Research, Research, Research
It is important to research as many trade shows as possible before choosing which one (or ones) would be most effective. Researching things like lodging and travel options, the various rules of the show, target audience participation and other trade show participants can help with the selection process. Research is a huge part of trade show marketing and if done correctly, will save money as well as help make your trade show exhibit as prominent and profitable as possible.
Asking important questions of trade show organizers can help businesses make decisions regarding which trade shows are most appropriate for their product and their bank account. Find out what other participant’s trade show exhibits are like — are they similar looking to yours? A big goal of trade show marketing is to stand out and be unique. It is also important to find out what the requirements of the trade show are, what the venue is like, how big each trade show exhibit can be, what assistance is provided at the venue, and anything else that needs to be known.
Make a List of Goals and Objectives
For most businesses there is a reason why they are including trade show marketing in their overall marketing campaign. Having a set of detailed objectives and goals can help keep the trade show exhibit on track as it is being developed as well as help guide the trade show marketing tools that are chosen. Making a list of clear goals and objectives for a first (or really any) trade show exhibit can also help narrow down the choices in the search for the specific trade show(s) to attend.
Create a Trade Show Marketing Plan
Many trade show exhibits include some type of give away or contest that excites people and draws them in. For example, a cash cube money machine provides an excellent visual because the swirling cash and prizes makes people want to come over and join in and stay at your trade show exhibit!
Plan ahead of time what marketing items will make the biggest impact on trade show participants like booth graphics, informational packets and specialty giveaway items. These all require weeks of advanced planning in order to execute properly.
Set Realistic Goals
As part of trade show marketing, it is important to understand that the goals set need to be realistic. Trade show exhibits aren’t just about making sales. Other more primary goals include launching new products, sharing information, and checking out the competition. If goals are set too high, it can create an inaccurate estimation of the trade show exhibit’s success, as well as provide faulty research regarding changes that may need to be made in the trade show exhibit, targeted client base, or potentially the product as a whole.
Finding and preparing for the right trade show is sometimes intense, but trade show marketing can be effective. After a business’s first trade show, changes can be made to the trade show exhibit as needed, and, if everything is well researched and planned, the goals set will be achieved.