5 Trade Show Planning Tips

Trade shows exist as marketing tools for small businesses of all kinds to represent the products and services they offer to the public. While trade shows can be effective promotional tools for many businesses, they end up being a waste of funds and time for others. In order to have a successful trade show event, there are things to consider. It goes far beyond the location and fee for the space at the show, numerous things should be carefully organized. Planning is crucial when you are contemplating attending a trade show, and the following tips will help you with the most important things to consider before committing to the trade show.

1)  Know and set trade show goals – Your initial goals for the trade show should be decided on and set before you even sign up for a space at the show. Everything should be carefully planned, from the number of products you intend to sell at the trade show, to what you think you want to achieve from attending, and if you want to promote new products or simply use it as a marketing strategy for services you already provide. Set realistic goals for the trade show and work toward achieving them.

2) Choose trade shows that offer the most ROI – A positive return on investment is just as important as being prepared and making sure you have carefully created an effective and eye-catching booth. Start by thinking about your target audience and choosing trade shows they would be most likely to frequent. Not only should your expected consumers be attending, but the show itself should have objectives similar to your own business goals. Keep in mind that trade shows which are industry-specific are going to have dozens of booths just like yours; you either have to stand out from the crowd, or choose trade shows that are open to more of a variety.

3) Learn about your assigned space – You should be doing research about more than just the trade show, but your assigned space as well. Find out where your booth is going to be located at, and if they are able to tell you who will be near you. If the trade show is able to tell you whether or not this is a high-traffic area, that is great information to keep note of. The physical conditions are also important, which include the size, lighting, and whether or not there are electrical outlets nearby in case you plan on showing a presentation or demonstration, and need the outlet.

4) Plan what you’ll do – Now that you know the size of your space at the trade show, you will be able to begin planning the day’s events. Depending on the products or  services your business provides, you may want to show a presentation, or give demonstrations in increments of 30 minutes to an hour. You can also host giveaways which improve the appeal of your booth. Get together any documentation you would like to give out at the show, including brochures or other marketing materials. Setting out a clipboard for newsletter sign-ups is a great idea for a trade show.

5) Advertise and seek sponsorship -Lastly, you should be advertising the trade show and your appearance there as much as possible. This includes informing your followers on any social media outlets your business belongs to, such as Twitter or Facebook and announcing it on your website or blog. Inform your clients, customers, and suppliers that you are planning to attend the trade show and that there will be special giveaways and promotions at the show if they would like to attend.

Trade shows can improve your business and get the word out about what you can provide your customers as long as you follow these tips and do adequate research. Making trade shows effective means putting in careful planning before the show, and providing visitors of the trade show reasons why they should stop and speak to you about your products or services.