Planning for your first trade show is a daunting task. There are many aspects involved in making sure that the event is a success, and for a beginner, the hardest part is knowing where or how to start. If you have already organised a team of employees, the first thing you need to do is schedule a brainstorming and planning session. During the planning session, it is crucial to outline a marketing strategy, identify your target audience, set goals, and come up with a budget for the event.
These basic considerations will be sufficient to create the necessary foundation and identify specific tasks for each member of your team. Once you have laid the foundation, the following tips will help in the planning process.
How much time do you need to plan?
A rookie mistake you need to avoid is allowing only one or two months to plan for a trade show. You need at least one year to coordinate with trade show organisers and get everything together. Even the most experienced brands take time to plan for their next exhibition.
Get as much information as possible from the event organisers, gather contact information, and start planning how to promote the event way in advance so that guests have enough time to adjust their schedules.
Planning the booth layout
A significant amount of the planning process is allotted to designing the exhibition booth. Start with the amount of space you have available and decide on what type of materials you want to use. There are a variety of trade show marketing materials you can use, such as a pop up banner, stand, and video displays. Some are more expensive than others, so you also need to consider your budget. Look for a reputable supplier with expertise in creating materials for trade shows and collaborate on the design of the materials you need for the show.
Train your sales and marketing team
During the event, your staff will invite guests, conduct demos, and promote your products. Selling during a trade show can be a bit tricky, especially since you are competing with many companies within the same industry. Train your staff on the proper way to greet visitors and effectively conduct demos, which will lead to a successful sale or lead generation.
In addition to the materials you will use to design the exhibit booth, you need to outline specific marketing strategies you will employ during the event. If you want to catch the attention of attendees, a simple sales pitch will not be enough. Consider ideas such as hosting contests and giving away promotional items to get the attention of visitors.
You can also print flyers, brochures, and other literature with detailed information about the products you are selling so that you can effectively spread the word even to people who are only passing by the booth and do not intend to stay. Most importantly, branding should be consistent across all promotional and marketing materials you use.