Published 25th October 2012 | Event Management, Trade Show Strategies

10 Top Tips for Tradeshow & Event Success

One of the projects that came to successful fruition this October after months of careful preparation was a presence at the Engineering Design Show 2012 for one of our biggest clients.

The trade show itself was the culmination of a process that involved a high level of meticulous project planning and management across a range of business disciplines: branding, promotion, POS, display advertising, logistics, stand design and stand management.

So we thought we’d pass on our top 10 tips for a successful trade show presence!

01 Which trade show? Make sure your chosen trade show is appropriate and relevant. Some 40%-60% of attendees come from a 200 mile radius of the show location (Nomadic Display) so decide who you want to target. Gather as much information as you can about the show, such as other businesses exhibiting, previous events, expected visitor numbers and the promotional plans of the organisers.

02 What’s our main objective? Is it to launch something new, meet your existing customers, to get new leads or to improve business visibility? Be clear about your objective so that your pre-event marketing and your exhibition stand are geared up to meet your objectives. And work out how you can measure your success e.g. number of visitors to the stand, qualified leads or conversions.

03 What’s our budget? Having a clear idea on what you want to spend will dictate the type of stand you can afford. Choose the position based on your budget and nearby attractions e.g. cafés or keynote theatres. The little things soon add up so it’s important to estimate costs prior to booking.

04 When is it? It’s important to plan properly as there are a lot of deadlines to meet, contracts to sign and other paperwork to get through prior to the event. If you won’t have the time to devote to preparing for the show, consider outsourcing the project to reduce your stress levels!

05 How are we going to tell people about it? Don’t leave all the promotion to the event organisers…..try placing a banner on your website, sending complementary tickets to your prospects, promoting via your social media channels, adding a graphic to your email signature – and more!

06 What are we going to have on the stand? You’ll need to think about your stand display, posters and message boards, the furniture you need, audio visual equipment, sample giveaways, methods for capturing leads – and incidentals such as floor covering, lighting, plants and stationery.

07 Who’s going to man the stand? Do you need a technical expert, someone from sales or marketing, or should the MD be there? Book the date in their calendar! Decide your ‘stand policy’ then brief your stand staff well in advance! They should know everything from what clothes to wear on the stand, the key messages to convey and how to capture visitors’ details.

08 How are we going to achieve our objectives? Do you need to take product samples, literature, freebies and giveaways, do a demonstration or give a presentation? Decide how you are going to capture stand visitors’ contact details and make notes of their interest or requirement.

09 How (and when) are we going to follow up after the show? Being at the show is the easy bit. The work really starts afterwards when it’s time to follow up the contacts you’ve made. Plan it in and ensure everyone who is meant to be following up has the time pencilled in. Or outsource it to a competent lead generation agency.

10 How can we celebrate? Presence at an exhibition can be stressful and draining! Make sure you find time to pat yourself and the team on the back for everything you did well. Also make a point of having a debrief so you learn and improve on any areas that could be done better next time round.

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