It’s a common scenario — you’ve discovered a trade show that’s a perfect fit for your business. It attracts all of your target customers, has a large audience and has reasonable fees that make it a sensible growth and development opportunity.
There’s just one problem — it’s not in your city. Whether you’re a technology company located in a location that isn’t the Bay Area or Southern California tradeshow or a small company interested in taking part in a “big city” event, it’s far from uncommon for businesses to travel to remote trade shows.
Traveling to a different city for a trade show can feel intimidating at first, but the reality is that it’s far from difficult. With the right combination of planning, preparation, and on-the-day work, you’ll be able to get the most from the event as an exhibitor without any unwanted surprises.
Below, we’ve listed five simple, actionable and effective tips that you can use to travel to another city in California for your trade show booth. Whether you’re a small business owner or part of a larger organization, try putting these tips into practice for a smoother, less stressful travel experience.
Book everything as early as possible
Most trade shows — or at least the ones you’ll want to attend as an exhibitor — are major events that attract tens of thousands of attendees. This makes it important to book everything as early as you possibly can.
If you already have an exhibit prepared, start by reaching out to the event organizer and making sure you book your floor space. Often, you can save money by booking your space as early as possible, helping you save on fees and increase your return on investment from the event.
Next, book your flights and hotels as early as possible to avoid last-minute price hikes that are common with major events. Booking ahead of time also lets you avoid lack of availability, which can also be a problem if you’re attending a large event.
Finally, make sure you have all of your day-to-day needs, such as car rental, booked ahead of time. The earlier you book, the more confidence and peace of mind you’ll have that everything has been taken care of and managed effectively as the event approaches.
Reach out to local customers and prospects beforehand
Do you have customers in the same city as your event? Reach out to them beforehand and let them know you’ll be attending. If you’re in the same industry, chances are great that they’ll also be there.
Likewise, if you have sales prospects in a certain city that you’d like to touch base with, let them know ahead of time about your presence at the event. Often, a quick in-person meeting at your booth is all it takes to restart a relationship and help you close a previously stalled deal.
Stay as close to the event as you can
Visiting a new city for the first time? Staying in a part of a previously-visited city you’re not very familiar with? Nothing is more frustrating than feeling lost or out of place in a city you’re visiting for business, making it important to book a hotel that’s close to the event location.
If the trade show you’re attending is held in a hotel, it’s often worth booking at the same hotel for convenience purposes, even if you need to deal with a slight increase in room rates because of the event. The extra money you spend is always worth it for the peace of mind and simplicity.
Alternatively, if you’re attending an event at a convention center of the stadium, there will usually be a major hotel or two within walking distance. Remember, the closer you are to the event location on the day, the easier it becomes to stay on top of your trade show plan.
Let your exhibit company manage shipping
When you’re exhibiting at a trade show in a different city, you’ll need to bring your exhibit with you.
There are two ways to do this. The first is to pack and transport your exhibit yourself, managing shipping and pick-up independently. The second is to let your exhibit design and management company take care of the process for you, usually for a relatively affordable fee.
As tempting as it can be to manage transportation internally and reduce your event costs, doing so almost always produces issues. From delayed shipping to packing problems, it’s common for a cost-saving measure to become a major source of stress and frustration for your business.
Instead, it’s always best to let your exhibit company manage shipping. For example, we offer a freight and shipping service aimed at event exhibitors that makes storing and transporting your trade show booth an absolute breeze, especially when you’re traveling within your state.
Research cafés, bars, restaurants and other dining options
Just like it’s important to plan your accommodation ahead of time, it’s also important to plan your dining and socializing locations before you travel.
Before you travel for the event, pick our three of four highly-rated cafés, bars and restaurants in the vicinity of the event location. This way, you’ll have a list of ready-to-go places that are ideal for meeting clients, customers, prospects and potential business partners.
Having a list of highly-rated dining locations ready ahead of time also makes it easier to take out your staff after the event for a celebratory dinner or post-event party.
Get the most from your next trade show
Are you considering traveling to another California city to exhibit at a trade show? We specialize in helping businesses of all sizes get the most from trade shows and events, whether they’re in another city or in your local area.
From exhibit design to freight, shipping, and on-the-day assistance, we can help you with every aspect of your next trade show. For more information, contact us now online or on the phone to talk to a member of our team and learn more about our range of trade show services.