Organizing a trade show appearance can seem impossible at times, especially when it comes to managing your team.
Luckily, incorporating proper organization into your trade show planning can ensure your event runs without a hitch. There are plenty of tips and tricks to keep trade show planning stress free and under your control. To help, we’ve compiled a list of helpful trade show organization techniques to demonstrate how to adequately prepare for the event.
Finding the Right Trade Show
Before planning a trade show, you need to find the right one. Trade shows come in all different shapes and sizes, often varying by location and industry. Make sure to pay extra attention to location – participating in an event where your target market is both present and active maximizes the impact of your brand’s presence, increasing the amount of attendees.
It is also important to check the trade show calendar early – you don’t want to miss out on the perfect opportunity because you didn’t know it was happening. Organizing a trade show appearance takes time, and you want to make sure that everything and everyone can be in the right place at the right time when the big day rolls around.
Checklist for Planning a Trade Show
After deciding on the perfect trade show, it’s time to make a checklist to ensure that everyone involved knows exactly what needs to be done before the event. Plus, there’s nothing more satisfying than drawing a big red line through a task you’ve completed!
Your checklist should include tasks that need to be completed before, during, and after the trade show. For example, do you have what you need for your trade show booth set up process? It is helpful to organize your list chronologically so you can properly prioritize tasks. Securing exhibit designers, builders, and staff to help put the whole show together is a crucial first step that makes delegating responsibility much easier. Building a team, whether that be from outsourcing or recruiting within your company, is essential for timely delivery.
The first item of focus when planning a trade show should be the event venue. A trade show venue can entirely dictate an exhibit, depending on both the capabilities and limitations of the space. Before planning and purchasing materials for your booth, make sure to know the elevator capacity, door frame clearance, number and power of outlets, and so on and so forth. All of these characteristics will determine what you can and cannot achieve at a trade show.
A trade show exhibit should be on-brand and reflect the high quality, professional work of a company. It is crucial for your booth to be eye-catching and compel visitors to walk over and check it out - this is why you should put together a trade show booth checklist to make sure you include everything you need. Attention to detail while organizing a trade show exhibit will also help attract and engage more people with your brand.
The people you choose to staff your booth should be carefully selected. These people are going to be representing your brand and can be the most memorable part of a trade show appearance, if properly engaging with event attendees. Depending on the flow of the event in relation to the location of your exhibit, it may be necessary to station staff members around the venue, in areas with heavy foot traffic, and have them direct people to your booth. Ideally, your trade show staff match the company image and are able to effectively communicate the brand to attendees.
Creating a Marketing Plan
Trade show management isn’t just about the event itself. Planning a trade show ensures that you can get the most eyes on your brand – including those of people who don’t even go to the event. That’s why, as soon as a trade show date is set, start promoting it. Posting on social pages and sending out emails are just a couple of ways to get the word out about your upcoming appearance.
Trade show attendance largely depends on how you encourage your audience to attend. To counter the common urge to wait until the last minute to buy tickets, create urgency and incentive around the event. Posting about the limited space available or offering early bird prices are effective ways to motivate people to visit your booth at a trade show. Having an organized marketing calendar will keep you on the ball with timely posts.
On site at the trade show, your brand name, logo, and message should be more than visible. You want people to know who you are and what you do, so that they can remember your company after the event. Implementing hashtags and promoting social account follows are ways to track who was at your booth and follow up with them later. Handing out swag bags and flyers will also ensure your brand gets taken home with attendees. You never know when planning a trade show whether the pen or notepad with your logo on it is gonna resurface and remind an attendee about your brand!
Ultimately, your company can benefit greatly from participating in a trade show. Aside from raising brand awareness, trade shows can foster business relationships, produce highly targeted leads, and provide insight on industry trends and strategies. All of these benefits are exciting, but rely on the success of your trade show organization. Looking for more in-depth trade show insights? Read top advice from trade show experts here!