Best Practices for Vendor Events and Trade Shows: Standing Out and Driving Traffic

Best Practices for Vendor Events and Trade Shows: Standing Out and Driving Traffic

Trade show booth

Trade shows and vendor events present fantastic opportunities for businesses to showcase their products, network with industry professionals, and generate leads. However, with numerous competitors vying for attention, standing out can be challenging. By implementing strategic pre-event marketing, designing an engaging booth, and executing effective post-event follow-up, you can maximize your impact and ROI. Here are some best practices to ensure your presence at trade shows and vendor events is successful. 

Pre-Event Marketing

1. Define Clear Objectives

Establish what you hope to achieve from the event. Are you looking to generate leads, launch a new product, or increase brand awareness? Clear goals will guide your strategy and help measure success.

2. Promote Your Attendance

Leverage your existing marketing channels to let your audience know you’ll be at the event. Use email newsletters, social media, and your website to build anticipation. Create an event-specific hashtag and encourage attendees to use it.

3. Engage with Attendees Pre-Event

Use social media platforms to engage with potential attendees before the event. Create teaser content, share behind-the-scenes preparations, and initiate conversations to build rapport.

4. Schedule Meetings in Advance

Reach out to key prospects and existing clients to schedule meetings during the event. This ensures you maximize your time and strengthens relationships.

Trade Show Booth Design and Layout

1. Attractive and Functional Design

Your booth should be visually appealing and reflect your brand. Use bold graphics, clear signage, and professional displays. Ensure your booth is open and inviting, allowing easy access and flow of traffic. 

2. Interactive Elements

Incorporate interactive elements such as touchscreens, product demos, and VR experiences. These elements engage visitors and provide memorable experiences.

3. Strategic Layout

Design your booth layout to facilitate easy movement and interaction. Place key information and products at eye level, and ensure there are designated areas for demonstrations and private conversations. A local example pictured above is Lasorella Renovation at the Canton, Ohio Home Show. 

4. Comfortable Space

Provide comfortable seating and a welcoming environment. This encourages attendees to spend more time at your booth and engage in meaningful conversations.

Drawing Traffic to Your Booth

1. Compelling Hook

Use eye-catching displays or live demonstrations to attract attention. Offer freebies or samples to draw people in and create a positive first impression.

2. Engaging Staff

Your booth staff should be well-trained, approachable, and knowledgeable. They should ask open-ended questions to engage attendees, such as “What brings you to the event today?” or “Have you heard about our latest product?”

3. Interactive Activities

Host contests, games, or quizzes with attractive prizes. This not only draws traffic but also collects contact information for lead generation. 

4. Social Media Engagement

Encourage visitors to share their experiences on social media using your event hashtag. Offer incentives for posts, such as entry into a prize draw, to amplify your reach.

Post Vendor Event Follow-Up

1. Timely Follow-Up

Follow up with leads promptly after the event. Send personalized emails thanking them for visiting your booth, and provide additional information or offers relevant to their interests.

2. Analyze and Reflect

Review your performance against your objectives. Analyze what worked well and identify areas for improvement to refine your strategy for future events.

3. Share Success Stories

Share your event experiences and success stories on your blog, social media, and in newsletters. Highlight key takeaways, notable interactions, and any press coverage received.

4. Nurture Leads

Develop a lead nurturing strategy to maintain contact with prospects. Use targeted email campaigns, personalized follow-ups, and valuable content to keep your brand top-of-mind.


Standing out at trade shows and vendor events requires strategic planning, engaging booth design, and effective follow-up. By implementing these best practices, you can enhance your visibility, attract more visitors, and achieve your event objectives. Remember, the key to success lies in the details—preparing thoroughly, engaging genuinely, and following up diligently.

Engage with your audience, create memorable experiences, and build lasting relationships to ensure your next trade show is a resounding success!

#6MixxPicks for Getting through the First Year of Business.

#6MixxPicks for Getting through the First Year of Business.

In honor of our upcoming anniversary, we’re sharing our #6MixxPicks for getting through the first year of business.

Network Relentlessly

Build a network of mentors, peers, and industry contacts who can offer advice, support, and potential business opportunities.

How it looks at 6Mixx: We participate in weekly and monthly networking groups, virtual networking groups, local chamber events, and always have business cards and flyers on hand.

Stay Financially Disciplined

You don’t need all the bells and whistles—start small and scale. Be mindful of the software you choose to pay for, the office space you procure, and the benefits you offer.

How it looks at 6Mixx: We utilize a lot of free software, like Asana and Hubspot, to keep costs down.

Prioritize Marketing and Branding

Invest time and resources into creating a strong brand identity and effective marketing strategies to attract and retain customers. If people don’t recognize your brand, they won’t think of you and thats critical, especially in the first year of business. 

How it looks at 6Mixx: We focus on consistent networking, regular content creation, hosting workshops, and ensuring we are always on brand.

Set Goals

Setting goals in the first year can sometimes seem unrealistic or impossible, but set them anyway. Goals keep you motivated and on track, and celebrating small wins is important. 

How it looks at 6Mixx: We set targets for the number of new clients, financial goals, and even project-specific objectives.

Manage Your Time Effectively

Figure out what works best for you. Use time management tools and techniques to prioritize tasks, avoid burnout, and ensure you’re focusing on high-impact activities.

How it looks at 6Mixx: We use Asana to track our projects and meet twice a week for work sessions. This helps us stay aligned, focus on collective priorities, hold each other accountable, and get out of the house.

Maintain Work-Life Balance

Balance the demands of your business with personal time to avoid burnout and maintain overall well-being, which is crucial for long-term success. Many entrepreneurs work 80 hours a week, but working smarter, not harder, is key.

How it looks at 6Mixx: We try to take off Fridays in the summer to spend time with our kids. A balanced life is essential from day one. A balanced momma is a successful momma.

At 6Mixx, these practices have been instrumental in our success and can guide new organizations through their first year in business. Reach out if you have any questions!

Empowering Nonprofits: A Recap of the Grant Writer Meet Up Group

Empowering Nonprofits: A Recap of the Grant Writer Meet Up Group

Grant Writer Meetup

Today, I’m excited to take you on a journey through a recent engagement with the Grant Writer Meet Up Group in Akron, Ohio. Although you might not have been in attendance, I’ll share the highlights and insights from this event.

An Invitation to Akron, Ohio

My day began in the welcoming city of Akron, where we had the honor of addressing a dynamic group of over 45 attendees at the House 330. This innovative, multi-use facility is a proud initiative of the LeBron James Family Foundation and is known as House Three Thirty. It stands as an innovative hub, filled with resources for and by I PROMISE families, with the belief that it can change the entire trajectory of the community. It truly was an amazing faciility and I plan to go back often for meetings or when I just need out of the house . Additionally, I can see 6Mixx hosting events there in the near future.

Meet 6Mixx: Nurturing Small Businesses and Nonprofits

For those unfamiliar with us, let me introduce you. We are 6Mixx, an organization with a simple yet powerful mission: to empower both small businesses and nonprofits in reaching their goals. Our range of services includes strategic planning, marketing and event management, fundraising support, and much more.

The Genesis of Our Journey

Our story, much like many in the nonprofit sector, began with a deep passion for making a positive impact. Having spent significant time in various nonprofit and startup environments, my co-founder and I witnessed a recurring theme – the constant juggling of roles, managing diverse responsibilities, all while grappling with limited resources and often a lack of a clear strategic direction.

In these moments of shared struggle,  we also couldn’t always afford the high-end consultants or marketing agency support we so desperately needed.

From Insight to Action: The Birth of 6Mixx

As our careers evolved, we transitioned into roles where we could help organizations build the essential foundations for growth. It was during this transformative journey that we recognized our potential to make a broader impact. We saw an opportunity to educate and assist organizations in becoming more efficient, scaling effectively, and achieving more with fewer resources. This vision led to the creation of 6Mixx.

Today, we stand proudly with a dedicated team of experts and a network of specialized consultants. Together, we collaborate on projects that empower organizations and communities.

Six Key Areas for Empowering Nonprofits

In my presentation at the Grant Writer Meet Up Group, I shared our six key areas that are instrumental in nonprofit success and some recommendations to spark ideas.

1. Marketing & Events: Crafting a Strategic Blueprint

Key Insight: A well-defined strategy is the cornerstone of success in marketing and event management.

Marketing and events play a pivotal role in spreading the message and mission of your nonprofit. It’s imperative to have a strategic blueprint in place. Flexibility is valuable, but marketing without a plan is akin to wandering without direction. Take a step back, evaluate your approach, and create a comprehensive strategy that defines your audience, objectives, and tactics.

2. Fundraising: Embracing Mobile Accessibility and Donor Empowerment

Key Insight: Mobile-friendly giving forms and thoughtful donation requests empower donors to make meaningful contributions.

Online giving has become the norm, and ensuring mobile accessibility is paramount. Additionally, consider the impact of your donation requests. Donors appreciate transparency and opportunities to make significant contributions. Avoid asking for “wimpy” donations, and create a giving environment that encourages generosity.

3. Organizational Culture: Nurturing a Positive Foundation

Key Insight: A positive organizational culture begins with day one and influences every aspect of your nonprofit.

Your nonprofit’s culture is the beating heart of your organization. It starts from day one, influencing employee onboarding, volunteer training, and board education. To cultivate a culture of engagement and giving, set clear expectations and lead by example. Your actions as a leader shape the culture that permeates your nonprofit.

4. Organizational Efficiency: Mapping the Path to Success

Key Insight: Efficiency is not accidental; it’s the result of deliberate planning and strategic use of resources.

Take the time to map a clear strategy for your nonprofit. Define your goals and outline the steps to achieve them. Document key processes within your organization to ensure consistency and smooth transitions, even during staff changes. Embrace technology and artificial intelligence to streamline repetitive tasks, freeing up valuable time for mission-critical activities.

5. Partnership & Community Relations: Building Alliances for Growth

Key Insight: Partnerships extend beyond other non-profits; they include large corporations, tech startups, and more.

Collaboration is at the core of nonprofit success. While partnerships with other nonprofits and funders are crucial, don’t overlook local tech startups, large corporations, restaurants, and small businesses. When done right, these collaborations can yield financial support and a dedicated volunteer base. Cultivate relationships, define expectations clearly, and work together for mutual benefit.

6. Constituent Journey: Guiding Supporters from Day 1 to 1000

Key Insight: The constituent journey must be carefully mapped, personalized, and responsive to feedback.

Understanding your constituents’ journey is paramount. From their initial interaction with your nonprofit to their thousandth, each touchpoint matters. Tailor your communication to their preferences and needs, ensuring they receive relevant and timely information. Establish a feedback loop to continuously enhance their experience, demonstrating your commitment to their engagement.


In conclusion, these six areas serve as the foundation for nonprofit success. Taking the time to reflect on each one can pave the way for transformative change in your organization. By embracing strategic planning, fostering a positive culture, optimizing fundraising, nurturing partnerships, and personalizing the constituent journey, nonprofits can create a brighter future for their communities and the causes they champion.

Our presence at the Grant Writer Meet Up Group aimed to inspire fresh perspectives and spark innovative ideas to empower nonprofits, regardless of their size. Although you may not have been in attendance, we invite you to join the conversation. Together, let’s continue our journey towards making a positive impact in our communities.

Thank you to the Grant Writer Meet Up Group. If you’d like to attend in the future, contact Nicole Hagy. 

Sarah Trescott
Co-Founder, 6Mixx

*Photo courtesy of Alison Doehring

The Power of Employee Reviews in Small Businesses and Nonprofits

The Power of Employee Reviews in Small Businesses and Nonprofits

The Power of Employee Reviews in Small Businesses and Nonprofits


In the fast-paced world of small businesses and nonprofits, every individual is a vital contributor, a driving force behind the scenes, and an integral part of the collective journey toward success. While daily feedback keeps us on track, there’s something truly exceptional about the occasional sit-down employee review to discuss goals, both personal and professional. Today, we delve into the significance of Employee Reviews, why they matter, and how modern reviews are shaping the landscape of these organizations.

Why Employee Reviews Matter:

  • Alignment: The cornerstone of any thriving organization is its mission and objectives. Employee Reviews ensure that every team member is aligned with these overarching goals. They provide clarity, helping individuals understand their unique roles within the bigger picture.
  • Personal Growth: Employee Reviews offer a valuable opportunity for personal growth discussions. They serve as a platform to set clear paths for career development within the organization, helping employees realize their potential and aspirations.
  • Motivation: Feedback and recognition are powerful motivators. Regular reviews ensure that employees feel valued for their contributions, which, in turn, boosts their motivation and productivity. When employees feel appreciated, they are more likely to go above and beyond in their roles.
  • Continuous Improvement: Small businesses and nonprofits are known for their agility. Year-end reviews summarize the progress made, serving as a foundation for improvements in the upcoming year. These reviews ensure that the organization remains adaptable and responsive to changing circumstances.
  • Retaining Talent: Identifying and addressing concerns or issues is crucial for retaining top talent. Employee Reviews provide a platform to discuss any challenges faced by team members and work collaboratively on solutions. This proactive approach can significantly impact talent retention.

Modern vs. Traditional Employee Reviews:

  • Frequency: Modern reviews are more frequent, focusing on ongoing feedback rather than an annual event. This approach keeps everyone in the loop, minimizes surprises, and ensures that feedback is relevant and timely.
  • Two-way Communication: Modern reviews are a two-way street. They encourage employees to voice their opinions, aspirations, and concerns, fostering open dialogue between team members and management.
  • Goal-Centric: These reviews are highly goal-centric, emphasizing personal and professional development goals that are both meaningful and achievable. It’s about setting targets that resonate with each individual and contribute to the organization’s success.
  • Technology Integration: Many small businesses and nonprofits are embracing technology for performance tracking and feedback. This integration makes the process more efficient, transparent, and accessible for all parties involved.
  • Recognition: In modern reviews, recognition and appreciation are not just reserved for annual events. Regular reviews encompass regular recognition, maintaining high morale and motivation throughout the year.

Every employee is more than just a team member in the world of small businesses and nonprofits; they are the lifeblood, the driving force, and the beating heart of the organization. Employee Reviews serve as a compass, guiding the way to success, and ensuring that each individual’s contributions are acknowledged and valued.

So, whether you’re gearing up for those year-end reviews or embracing the modern approach to ongoing feedback, remember that your dedication and hard work play a pivotal role in shaping the future of your organization. Together, we create a tapestry of impact that touches lives, inspires change, and shapes a brighter future for all.

Need help with your review? Let us know, we’re happy to help!

The Impact of High Turnover Rates at Startups

The Impact of High Turnover Rates at Startups

The Impact of High Turnover Rates at Startups

Startups are known for their innovative ideas, agility, and fast-paced work environments. However, one common challenge they face is high employee turnover rates. Rapid talent turnover can significantly impact a startup’s progress and hinder its growth potential. In this blog post, we will explore the implications of high turnover rates on startups and discuss why outsourcing to agencies can be a wise choice to mitigate these challenges.

The Challenge of High Turnover Rates at Startups

Employee turnover refers to the rate at which employees leave a company and need to be replaced. Startups often experience higher turnover rates compared to more established companies. According to a study by BambooHR, small businesses with fewer than 100 employees experience an average annual turnover rate of 19.8% [1]. This turnover can be attributed to various factors, such as limited resources, intense workloads, and increased competition for talent.

Impacts on Progress and Growth

High employee turnover can result in a significant loss of knowledge and expertise. When experienced employees leave, they take valuable insights, industry-specific knowledge, and skills acquired during their tenure. This loss can slow down progress and hinder innovation within the startup.

In addition,  frequent turnover can disrupt team dynamics and negatively impact collaboration. Constantly integrating new team members and acclimating them to the company’s culture and processes can divert valuable time and resources away from core business activities. This disruption can hamper productivity and hinder progress.

Lastly, hiring and training new employees is a costly and time-consuming process. Often operating with limited resources, startups may find it challenging to allocate sufficient funds and time to consistently recruit and onboard new talent. The financial strain and delays associated with frequent recruitment cycles can impede progress and slow growth.

The Benefits of Outsourcing to Agencies

To mitigate the challenges posed by high turnover rates, startups can consider outsourcing certain functions to agencies specializing in those areas. Here are a few reasons why outsourcing can be a wise choice:

    • Access to Expertise:

      Outsourcing to specialized agencies provides startups access to a pool of skilled professionals who are experts in their respective fields. These agencies often have a track record of successful projects and possess the industry-specific knowledge and experience that startups may lack internally. By leveraging this expertise, startups can accelerate progress and achieve better outcomes.

    • Cost and Time Efficiency:

      Outsourcing can be a cost-effective solution for startups compared to hiring full-time employees. By outsourcing specific tasks or projects, startups can reduce recruitment and training costs and overhead expenses associated with employee benefits and infrastructure. Additionally, outsourcing allows startups to tap into a talent pool without investing extensive time and effort in recruitment.

High turnover rates can pose significant challenges to startups and hinder their progress and growth. By recognizing the implications of turnover and considering outsourcing to specialized agencies, startups can mitigate these challenges and achieve better outcomes. Outsourcing provides access to expertise, cost and time efficiency, and the ability to focus on core competencies. In the competitive startup landscape, leveraging the benefits of outsourcing can be a wise choice to foster progress and drive success.

References: [1] BambooHR: Employee Turnover Report: