Posts Tagged ‘trade show planning’

Make your trade show plan more productive!

Posted on: March 22nd, 2016 by admin No Comments

Are you planning to exhibit at any shows in 2016 or 2017? If you haven’t already started planning, the time is now. Participating in trade shows are a big financial commitment. Laser focused planning will help guarantee an ROI.

I always recommend beginning trade show planning six to eight months in advance. You may want to consider additional time if your involvement in the show consists of more participation. I’ve been in your shoes many times and trust me when I say, nothing ever goes exactly as planned. To save you time, money and headaches, I’ve created this guide to make sure you stay on track.

The 12-month plan

  • Know your objectives for the entire year.

  • Assess the national trade show calendar with consideration to your marketing calendar.


  • Determine which shows are best for you, consider new shows in new markets.

  • Decide on your yearly trade show budget.

  • Create a plan on how you’ll spread this budget over all your planned participations.

8-10 months before each show

  • Work with the shows producer in conjunction with the exhibitor manual to determine any rules that may affect your participation. You’d be quite surprised how inconsistent even the most presumptive things can be from trade show to trade show. For instance, one show may permit the use of orange extension cords while they next show requires you to use only black. Seems trivial, but you’d hate to lose your access to electricity on kick off morning all because of the color of your extension cord!

  • Know all of the show deadlines and create a method to keep track of those deadlines. I also recommend creating a backup plan for major components.

  • Book any dinners, meetings, meeting rooms, caterers this far in advance.

5-7 months before each show

  • If you’re using a booth that you own and reuse, put it together and make sure all components are in good working condition, determine if any repairs are necessary. If you’re making any changes to to the display/graphics components, place these orders now.

  • Schedule any additional services such as shipping, installation and dismantling.

  • Schedule any publicity or pre-show events/promotions. Create invitation lists for said events.

  • Purchase any travel accommodations including flights, rental cars and hotels.

  • Purchase any local advertising needed for the area surrounding the show.

3-5 months before the show

  • Determine, design and order any promotional material you’ll be needing such as brochures and giveaways.

  • Schedule shipping

  • Contract with servicers in the local area who will provide you with electrical, carpet, security, booth setup, etc.

  • Develop a plan to manage your leads

90-day countdown

  • Print mailers and brochures

  • Send out newsletters

  • Create press kits

  • Train staff, hire temp staffing if necessary

  • Create emergency kit

Please keep in mind that this list is just a guide!


About the author: William Hall is a seasoned business coach specializing in branding, social media and promotional events. William has spent his career teaching businesses of all sizes how to stand out in the crowd while using marketing dollars most effectively. His clients are continuously thankful for his out-of-the-box ideas that lead to increased revenue, more clicks and a bigger online presence.


7 Keys Of Trade Show Success You Must Not Overlook

Posted on: November 1st, 2012 by admin No Comments

7 Keys Of Trade Show Success You Must Not Overlook Designing your trade show exhibits, training your booth staff, and creating a system for generating leads are essential pieces of every successful trade show or convention.

Surprisingly, a lot of exhibitors neglect other components that can transform a mediocre effort into a trade show marketing coup.

Some exhibitors are unaware of the opportunities that exist for them to stand apart from the crowd; others don’t know where to turn for help. Below, I’ll provide a checklist of the 7 keys to trade show success that you must not overlook.

#1 – Pre-Show Marketing

For small events, you might be able to manage your pre-show marketing efforts in-house. For larger conventions and shows, consider working with trade show vendors who can integrate your in-house efforts with a wide-scale marketing campaign. They can also help you design a trade show checklist, formulate a marketing plan, and track your ROI after the show.

#2 – Exhibit Design And Construction

A lot of exhibitors are surprised by the level of flexibility they have when designing their booths. No matter how large, complex, or innovative your vision for your trade show exhibits, there are a number of experienced trade show vendors who can make your vision a reality. The displays, interior design, and lighting can be customized according to your needs.

#3 – Entertainment

Drawing people to your booth can be challenging; attendees are bombarded with exhibitors’ efforts to grab their attention. To help you stand out from the crowd, a lot of trade show vendors will supply models, magicians, and other professionals to entertain passersby.

#4 – Booth Staff

Your employees may not be available to staff your trade show exhibits. Some might be away on vacation while others are unable to leave their families behind for the event. Those staffing issues should not sabotage your attending the show. There are plenty of trade show vendors who will provide professionally trained booth staff. They’ll review your products and services before the show and arrive ready to engage your customers and qualify leads.

#5 – Travel Arrangements

Planning your travel arrangements requires booking the flights for you and your employees and reserving your hotel rooms. However, you should also consider rental cars, exclusive taxi services, and other amenities. If you’re planning to meet with – and entertain – important customers, you can contract with trade show vendors who will make reservations at nearby restaurants, resorts, and clubs.

#6 – Private Meeting Rooms

Attending a convention or trade show can be an ideal opportunity to meet privately with your customers. However, discussing future business plans with your customers might be inconvenient given the floor traffic to your trade show exhibits. Instead, consider working with a contractor who can reserve a private meeting room for you. If you need to host a larger affair with several guests, they can reserve a banquet room that perfectly suits the occasion.

#7 – Lead Generation Systems

Generating qualified leads remains one of the most important activities that you and your staff will do during the show. If you haven’t created an effective system for capturing those leads, you can hire experienced trade show vendors who can create it for you. They can streamline the process, ensuring that you and your employees are collecting the information you need in order to follow up after the show.

Making The Most Of Your Time And Budget

The two resources that are in the shortest supply leading up to a trade show or convention are time and money. Marketing budgets are limited and there never seems to be enough time to prepare for an upcoming event. Consider hiring trade show vendors to handle everything from creating your lead generation system to taking care of your trade show construction needs. They can handle travel arrangements, entertainment, and even provide professionals to staff your booth. By outsourcing these details, you can make sure that your trade show effort is a successful one.


About the author:

Jonathan Edelman provides helpful advice about trade show strategies. With years of experience in the trenches, he is an expert on booth displays, follow up techniques, and using trade show marketing strategies to boost revenue.


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