How We Set Up for Success on Our First Exhibition Weekend

ToolMates Hire was able to book a hard-to-get spot at the Better Homes & Gardens Live event at the Sydney Showgrounds this past weekend, September 16-18th. We were among 180 exhibitors including celebrity chefs, many small businesses, and a few larger ones like Ryobi.

In the morning on the first day of the exhibition, we the ToolMates Hire team gathered and prepared to make the weekend well worth the effort and the costs of attending a trade show. We chose to focus our efforts on increasing brand awareness, expanding our user base, and learning from successes of other companies at the show.

Goal: brand awareness

Result: connected with a vast number of attendees at the exhibition, distributed branded material, and displayed our logo/name.


  • We ordered different sorts of marketing materials in hopes to appeal to a broad audience and ordered large quantities of each also to be able to provide each interested visitor with all types in order to help reinforce our message and legitimacy.
    • included branded fridge magnet bottle openers, wallet-sized bottle openers, traditional bottle openers, pens, brochures, two-sided flyers (each side meant to reach one of the two markets we are trying to reach), business cards, and even a branded interactive software projector game!
  • The booth we inhabited was a 3-sided 3m deep room. We reached-out to WrapStyles Sydney to get them to wrap the 3-walls with specially-designed branded graphics that were successful in grabbing passer-by’s attention.

Goal: 20-30 new users

Results: 40 new registered users


  • We actively tried to engage exhibition visitors as they passed by our stand. We tried to avoid coming at visitors like a big business would, and instead related with them on a casual level. After all, our product is all about person-to-person interactions.
  • We held a “win an iPad” competition to supplement the number of visitors organically interested in our product. The prospect of winning drew people in to talk to us. As they were signing up, we actually bought valuable time with them which we used to explain how our site works and the benefits they could have by listing their tools with us.

Along with reaching those goals, we also learned valuable exhibiting techniques from others, and gained market research insight regarding the sort of concerns our users have, and who our users are.

Another blog coming Friday outlining what it took to have success at the show…including price breakdowns and resource links!

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