Thursday, December 27, 2012

How to Plan your Trade Show

If you want to achieve your exhibiting goals and maximize your return on investment (including both time and money) with your trade show, planning strategically is necessary. The first step in the planning process is to find conferences and events that reach your target audience of prospects.

You can begin the research process by speaking with current customers and learn about the events they attend. Also, reach out to professional organizations and colleagues in your industry for more suggestions. A few more great resources are online trade show planning directories, your local chamber of commerce and area business associations. When you find an event that looks like a great opportunity, ask to review lists of past vendors and attendees if they're available.

Be sure that the show you choose attracts the type and number of prospects you want. Other things to consider include timing, location, cost and sponsor reputation. To promote sales, think about your needs in regards to audio visual rental rental equipment and sound systems, banners, promotional items, literature, special displays and other marketing tools.

Finally, create a detailed plan and trade show checklist that includes the following steps:

Develop specific event objectives, like the number of product sales, leads generated, publicity acquired, image and awareness initiatives, etc.
Create a realistic budget that includes a projected R.O.I. (Return On Investment)
Establish a compelling sales message that can be used in all trade show marketing and sales initiatives; this includes booth graphics, banners, brochures, sales presentations and advertisements.
Create a "WOW" exhibit that interests people and quickly conveys your brand and product message. The overall design and graphics need to deliver your marketing message with a "powerful punch," whether you choose custom-designed booths, tabletop displays or pop-up stands.

To see more checklist items, visit our source Trade Show Planning: Your Roadmap To Success.

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