Surprisingly, a lot of exhibitors neglect other components that can transform a mediocre effort into a trade show marketing coup.
Some exhibitors are unaware of the opportunities that exist for them to stand apart from the crowd; others don’t know where to turn for help. Below, I’ll provide a checklist of the 7 keys to trade show success that you must not overlook.
#1 – Pre-Show Marketing
For small events, you might be able to manage your pre-show marketing efforts in-house. For larger conventions and shows, consider working with trade show vendors who can integrate your in-house efforts with a wide-scale marketing campaign. They can also help you design a trade show checklist, formulate a marketing plan, and track your ROI after the show.
#2 – Exhibit Design And Construction
A lot of exhibitors are surprised by the level of flexibility they have when designing their booths. No matter how large, complex, or innovative your vision for your trade show exhibits, there are a number of experienced trade show vendors who can make your vision a reality. The displays, interior design, and lighting can be customized according to your needs.
#3 – Entertainment
Drawing people to your booth can be challenging; attendees are bombarded with exhibitors’ efforts to grab their attention. To help you stand out from the crowd, a lot of trade show vendors will supply models, magicians, and other professionals to entertain passersby.
#4 – Booth Staff
Your employees may not be available to staff your trade show exhibits. Some might be away on vacation while others are unable to leave their families behind for the event. Those staffing issues should not sabotage your attending the show. There are plenty of trade show vendors who will provide professionally trained booth staff. They’ll review your products and services before the show and arrive ready to engage your customers and qualify leads.
#5 – Travel Arrangements
Planning your travel arrangements requires booking the flights for you and your employees and reserving your hotel rooms. However, you should also consider rental cars, exclusive taxi services, and other amenities. If you’re planning to meet with – and entertain – important customers, you can contract with trade show vendors who will make reservations at nearby restaurants, resorts, and clubs.
#6 – Private Meeting Rooms
Attending a convention or trade show can be an ideal opportunity to meet privately with your customers. However, discussing future business plans with your customers might be inconvenient given the floor traffic to your trade show exhibits. Instead, consider working with a contractor who can reserve a private meeting room for you. If you need to host a larger affair with several guests, they can reserve a banquet room that perfectly suits the occasion.
#7 – Lead Generation Systems
Generating qualified leads remains one of the most important activities that you and your staff will do during the show. If you haven’t created an effective system for capturing those leads, you can hire experienced trade show vendors who can create it for you. They can streamline the process, ensuring that you and your employees are collecting the information you need in order to follow up after the show.
Making The Most Of Your Time And Budget
The two resources that are in the shortest supply leading up to a trade show or convention are time and money. Marketing budgets are limited and there never seems to be enough time to prepare for an upcoming event. Consider hiring trade show vendors to handle everything from creating your lead generation system to taking care of your trade show construction needs. They can handle travel arrangements, entertainment, and even provide professionals to staff your booth. By outsourcing these details, you can make sure that your trade show effort is a successful one.
About the author:
Jonathan Edelman provides helpful advice about trade show strategies. With years of experience in the trenches, he is an expert on booth displays, follow up techniques, and using trade show marketing strategies to boost revenue.