Preparing for a trade show can seem a bit daunting, especially if this is the first time that your company will be attending a show (or even this particular show). But, really it’s nothing to worry too much over. There are a few things that you will want to make sure you have done in order to be as prepared as possible, and to help maximize the impact that your company will make at the trade show. Today, we’ll briefly touch on these various points so that your company can maximize its potential gain out of exhibiting at your next show.
One of the first things you will do is select which trade show you will be exhibiting at. This could be an easy decision if there aren’t that many options for your particular industry, or it could require considerable thought and deliberation if you are faced with a choice of a dozen or more options (having more choices can be both a blessing and a curse!) You will want to weigh several factors when deciding exactly where to book the spot for your trade show booth.
First, decide whether you want to travel and what an acceptable cost is for travel and exhibit setup expenses. This can limit your options very quickly, unless you are wanting to make the biggest possible impact by attending one of the larger expos. This also means, however, that you will likely need to spend more on your trade show booth in order to stand out. But, the extra attention can be worth it, and good execution can really raise your profile.
Another thing to keep in mind when preparing for expos and selecting the appropriate venue, is what your primary reason is for wanting to exhibit. There are many reasons to attend a trade show: to network and look for potential clients and strategic partners, to announce a new service or product etc. Keep this in mind when selecting the right trade show as well. This decision will factor into all of your preparation. Although you can achieve multiple goals at a trade show (lead generation, promotion, networking), it is best to have one primary emphasis to base your strategy around.
Once you have all of that bigger strategy figured out, you will want to get all of your PR and marketing materials prepared. Make sure to issue a press release and have all of your best marketing materials at your trade show booth. Once all of that is done, you simply need to focus on the basic logistics of the show, which are essential to executing your plan. This includes choosing staff, making travel arrangements, booking the actual space and working with the team which holds the expos. Make sure you speak with your trade show booth vendor and designer about the logistics of exhibit setup as well.
Preparing for a trade show can seem daunting, but if you take it piece by piece it is not too difficult.