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Thoughtful, strategic trade show planning is essential to achieving your exhibiting goals and maximizing your return on investment, which includes both your money and time.

trade-show-planningThe first step in the planning process is to identify productive conferences and events that specifically reach your target audience of potential buyers.

Start the research process by talking with current customers and learn about the events they attend. Then, contact professional organizations and colleagues in your industry for additional suggestions.

Trade show planning directories (print and online) are another valuable resource, as well as your local chamber of commerce and area business associations.

Once you find an event that looks opportunistic, request to review lists of past vendors and attendees, if available from the show sponsor.

Make sure the trade show you select draws the type and number of prospects you want. Other key considerations include geography, timing, cost, and sponsor reputation. During your research process, also consider the benefits of participating in virtual trade shows, in addition to face-to-face events.

Then once you have identified which trade show to attend, develop a detailed plan and tradeshow check lists that includes these steps:

Establish Specific Event Objectives? such as number of product sales, leads generated, publicity secured, image and awareness initiatives, etc. Set a Realistic Budget? that includes a projected return on investment Develop a Compelling Sales Message? to use in all tradeshow marketing and sales initiatives, including booth graphics, banners, brochures, advertisements, and sales presentations. Create a Trade Show Marketing Plan? that is divided into three sections: 1. Pre-Show Marketing, 2. At-Show Marketing, and 3. Post-Show Marketing. You?ve got to aggressively pre-sell prospects before they arrive, fully engage them during the show, and promptly follow-up with them after the show to generate additional sales. Create a “WOW” Exhibit? that attracts people and instantly conveys your image and product message. Whether you are interested in custom-designed booths, tabletop displays or rental exhibits, the graphics and lighting must deliver your marketing message with a powerful punch.

In addition, you need to plan for the type of promotions you will have that will draw people to your booth such as interactive demonstrations, contests, giveaways, etc. For more information on trade show booth attractions, click here.

Confirm Booth Location in the Exhibition Hall? with the sponsor as part of your trade show planning process. Try to secure a high traffic location at the event. In addition, confirm access to electrical outlets, lighting, and other needs you may have. Print Marketing Materials? including sales literature, product sheets, business cards, and promotional items you will use at and after the show. Train and Schedule Staff? to effectively convey your sales message and ensure your booth is always staffed adequately. Prepare Follow-up Information Packets? so they are ready to immediately use with new leads after the show is over Make Travel Arrangements? to ensure you, your staff, exhibit booth, materials and supplies arrive in plenty of time for the show. Follow-up with Attendees? prioritize your leads and make follow-up contact promptly. Evaluate Trade Show Success? to determine if you met your objectives and identify changes to make in the future. Pop-up Trade Show Displays – ExpoTrade Exhibits
Exhibit specialists with more than 35 years of experience designing professional trade show displays. Offers a wide range of pop-up and tabletop displays to meet the individualized needs of each client. Trade Show and Corporate Event Planning – Dynamic Event Solutions
Provides an extensive array of trade show management and event planning services from start to finish. Dynamic Event Solutions has earned a reputation for providing superior service, creative solutions, inspiring designs, and flawless event execution to clients of all sizes and industries. Tradeshow Participation: A Primer for Success
Selecting Opportunistic Trade Shows
Tradeshow Follow-up to Close the Sale
How to Stretch Your Trade Show Budget
Use Media Packaging to Increase Trade Show Results
Collecting Trade Show Leads
Evaluate a Show’s Target Audience
Trade Show and Exhibiting Trends
A New Way to Look At Success Measurement
Exhibitor List Serves as Insightful Marketing Tool
Trade Show Budget Considerations
Success Strategies from a Trade Show Veteran
Trade Show Expense Allocation
Get the Most Out of Attending a Trade Show
Check List to Evaluate Event Competitors
Trade Show Planning Timeline
International Exhibiting
Effectively Use Humor in Your Trade Show Marketing Efforts
Research Findings Show Exhibit Value
Tradeshow Budget Planning Tips
Know the 5 Trade Show Expenses You Can’t Control

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