Summer is a popular time of year for hosting trade shows, which means many vendors and guests are getting ready to attend events. Trade shows are expensive investments for any business, but the payoff can be well worth it with some careful planning and preparation. If you’re considering attending a local trade show this year, it’s important to start preparing now to get the most out of the event. Keep reading to find a guide full of tips to help you prepare for your next trade show event. Following these steps can help you get more out of the event and make your exhibitor badge well worth the investment.
Sign Up as Early as Possible
Time is of the essence when signing your business up for a trade show appearance. While the amount you’re willing to spend at sign up will determine your trade show booth’s size and placement, many venues also determine placement based on which companies sign up first. Don’t wait to sign up if the trade show you’re considering has a first-come, first-served policy. How early you purchase your table and exhibitor pass can mean the difference between an optimal booth placement and a placement that doesn’t receive as much foot traffic.
Outline Your Goals for the Event
After securing your spot on the show floor, the next step is setting your event goals. Getting a return on your investment at a trade show takes planning and goal setting. Start by setting clear, measurable goals so that you can analyze your success at the end of the event. For example, if you want to aim for a specific number of sales during the event, make a note of this. You can also quantify your goals by aiming for a certain number of social media subscribers or newsletter sign ups. Every business will have different goals that are realistic for them, so formulate these numbers based on your personal business, not lofty goals that other, larger businesses set for themselves.
Assemble Your Trade Show Team
No one can tackle the entire trade show process alone. The next step is to choose the right employees or partners to attend the trade show with you. These will be the people helping you set the stage, staff your booth, sell your products to customers, and more. Because of the many tasks that running a trade show booth involves, you may want to bring several parties from your business, such as representatives from your marketing team, customer service crew, store staff, and more. Go over your goals with your team and invite them into your planning process to encourage other perspectives.
Plan Your Booth Design
Your booth will encourage trade show guests to stop and learn more about your brand. Without a unique and engaging trade show booth design, you won’t attract as many new customers as you set in your goals. If you’ve previously attended a trade show using a rental booth or a setup with plain displays, you may not have had much luck generating leads. Working with a company with years of booth design experience can help take your design to the next level. At West Coast Exhibit, we offer custom exhibit fabrication to match your company’s branding and message. Design companies help you create interactive, on-brand displays that help customers understand your products just by glancing at your booth. Engaging displays like these will help increase your booth’s foot traffic and encourage more leads.
Gather Your Trade Show Materials
One strategy that can aid you during your trade show preparation time is to create a checklist of everything you need to bring to the show. Creating this checklist in advance can help you minimize the chances of forgetting something important. Here are some of the big-ticket items you don’t want to forget.
Planning promotional giveaways is another strategy that can help increase your booth’s customer engagement and encourage visitors to check out your brand. Consider ordering custom merchandise emblazoned with your company’s logo that you can giveaway as raffle prizes or freebies for visiting your booth. The custom logo will help promote brand recognition and encourage customers to check out your business even after the event ends.
Along with giveaways, many company members also create custom business cards to hand out to customers or potential partners at trade shows. Other marketing materials that you may want to order in advance include product samples, vouchers, coupons, and more.
Announce Your Attendance
Consider posting that you’ll attend the local trade show to boost your brand recognition with the target audience. Use your business’s social media accounts, text messaging system, email, or newsletter to announce that you will be attending your local trade show. It helps to tag the event’s account when making social media posts so that other exhibitors and guests can see your business when they check who will be in attendance.
Prepare a Way To Gather Leads
One of the most crucial steps to boosting your trade show ROI is to prepare a way to gather leads. You can accomplish this in several ways. Prepare a sign up list to record interested guests’ phone numbers, emails, or other ways to follow-up with them after the show. By providing a sign up sheet or interactive tablet to collect their information, you can create a list after the show and send them promotions, business updates, and more. One way to encourage sign ups is by offering a limited-time promotion or discount for trade show sign ups.
Where To Find Trade Show Display Resources
You may be wondering how to put this together now that you know the main steps to prepare for your trade show appearance. Creating an eye-catching exhibit is one of the biggest steps to a successful convention appearance. West Coast Exhibit is here to help you with everything from designing your trade booth to setting up at your event. Browse our website to learn more about our trade show fabrication and management services to help your business have a successful event appearance.
Follow these tips to help you prepare for your business’s next trade show appearance. If past vendor events have felt intimidating or not been as successful as you’d hoped, following these main steps can help you have a more productive event experience and increase your ROI. With proper planning and preparation, you can turn your trade show sign up into an excellent opportunity to grow your business.