How to Prepare for a Trade Show

How to Prepare for a Trade Show and Be a Success at Conventions

How to prepare for a trade show? The following article offers guidelines on the things to watch out for and plan, before participating in a trade show.
Trade shows are a great way to market and advertise one's organization as well as the organizational products. Whether it is reaching out to one's clients, selling products or finding new investors, trade shows play an important role in all such business activities. To derive the maximum benefits out of a trade show, a business should be well prepared, before participating in one.

Tips on Preparing for a Trade Show

Budgeting
The first thing to do is to decide on your budget for the show. Depending upon your budget, you can choose the trade shows that you can participate in. The cost of participating in a trade show varies, as the shows which are planned in an upmarket area and which are expected to pull in lots of possible clients and customers of the businesses, will any day cost much higher. The size of the booth that you expect to install at the trade show depends on your budget too. A large booth, with all such facilities and arrangements, such as, audio visuals, seating, displays, etc. will need a higher budget than a regular small one.

When considering whether the trade show fits into your budget, you have to take into consideration the amount of money that you would be required to spend on shipping goods and materials and sending your staff to the location of the trade show. This is especially true for trade shows that are out of town. Also, as participation in a trade show is a marketing strategy, you need to see whether doing the same aligns with your organizational marketing goals.

Services and Payment Procedures
Once you are clear on all the above points, the next step is to get in touch with the event sponsor and inquire from him the rates for the exhibition space, the kind of facilities that you will be requiring and the cost for the same. Be clear with the payment procedures as well. Also, contact an event services company. If you do not own a booth, you will need to hire one from them. Give them your various requirements for the trade show booth as well, such as telephone, Internet connection, electricity, carpeting, catering, displays, audiovisuals, etc. The event services company will help you in providing the same.

Bookings
As soon as you decide on the trade show that you are participating in, make bookings for hotels and transportation, including airline tickets. Book a hotel which is not so far away from the trade show location, cause if there are some materials that you need to carry from the location to the hotel, it will add on to your transportation costs.

The (Booth) Marketing Strategy
Have a proper strategy in place for a trade show booth. Before preparing the strategy, be thorough with the rules and guidelines of the show which are listed in its handbook. The handbook usually has things like the day and time of the show, the things that you are allowed to use in your booth, the specifications of the booth, etc. Consider all these and plan your strategy. Take into consideration what you plan to achieve through the show and how can you do it in the best possible way. For instance, you would need to train your staff on how to handle the booth. Secondly, you must have some of the materials in place, such as, company brochures, business cards, promotional products and free gifts for the possible customers (they help in pulling in the crowds). At the venue, things like the booth lighting, décor, the kind of audiovisuals you have, signage, etc. make a big difference. So, you would need to plan each and every detail like this. An innovative idea here is to plan your booth around a theme and then decide on the rest of the décor. This is an excellent idea to increase the traffic to your booth. If you find this concept interesting, you may go to ideas for trade show exhibit booth themes.

Advertising
Advertising your trade show participation to your clients and customers will help in spreading awareness about the same. Direct mailers or emails are the best ways to do this. Press releases, advertising on one's own website, these are some other means of advertising that you can use.

Shipping
When sending materials for the show, make sure that you ship them in the required quantity and do not overdo, as it will add on to the costs. The staff for the trade show booth should be appropriate too, neither less nor more. Crowding the booth with your own staff and leaving very less space for the customers, is a bad strategy.

With these tips, any organization would be able to budget and plan their booth strategy effectively. Remember, participation in a trade show should translate into profits for an organization. All businesses should keep this goal in mind, while planning their trade show strategy.
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