Participating in a trade show is an excellent way to showcase your products, expand your customer base and establish new business partnerships. But you still have to be prepared to fully reap the benefits.
Are you planning to attend a trade show soon? This little guide will help you plan your exhibit.
12 months before the trade show
Exhibit planning should begin well in advance of the trade show.
Approximately 12 months before the big day, you should start by identifying the trade shows in your industry. You then need to choose the one(s) that fit(s) into your overall business strategy.
Next, you’ll need to speak to the organizing staff to get the show’s stats: number of exhibitors, audience profile, potential impact and other relevant information.
Once you have chosen your trade show, book your booth space, the area where your stand will be located during the event, as soon as possible. Study the layout carefully to make the right choice, because it can make all the difference.
6 months before the trade show
Then comes the time to draw up your specifications. This valuable document will help you start the bidding process with the different suppliers you will need. Moreover, it will allow you to define your requirements in terms of exhibition stands.
Your exhibition stand will be the centerpiece of the show, since it will serve as your main commercial display during the event. It is very important to think about the type of booth you need, including design, graphics and manufacturing.
4 months before the trade show
About 4 months before the trade show, you will need to design your sales materials and promotional items.
You will probably need a graphic designer to develop your brochures, catalogues and business cards if you don’t already have some.
Some exhibition stand designers and manufacturers also offer a graphic design service. You can easily outsource the production of your posters, banners and other branding materials to them.
Some also offer a furniture rental service: chairs, stools, tables, lighting, coffee makers, etc.
3 months before the trade show
The big day is approaching. At this stage, it is important to determine your staffing needs. Who will join you at the show? How many salesmen? What representatives?
Determining your staffing needs will also allow you to train your staff and plan for transportation logistics and accommodations.
1 month before the trade show
There’s only one month left before the show.
At this point, we recommend testing the audio-visual equipment you will be using to make sure everything is working properly. There’s nothing more disastrous than a non-functional electronic device.
Although staff training is already underway, feel free to run simulations with each other. This will allow you to test your sales message and your product or service offers.
Otherwise, make sure you prepare all other small items or essential supplies: pencils, paper, connector cables, cleaners, even a small first aid kit.
Don’t hesitate to contact your exhibition stand supplier. This will let you keep an eye on how the project is progressing and make changes if necessary.
A few days before the trade show
The big day is at your doorstep.
At this stage, your exhibit booth should be ready and on its way. All you will have to do is set it up and get properly installed to welcome the potential customers who will be visiting you at the show.
Take advantage of this time to inspect your reception area and make any last-minute adjustments if needed.
Plan your next trade show exhibit to reach new heights
Planning a trade show exhibit takes time and preparation. However, if done correctly and step by step, you will come out a winner.
If you need help designing and building your exhibition stand, please contact us. We’re always here to help you.