Utilize a Trade Show Planning Timeline to Maximize Results

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.
Compare exhibit companies based on capabilities, experience, design talent, understanding of your needs, cost and delivery timing. You can also be involved in the booth design process by using web-based exhibition design software to create your own tradeshow booth ideas, as you work with an exhibit producer.
Identify high-impact tradeshow giveaways and promotional strategies 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.Receive multiple estimates for trade show displays at no obligation. Trade-Show-Advisor.com has arranged with nationally recognized BuyerZone.com to provide free price quotes from quality, independent suppliers of trade show exhibit displays. Simply complete the request form below. See articles below for more information on developing a trade show planning timeline and managing for success. Trade Show Planning Information
Before You Go: Trade Show Check List
Registration Paperwork: Getting it Done
Check List To Evaluate Event Competitors
Convention Trade Show Services

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