With any marketing strategy or campaign, planning is the key to success. Trade show planning is no exception. It takes a great deal of foresight and preparation. Taking the right steps in the right manner makes trade show planning a breeze.
Essential Trade Show Planning Tips
1. Your trade show planning should begin as early as possible. One of the biggest mistakes made, and one that can add a considerable amount to your total cost for an event, is waiting until a few weeks before an event to start the planning process. Ideally, you will start the preparations months in advance to ensure everything goes smoothly.
2. Consider the transport and storage costs before you purchase exhibit booths and display items. Heavier pieces will cost more to ship to and from the venue, and larger or oversized items may be more expensive to store when they are not being used for a show. Taking these factors into consideration before you buy will help you control costs.
3. Publicity and marketing need to be included on any trade show planning list, and these activities should start well before the event begins. If you want people to stop by your booth during an event you need to let them know where you are going to be and when. Start your marketing activities weeks or even months in advance.
The trade show press releases that you create can be a perfect way to introduce your products at your exhibit booth during the event.
4. Reserve the space for your exhibit booths as early as possible to make sure that you get a good spot on the floor and the right space type and size. If you want until 2-3 weeks before the event starts, it may be difficult to get any space at all and you could find yourself off in a corner and away from the flow of traffic as a result.
5. Part of any successful trade show planning is choosing the right events for your company and products. Make a list of local, state, and nationwide events that fit well with your industry and market sector. This will help you choose the right events and give you better results for the time and money spent.
6. Setting objectives for each show is important, and this will help you determine whether you are meeting your goals or if you are falling short for some reason. After each event, you can evaluate all of the factors and then make any changes before the next event occurs.
7. As part of your trade show planning you will need to create and order literature from a trusted printer. This is something that should be done as soon as possible to avoid any extra charges or rush order costs, and if you wait too long you could be missing the important items that you need to sell your products effectively.
8. Consider adding color brochures and fliers to the marketing collateral that you hand out at your exhibit booths. These can show off your best products in full color, giving them greater appeal and engaging qualified prospects.
9. Press releases should always be included in your trade show planning. These pieces grab the attention of the reader with a newsworthy story, and contain information about your company or products that can help attract interested consumers or business owners.
It is a cost-effective way to heighten visibility and promote products and services that are showcased at exhibits.
10. Contact the event coordinator or special services manager at the venue to discuss your needs and preferences for the specific event in question. Do this as soon as you decide to exhibit at the event to make sure that all of your needs will be met.
11. Space selection is an important part of trade show planning, because the right space and floor location can make a big difference on the outcome. At some events, space can fill up quickly so reserve the ideal space as soon as you can.
Do whatever you can to get the best space possible. Get your application in early and be sure to request the best space available.
12. The design of your exhibit booths needs to be well thought out. Consider the traffic flow, literature placement, and other display components to ensure that everything is convenient and easily accessible for your visitors at the event.
13. One item that should be on your trade show planning to do list is to arrange for transportation and lodging. This is needed for yourself and for any staff or support people that will be attending the venue with you.
Many hotels become booked far in advance when large trade shows and conventions come to town. Pricing is generally lower when you book in advance and you will avoid the possibility of no rooms available.
14. Make sure that you have enough staff to cover your exhibit booths around the clock, and that your staff have been well trained about your products and company.
Knowing how to talk with the public and being comfortable with big crowds is a must for anyone who works a trade show.
15. When you are engaged in trade show planning one important aspect is the methods and techniques that will be used for lead generation. Figure out how you will gather lead information and what you will do with this information once you have it. It doesn’t end when the show is over. Follow up methods need to be meticulously planned ahead.
Now that you have a comprehensive list to help you get ready for your next trade show or convention, it should be easy for you to enjoy the show and be a success. What else do you consider important when you start trade show planning?