Five expo tips for exhibiting start-ups

Expos are an ideal platform for companies looking to showcase themselves, get noticed by new customers and market their products. These are all important aspects for start-ups, in particular for those who want to hit the ground running. The Insights-X expo offers a comprehensive service to anyone involved in the paper, office supply and stationery sector. This is where companies can target their products at a broad selection of trade professionals and make new contacts. However, in order to make the most of exhibiting at Insights-X, there are a few points that start-ups should bear in mind. 

1.    Preparations 

On registering for Insights-X, the planning begins. First-time exhibitors in particular probably ask themselves a few questions: what kind of stand design will we go for? How much lighting and electricity will we need? Who will build the stand? How much is stand rental? The answers to many questions can be found in the Online Service Center on the Insights-X website. The expo’s own app informs exhibitors and visitors about the expo. In addition to your technical preparations, it is also crucial that you let your own customers know in good time that you will be taking part and start inviting them to the expo. There are numerous channels for this: websites, newsletters and social media work well. Insights-X’s own media services also give exhibitors ways to get noticed. Include your own coupon in the expo voucher booklet to end up directly in the hands of expo visitors. This will attract even more trade visitors to your stand. For start-ups in particular, it is also worth inviting trade journalists to your stand so that you can introduce yourself to them as a new entrant to the industry. The last step in your preparations is to put together a team with extensive knowledge about the products that can effectively represent your start-up. 

2.    The big event – getting noticed at the expo 

In order to ensure that you receive as much attention as possible at the expo, first-time exhibitors need an eye-catching stand in addition to a friendly and motivated team. There are no limits to creativity when it comes to design. All that matters is that visitors can quickly identify the kind of start-up and product involved. It is important to emphasise your individuality, while remaining true to your product brand. Companies specialising in sustainable stationery, for example, should incorporate this theme into their stand design. And as is so often the case: quality trumps quantity. Visitors are easily put off by stands with a confusion of products and messages. This is where high-quality design proves its worth, allowing start-ups to also stand out from the crowd. 
Further attention can be gained through a secondary placement at one of the many activity areas, such as #Inspiration. This small investment goes a long way. 

3.    Reach out to visitors

Start-ups need to actively engage with people in order to get an opportunity to tell their story, impress them with their product and build business relationships. Visitors also like to test products for themselves. Offer a creative giveaway with your logo and visitors are bound to remember you. Ideally, these should be products that everyone needs, but rarely buys for themselves, such as pens or key rings, with a surprising twist. 

4.    Boosting your reach – interaction via social media 

Social media offers start-ups new ways to interact with customers. Even if they cannot make it to the expo, they can still feel part of the goings-on and experience the company in a very personal and approachable way. Social networks are therefore a really important positioning tool. This includes any channel the company uses, including live tweets with dedicated hashtags, posts on Instagram or Facebook, and stories and live videos directly from the exhibition centre. There are no limits to what exhibitors can do in this regard. Users quickly get irritated by companies posting too much, however. Exhibitors should therefore consciously use social media where it makes sense to do so and limit themselves to a few special insights from the expo.

5.    The follow-up

Once back in the office after the expo, all participants should come together to consider what went well as well as what could be improved upon in the future. This review might also draw on inspiration from other exhibitors: what did the expo team like about them? Did they perform better? Or did they have a particularly nice stand? These and similar observations can help a start-up to showcase itself even more effectively at the next expo. It is important to get in touch with people who visited your stand soon after the expo. The encounter with your start-up is then still fresh in their minds and you can demonstrate your reliability. 

Short and sweet – quick tips for exhibiting at Insights-X


In conclusion, here again are the aspects that start-ups should remember when exhibiting at the expo:


  • Check the Insights-X app and website regularly to stay up to date. 
  • Save costs by booking travel and accommodation for the expo team and ordering giveaways and business cards in good time.
  • Boost your reach with a secondary placement.
  • Use social media!
  • Get suggestions and inspiration from other stands. This will give you an idea of all of the trends in the stationery world.

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