A trade show provides an excellent opportunity to promote your company to many people. Although today a great deal of marketing is undertaken, online trade shows still offer an excellent method for new and established companies to showcase themselves. It can be expensive, so it’s an excellent idea to utilize an exhibition company to help with the process. As with any project, the key to success is preparation. There is so much to organize from pop up stands to refreshments. Let’s prepare a checklist to help with the organization process.
What are the aims and goals of the show what do you wish to have achieved by the end of the show?
Is the show a regular event.
An important consideration with regards a trade show regarding sourcing the necessary equipment is whether the show is a going to be only one occasion, in which case it is financially better to rent a package. If, however, you intend to attend trade shows regularly it may be cost effective to purchase the equipment.
When is the trade show?
It’s no good leaving the organization to a week before, ensure that there is plenty of time to assemble a team of people and all necessary equipment. I would suggest at least three months.
What space do you require at the show to be able to display your company professionally? Most trade shows have a variety of sized areas and different locations available. The location that you take at a trade show is significant and demands a great deal of consideration. There are various benefits in being positioned at the entrance or the exit or even next to refreshment facilities. The best location will depend upon what your company wishes to achieve at the show.
The area that you have available to display your company demands a great deal of thought. The appearance is what your potential audience will see and make their initial assessment of your business.
- Colour. If you have corporate colors these need to be incorporated.
- Displays. The material and artwork that you display again highlights who you are and can attract your audience. The design and production of any artwork will take time to design and print.
- Products. Ensure that you have any physical models or demonstration items prominently displayed.
- Interaction space. Do you require your team to speak at a counter, at a desk or is a formal or informal seating area required. Desk tables, chairs and possibly area dividers will all need to be sourced and delivered.
- Flooring. It might seem slightly extravagant to consider perhaps using carpet tiles, but they can help to create a zoned effect that can highlight the space and present it professionally.
People visiting a trade show will visit many stands and talk to many people it is imperative that when they have returned from the show that they have some material that both reminds them of you and has information on how to contact you. This may be in the form of brochures or more effectively in a range of useful giveaway items such as personalized data drives or sometimes something simple like a pen or mug can be helpful.
If you are taking a team of people to the trade show arrangements will need to make for them. If the show is some distance away and is spread over several days, it may be necessary to book hotel rooms and restaurants. There may not be facilities at the show for team refreshments. Will they need corporate clothing? They will undoubtedly require training so that they fully understand what is expected of them and the objectives of the show.
Technology such as tablets can also be a valuable tool at shows. Digital catalog and brochures are an effective medium. To capture contact details, these are perfect since people can enter their contact details and welcome emails and any advertisements can be sent immediately. Another technology consideration is providing a free Wi-Fi zone to attract people to the area of your stand.
To sum up, in preparing for a trade show, ensure that a team is involved in brainstorming ideas. Start planning in plenty of time to ensure that responsibility for action is spread amongst several people. Prepare a timeline for action and hold further meetings to check on progress. Seek advice and action any problems that have arisen. A trade show is a perfect platform to help your company grow but only if a maximum effort is put into the planning will it become fully effective.