure or other.
Will these be written
down? If so, where, by whom and where will it be used? Can it ever be
used against you? Know in advance.
- If you decide to "try before you buy," make sure
understand all of the terms and exactly by when you need to cancel (if
necessary) before the first bill is charged.
Also, if there is a product or service that is
"free" for a limited amount of time, make sure you understand through
what time period it is free. This is sort of like using a coupon
through the expiration date.
- If you obtain a product with a rebate to be
later, make sure that you have all of the paperwork and UPC product
codes you'll need to apply for it. Do not forget to make a copy
(perhaps a scanned image) of all of your paperwork in case the rebate
material "gets lost in the mail" and the company attempt to cheat you
out of the rebate you rightfully deserve and duly applied for.
your health when touching items designed
fit on your body -- and especially your face -- such as CPAP masks.
Exhibitors may be aware of the need for this and clean items between
users. But don't take chances.
Although it may be easier to carry
around a small bottle of hand sanitizer, we urge you to wash your hands
after touching items like this.
- Evaluate claims of any food, drink, supplement or
health product carefully. It is generally true that one size does not
fit all, meaning that different people experience different results
when using these products.
If you have a cell phone equipped to do research, you can search for
information on the spot before you buy.
Also, carefully weigh the impact of accepting anything
by mouth or through your skin (such as an annual
- If you plan to enter yourself or your rig into a
prize drawing or contest, make sure you know ahead of time everything
that is required to enter such as
- where you can get the registration
- how much it costs to enter (if a fee is charged), and
deadline by when entries must be submitted.
- Preparation in attending trucking shows is key. Take
with you things that you may
need during the course of the show such as a pad and pen, any
prescriptions you need to take on a scheduled basis, etc.
- There may be many trucking companies recruiting new
drivers at trucking shows. If you're looking to make a change, you may
want to go with a
list of questions for recruiters and an up-to-date job
history and MVR.
- Protect yourself from theft, both from pick-pockets
and those who might try to enter your vehicle in your absence.
flash large sums of money or flashy jewelry;
- Unless you plan to make a well-thought-out-in-advance purchase,
consider leaving your credit
cards locked up;
- Lock your vehicle when
you're not in it; and
- Store expensive items so that they cannot be seen
from ground level through your truck's windshield or windows.
We hope that these trucking show tips are helpful to
exhibitors and truck drivers alike. Because of the long hours when
these shows are open, some attendees may enjoy using natural energizing
from Trucking Shows Tips
For Exhibitors, Truck Drivers to Save Money
to our Mid America
Trucking Show page or our Truck Drivers Money Saving Tips
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