Planning is an essential part of any successful trade show, mainly because it keeps you organized and from getting stressed when you are trying to get everything done at the last minute. A great plan will make everything run much smoother, from reserving a booth space at the show to having your trade show exhibit delivered on time and to the right place. Preparations for the big event should begin as soon as possible, which could be an entire year. As you begin planning, take these tips into consideration.
1. Become an Attendee First
Before even deciding on what show you want to exhibit at, walk the shows as an attendee first. Take a mental note of what companies are exhibiting, if your competitors are there, and eye-catching booth designs that got your attention in order to get an idea of how you should design your display. As an attendee, you will also get the opportunity to see which booth spaces seem to get the most traffic in order to decide where you would want to have your display.
2. Create a Budget
Knowing how much money you have to work with prior to beginning to prepare for the show will make it much easier for you to know what you can afford. Create a list of everything you will need to spend money on at the show, including travel expenses, promotional and giveaway items, trade show booth, staffing, etc. Expect to spend the majority of your budget on your booth, but make sure that once you have a set budget, you split it up to determine how much you will need for each item on your list.
3. Reserve Your Spot Early
I m sure you have heard the phrase the early bird gets the worm. Well, the same holds true for booth spaces. The earlier you reserve yours, the better selection you will have, including the highly coveted spaces that are usually the first ones to get taken. Find out from the event s website or by contacting them to see when the earliest you can register and reserve your spot is. Where you are located can set the tone for your entire trade show experience, so make sure you get the one you want.
4. Design Your Trade Show Booth
The first thing attendees are going to notice is your show display, so it s important you begin shopping for and purchasing your booth a few months prior to the show. Whether you want a simple, portable booth or want to go all out and go with a custom display, don t wait until last minute to begin looking for the right one for the upcoming event and your budget.
5. Promote Your Booth
About 2 months before the show, make sure your audience knows about it by taking to your social media pages and posting any information they will need to know. Also inform them of any contests, giveaways, demonstrations, or presentations you will have at the show.
6. Have a Follow up Plan
Following up is the most important part of your trade show plan because it is this step that will help convert leads into customers. Decide what method you are going to use to follow up with them (email, phone call, or handwritten note) and who will be in charge of following up. Using a lead retrieval system will make this job a lot easier, but having attendees fill out lead forms will also help.
These are just a few ideas that will help you successfully plan for your upcoming event.