Whether you’re new to the world of trade shows or you haven’t done one in awhile, you probably have some questions running through your head. How you should be preparing for the event? People, places, logistics… Rest assured, we’re here to help. Here are the 6 main things you should be planning for before your trade show even begins.
- Plan Ahead
Success with a trade show display is determined long before you ever reach the show location. Ensuring you have been assigned a booth that will draw traffic, for example, is a responsibility that falls on your shoulders. Event planning is hard work and it requires significant budgeting of both time and resources.
Do I have a budget? And if so, what is it?
Who are my partners and are they reliable?
What are the important deadlines?
How will I capture my leads?
How many people should staff my trade show booth?
- Gather Event Information and Logistics
There’s plenty of data and resources out there about any particular trade show. Most events take care to update their FAQs and/or provide checklists. Rake the coals and find the information you need in order to familiarize yourself with the event before you get there. Visit the site in-person if possible, but at a minimum, gather up all the data you can find on its traffic flow logistics, FAQs, services available (e.g. A/V, power, etc.), shipping and drayage, setup and teardown, and travel plans.
- Ask Questions
How will your planned trade show display fit in with the surrounding displays? Should I rent or buy a trade show display or banner stand? Who can help me design one? Which qualified trade show staff will you bring with you to the event? Make sure that you’re asking these vital questions beforehand so that you’re prepared on the day of the event.
- Register Early
Early registration is a must in order to get one of the better trade show booth locations. Even then, be prepared to do some negotiations with the event staff if you feel that you have been assigned a less-than-optimal trade show booth location. You might even inquire about sharing booths with another trade show attendee if you feel that they have a better location and your products complement one another. Such arrangements, of course, will require negotiation with the other attendee and approval with event staff.
What is perhaps even more important than your actual trade show display is the advertising that you do before the trade show. Be sure to utilize a variety of mediums to promote your upcoming trade show attendance. Send out a professional email newsletter and use social media. Combine these approaches with phone calls to make sure everyone on your contact list is alerted and ready to attend what could be your best trade show ever.
- Keep the Details in Mind
Have sufficient well-trained staff prepped for the specific event. Also, have the ability to accept credit cards. Maintain a customer list from past shows and do the same for this one. Some events offer lead capturing devices or systems. Rank your customers in order of importance in case your budget only allows personalized prenotification such as mailers and expensive brochures of a limited number.
By following these 6 tips, your trade show booth will be set up for solid success! One more quick tip for the road: Once you put on your stellar event, be sure to prioritize following up with your leads. Your trade show follow-up process ensures that all of the hard work you and your team put into your booth doesn’t go to waste.
Ultimately, trade shows can be extremely beneficial to your business and should be considered in your marketing plans. If you’d like more information on how to have the best trade show booth, or tips on how to have a great show, all you have to do is contact us today!