How to Prepare Effectively for Your Next Trade Show?

1) Do your research

What kind of shows will bring you the best return on your investment? You want to choose shows that attract your target market, have a good reputation, are well organized. Do your online research, but also call colleagues and business associates to ask their opinions of good TradeShow. The better prepared you are with your research, the more likely it is that you will pick the right venue to promote your business.

2) Set clear goals for your trade show participation

What do you want to get out of it? Do you want to increase your email or mailing list? Do you want to connect with other industry partners and associates? How about finding new suppliers for your products, or new innovations in your industry? Your list could look a little like this:

  • Connect with 10 new suppliers
  • Identify 5 new innovations in  your industry
  • Set up meetings with 8 potential partners
  • Collect at least 150 new prospect email addresses.

Once you have your list of goals, it will make it easier to achieve and tick off your check list.

3) Plan your budget and book a space

Once you know your budget, you can get all your supplies and equipment ready, or have it made specifically for the event. Booths go fast, so move quickly on this and find out everything you can about your space, including where it is on the floor, what kind of other trade show displays will be around it, whether it’s a high traffic or low traffic area, and the physical conditions of your large exhibit space, such as lighting. Booths near the entrance are good, so are spots in the middle of the room and on corners which give you plenty of extra space to move around and display your materials.

4) How will you stand out?

Decide how you will display your materials at the event. Discuss options to run contests, do demonstrations or have a mascot walking around the event. This is where logistics are important: Who will man the booth? Who will do the demos? What time is everything scheduled to happen?

5) Advertise in advance

Spread the word that you’re participating in a particular show by inviting your clients, customers, suppliers, and other contacts to attend the event. (Be sure you give them all the details, such as your booth number.) You should also advertise your upcoming appearance on your website, email newsletter and on social media. Build up the hype, so people get excited and know where and when to find you at the event.

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