7 Things To Remember When Preparing For A Trade Show

7 Things To Remember When Preparing For A Trade Show

A successful trade show experience takes planning and proper execution. But even with a solid plan, people sometimes get caught up in the details and forget the major factors that are important to trade show success. Keep this basic outline in mind when preparing for your next trade show to maximize your results.

1. Start planning early. Printing brochures and customized products can take time, especially if there is a delay or a problem with your order. Custom graphics and displays also take time to create, and you don’t want the results to look rushed.

2. Decide on an objective. What do you hope to accomplish through your exhibit? Establish how many leads you would like to generate or how many customer contacts you would like to make. Determining this goal in advance keeps your staff focused. It also helps you plan how many supplies to order and how you will handle follow-up tasks.

3. Choose your location carefully. Be sure to reserve a booth in location that serves your needs best. If you want to capture the most walk-through traffic, you don’t want a spot that is away from the beaten path – you want the prime real estate in the center. If your business lends itself to longer, one-on-one conversations or demonstrations, you may want a spot in a quieter corner where your customers are not bothered by an endless stream of traffic.

4. Appearance counts – in more ways than one. Exhibits should be eye-catching and appealing. They also need to incorporate high-visibility elements so that visitors can easily find your booth. You don’t need to blow your advertising budget, but banners, graphics and racks should all look professional. You also need to set yourself apart from hundreds or thousands of other exhibits. Lay your items out in unique and innovative ways that don’t look cheap or gimmicky.

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5. Dress appropriately. Decide what your staff should wear to best represent your company. You might prefer the formality of suits or the more relaxed look of logo-printed polo shirts. Customers may dress casually at trade shows, but they expect exhibitors to look polished and businesslike.

6. People expect takeaways and promotional items. Make sure yours are good quality so that they last and work well. To increase interest in your stand, provide quality items that serve a purpose or solve a problem. Not only will people be happy to take them home, they will be sure to use them for months or years.

7. Not every prospect will become a customer right away. You can set aside premium products for those who make a purchase at the show, but all visitors should be treated as though their time is important. Courtesy and a low-cost promotional item can go a long way to generate a relationship with a prospect.

They might not be qualified at the moment, but you don’t know what their situation will be by next year’s show. Make sure they have a positive experience with you. If your item is memorable, for instance, an extremely comfortable pen, they will be sure to remember where they got it.