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How to Plan for a Trade Show

Leading Others to Your Trade Show Booth
A Year Prior to the Trade Show
- Decide if making trade shows a part of your marketing strategy is the right decision. This applies to your business as a whole and to particular products or services.
- Think about the amount of time it will take to prepare your trade show exhibit. Do some calculations to estimate your return on the investment.
- Most likely, you’ll have plenty of trade shows from which to choose. Think about your target market and which shows could produce the most opportunities for your business.
- Once you select the shows you want to attend, trade notes with others in your industry. Have they attended these specific events? Ask about the number of attendants and the amount of revenue they generated from their appearance.
- Form a team to help with preparations and host your trade show booth.

9 Months before the Trade Show
- Project specific targets you would like to achieve. How many leads would you like to generate? How many sales do you envision making straight from the trade show display?
- Shop around for trade show booth display vendors. Once you decide on a booth and assess its dimensions, you will know how much space you will need at the trade show.
- Register with the trade show sponsor and ask them regarding what is required of you and your team.
- Begin to structure a marketing procedure for each phase of the show. Start planning out what you and your team members will be doing before, during, and after the event.

6 Months before the Trade Show
- People will not be at your trade show booth for very long, so you need to compose a succinct and powerful marketing dialogue to be used by your representatives.
- Conceptualize promotional items, banners, brochures, business cards, and other items you can use.

3 Months before the Trade Show
- Order the necessary items that you’ll need at the trade show exhibit.
- With the dimensions of your trade show booth display in mind, figure out the best way to deliver it to the destination of the show.

1 Month before the Trade Show
- Create marketing material to send to leads after the completion of the show.
- Arrange for all members of your team to arrive at the destination of the trade show.
- Train staff that will be present at the booth. Trade shows are unique in that your message must get across quickly and to a great number of people.
- Complete all preparations regarding the construction of your display and all marketing materials that will accompany it.

Post Trade Show Actions
- Make contacts based on leads garnered at your trade show exhibit.
- Assess whether you have accomplished your original objectives.
- Calculate your return on investment regarding your trade show display, marketing materials, travel expenses, etc.
- Did you make a splash with your booth? Trade show notes with your team. Note recommendations and modifications that can be made for the next event.

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