It’s exhibition season and this is the final in a series of posts to help you plan your exhibition presence. For further information on How to Buy a Trade Show Display or Designing Trade Show Displays, please consult previous posts.
This article gives some useful tips on areas to consider when planning an exhibition.
1. Consider your target market. Who do you want to attract to your booth and what do you want them to do when they are there? It is important to set clear objectives and ensure that everyone who will be present on the booth understands the exhibition goals.
2. Contact your contacts. Plan activity in advance of the exhibition to notify key customers and prospects that your company will be there. Get the sales team working to set up meetings. Design competitions and offers to draw people to the booth. Use emails and Twitter to keep prospects and clients up to date with your plans.
3. Use all forms of PR and social media. If you’re not using Twitter yet, you should be! Use Twitter to connect with your audience and link up with visitors to the show using the event hashtag. Use LinkedIn and TripIt to ensure people know you will be at the event. Find out from the organisers about promotional opportunities and use any that you can.
4. Use your website. Set up a special page or area dedicated to the show and direct traffic from your marketing directly to this area or page. This will help you assess the results of your exhibition marketing. Make sure there is a clear path from this area to the next stage of asking for further information or speaking to your sales team. Set up this area as early as possible to help with SEO.
5. Design your booth. Design your booth well in advance of the exhibition and use the most cost effective and secure way to ship it to the location. If you are using an existing booth, make sure that all content on the graphics is completely up to date and order replacement banners if necessary. Order any necessary furniture and lighting. Well lit booths always look better.
6. Plan your AV and electronic requirements. Where will you display any video content? Is there enough electricity for your AV and IT requirements? Do you have a countertop or kiosk for your computers? What about internet access?
7. Review marketing collateral. What are you going to give visitors to your booth? Do you have enough copies? Think about brochures, leaflets, DVDs, and business cards.
8. Organise product samples. Do you need to show any product samples on the booth? Are they available? Do you have permission to display them? Do they need any special display conditions or temperature control?
9. Plan your data capture. How will you capture leads? A simple lead form or a data capture wand? These can usually be hired from the organisers. Who will input the data into a spreadsheet or CRM system? Can someone do this at the event for speedy lead followup afterwards?
10. Plan travel and accommodation in advance. These get more expensive and difficult to procure the later you leave it. Be an early bird.
Every exhibition is different, but I hope that the suggestions above help you to successfully plan your trade show presence and achieve successful results. Have a great time – it’s the closest you’ll get to being on stage 🙂