When it comes to trade show planning, there are a lot of elements to consider. From choosing a show to designing your booth, we have you covered with these trade show planning tips:
- Plan your trade show calendar. Participating in a trade show is an investment in your time and money, so you need to take some time when deciding which shows to include on your trade show calendar. Here are some things to consider when planning your calendar:
- Will the attendees likely be my target customer/audience base? In the long run, it is better to reach only a hundred attendees who are very likely to become customers than to go to a general show that will attract thousands of uninterested people.
- What do I want to get out of the trade show? There might be several answers to this question. You might want to increase your visibility and gain a broader audience. You also might be looking to gain a target number of customers. You could also want to check out the competition, particularly if you are new to your organization or business and/or to trade shows in general. Take some time to determine your goal(s) for your trade show experience when you are planning your calendar to maximize the benefit your organization will receive from your effort.
- What are the show’s organizers planning for the event? Contact the show’s organizers for a manual, which will include a planned schedule, registration information, floor plans, an exhibit floor map, specifications for exhibitors, and an invitation for panelists and/or speakers. The manual should give you a good indication of whether or not the show is a good match for your goals.
Before Each Trade Show
Once you have your trade show calendar set, it’s time to start planning how you will utilize your time. Here are some tips to get started at least a month ahead of your trade show:
- Put it in writing. Write out your trade show agenda including a list of tasks needed to get done before the trade show. Assign an individual to each task, and check in regularly to make sure everything is getting done on time. Also, put together your timeline/agenda for the trade show along with specific tasks for individuals. Make sure your entire team has copies and knows what you are expecting from them leading up to and during the trade show.
- Advertise your participation. Include your booth and trade show in press releases and on your website and social media accounts to let people know how to find you at your trade show. Announce any giveaways you will be offering at the trade show to encourage people to stop by your booth.
- Plan your booth. Planning your booth will take a lot of thoughtful consideration and time, so get this part started well ahead of your first trade show. Make sure your logo is prominently displayed, and design an open booth that will invite people to step in to talk to your representatives and explore your products. Tables and clunky displays tend to keep people out of booths, so avoid these in your design. A portable booth that is easy to set up and take down is best so that you can reuse your booth design for every trade show on your calendar.
- Train exhibit representatives. The most important factor of your trade show success is going to be whether or not your organization’s representatives gain customers through their professional appearance, knowledge, and demonstrations. Make sure your reps are trained to handle any and all technology including demonstrations and presentations. They should also go through some troubleshooting and be trained on how to keep a professional attitude and demeanor no matter what comes their way. Attendees might not remember the technology glitch that prevented them from seeing a demo, but they will remember how the reps handled it.
Planning a trade show is a big undertaking, and fortunately you don’t need to do it alone. Exhibit Network can help you through every step of the planning stage for your trade show, no matter how much experience you have already. For more information on how we can help you plan your next trade show, contact us today.