Your prototype design is on display at trade shows, and so are you!

Finding Success For Your New Invention at Trade Shows

A prototype design is exhibited at a trade show.

Exhibitors demonstrate their prototype designs and products to the media during CES Unveiled Las Vegas.

You’ve found MAKO Design, a prototype design company with end-to-end design services. Your product’s design is done, the prototype is complete, the patent is filed, and you’ve found a manufacturer, so you’re finally ready to take your design to market.

Now, it’s time to take the next step for your invention.

Summer is fast approaching, and trade shows are springing up left and right all across the globe. As a prototype design company, MAKO Design knows the importance of being involved in the design community.

Attending and exhibiting at a trade show provides extensive exposure for one’s product, builds networks with other businesses and gives inventors the opportunity to be immersed in a community of other design creatives.

That being said, simply setting up a booth in a sea of other exhibits will generate little direction or awareness for your invention. Here are a few pointers we’ve collected from Forbes and HuffPost to ensure that you’re more than just another booth at your next trade show:

1. Know Exactly What You Want

Prior to attending a trade show, set a specific objective of what you want to accomplish from this event. Is it finding inspiration for your prototype design? Building a network of manufacturers, distributors or salespersons?Building market presence? Determine measures of ROI that you can look at after the show so you can see what tactics work and what doesn’t.

2. Look Sharp, Be Sharp and Be Engaging

Do not sit down at your table. Push it up against the booth wall, stand up and be ready. Tell people exactly what your product does. No metaphors until after you provide the specifics.

Don't waste valuable time showing off your prototype design!

Stand up and be engaging at trade shows. The only time you should be sitting or on your phone is at a keynote session or when you’re uploading contacts or setting up appointments.

3. Be Assertive, Not Aggressive

Be willing to introduce yourself to anybody who walks by, but DON’T be somebody who won’t let them leave or get in a word. Observe and listen, then take the conversation in the direction they want to go.

4. Respond to Requests as Fast as You Can and Set Appointments Right at the Show

Type/scan in business cards during the show and at the hotel room right afterwards. Try to follow up by email or LinkedIn that night or even a phone call by the next day. The more you wait, the more time they have to forget you.

5. Show Interest in Others First

Explore other booths and trade contact info with everyone. Ask questions about their prototype design and why they’re here. You never know who you will meet and what they can do for you.

Prototype designs are featured through out the floor at CES 2017

MAKO Design proudly attended CES 2017 to study up-and-coming prototype design trends and lend assistance to those looking for design advice.

Attendees explore the tradeshow floor at the 2017 CES Trade Show, an annual event that showcases more than 3,900 exhibiting companies, including manufacturers, developers and suppliers of consumer technology hardware, content, technology delivery systems and more. The conference program includes more than 300 conference sessions and more than 170K attendees from 150 countries.

About: MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to startups, small manufacturers, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial designmechanical engineeringelectrical engineeringpatent referralprototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry's leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Click HERE to learn more about MAKO Design + Invent!


  1. Jackie

    2017-06-01 at 2:11 pm

    I’m glad that I stumbled across this article. It really showcases Mako Design’s commitment to not only helping their clients’ ideas get to market, but succeed in it as well. I can really see how these tactics would help engage a wider audience and build a strong presence at trade shows. Would recommend it to any aspiring entrepreneurs. Hats off to whoever wrote this.

    • KevMako

      2017-06-01 at 4:32 pm

      Thanks for the note Jackie! That’s a really nice thing to say. I’m glad our hard work is being noticed 🙂


      Kevin Mako, President, MAKO Design + Invent

  2. Vrl Automation

    2017-08-01 at 6:15 am

    Thank you for sharing this great article i hope its work to me and its helpful.


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