Are you thinking of getting your company into trade shows or are you looking to revamp your overall approach? If you fall into this category, you may want to give this a look. This article from Trade Show Advisor expresses that planning your next trade show should begin at least 12 months before your next event. By properly allotting yourself ample time for preparation, you would be giving your company a substantial competitive advantage.
By following the steps advised in each phase, you can guarantee that when you get to your booth, you won’t be looking at an empty space. Giving the time to iron out all of the kinks will lighten a great deal of the pre- and at-show stressors. Knowing that everything worked out and was set up on time will help you get your head in the game and put a 100% effort into your performance. After the show you will know all of that groundwork paid off when you open your spreadsheet full of quality leads.
Give this article a look and let us know what you think. We look forward to hearing from you.
Phase 1: 12+ Months… Your Strategy
– Identify how you will use trade shows as part of your overall marketing and sales strategy.
– Develop a budget and your projected return on investment.
– Research and identify which events you will attend based on target reach and opportunity.
– Request information from event sponsors, including past attendee counts and vendor participation.
Phase 2: 9 to 12 Months Before Show
– Set specific objectives for your show such as number of product sales, leads generated, publicity secured, etc.
– Identify your space needs and the type of exhibit, display and promotional items you will need.
– Register and reserve your space with the event sponsor and request full details on exhibit requirements.
– Develop a trade show marketing plan divided into three sections: 1. Pre-Show Marketing, 2. At-Show Marketing, and 3. Post-Show Marketing.
Phase 3: 6 to 9 Months Before Show
– Develop a compelling sales message that gets across the key points you want to communicate at your exhibit in 30 seconds or (preferably) less. You and your staff will need to rehearse this message and use it confidently at your booth to maximize your effectiveness.
– Select exhibit suppliers and begin design work for your display booth, banners, accessories, literature racks, and other exhibit items you will need as part of your trade show planning timeline.
– Identify promotional initiatives and high-impact tradeshow giveaways you will use to attract visitors to your display area.
– Determine the literature and marketing materials you will need at the show – and begin design and printing work.
Phase 4: 3 to 6 Months Before Show
– Order your giveaways or promotional items.
– Continue working with vendors on your display booth, exhibit items, and marketing materials, Confirm delivery dates and adherence to your trade show planning timeline.
– Determine staffing requirements, develop booth schedules, and plan training sessions.
– Identify how you will ship your display and other items to the show.
Begin making travel arrangements.
Launch pre-show marketing initiatives.
Phase 5: 1 to 3 Months Before Show
– Put together follow-up packets to send immediately following the show to your leads.
– Continue pre-show marketing activities
– Make all travel arrangements.
– Schedule staff training.
– Contact event sponsor for any last minutes details.
– Finalize production of booth display, promotional items, and marketing materials. Confirm shipping date.
– Finalize all travel arrangements.
– Schedule dinners or other meetings to be held at the show with prospects, distributors and/or customers.
Phase 6: 1 Week Before Show
– Complete staff training.
– Confirm shipping arrival dates for your booth display, promotional items and materials.
– Double check that all action steps on timeline have been covered.
Phase 7 – Follow-up Activities: 1 Day to 1 Week AFTER Show
– Analyze leads, send follow-up packets, and make contact as appropriate.
– Evaluate success of trade show participation compared with objectives from your trade show plan.
– Review your budget compared to your actual expenses for the show. Determine your return on investment.
– Make recommendation whether to participate in the same trade show next year.
– Include suggested changes, enhancements, and other trade show ideas.
(Source: Trade Show Advisor)