As with all marketing strategies, planning is crucial to a positive ROI (return on investment) and successful trade show event. In this earlier post we talked about tips for trade show success.
Today, we want to explore some crucial points you should meet in your trade show’s planning stage.
Even the most experienced trade show exhibitors run into problems with planning and executing at events. The following points will be all the more important to check off for first and even second-time planners.
4 Important Guidelines in Planning a Trade Show
1. Clear Goals
First you should identify what your goals are for participating in the trade show. If you can set your goals early you can save yourself time and energy when it comes to your budget and exhibit design.
Common goals include:
- Amplified brand recognition
- Introduction of new products or services
- Client relationship management
- Generate sales leads
2. Find The Best Show
There are over 10,000 trade shows conducted in the United States every year. To get started, cut out any shows not related to your industry.
From there decide which size show aligns best with your goals. If you want sales, a smaller show could be beneficial. Larger shows are great for brand recognition.
Questions to consider:
- Will this show attract enough participants to justify the costs?
- Is the show be conveniently located for the consumers you’re seeking?
- Will your company be able to fulfill the orders?
- Is this a first time show? Does the organizer have a successful track record with organizing other shows?
3. Itemize the Budget
The larger the show, the larger the budget. You’re going to need more of everything—space, marketing and promo materials, and staff. While bigger shows do mean bigger budgets they also can mean bigger ROI.
Things to consider:
- Plan on spending approximately one-quarter to one-third of your budget on obtaining the exhibit space.
- Check for early registration incentives to save on fees.
- Carefully review the “exhibitor’s kit” to avoid cut-off and late fees.
- Compile a list of other show service fees – electric, cleaning, drayage(transport), as well as trade show I&D (installation and dismantle)– will be required for your particular show space.
4. Stick to a Timeline
A solid schedule is crucial here: it can ultimately determine overall success and save you thousands in costs and fees.
Early is an understatement when it comes to tradeshow planning. Give yourself as much time as possible, a year is not unusual. If you choose to plan a year in advance give yourself quarterly objectives.
- 1st quarter: Booth space, layout, exhibit designs and budgeting. This will be the most time sensitive quarter.
- Last quarter: Now we get to the smaller details—graphics, exhibit fabrication, promo items, labor forms, etc.
While each of these items are essential to a successful trade show, there are innumerable other factors that you’ll want to consider. If you want to take your trade show to new heights and build brand awareness, we can help!
Marketing Operations Groups are pros when it comes to delivering successful experiential marketing events. Speak to an expert today to get your brand on the right track!