Are you planning for a trade show? Do you want your stand and staff to triumph? Well you will need this essential checklist to make it a success. Trade shows are a brilliant place to network with potential customers. They allow you face-to-face interaction and they hand you the opportunity to build solid, strong relationships with consumers. However, it is important to plan the event from beginning to end. So, this checklist is here to guide you – and help you and your company be the best you can!
Step 1- What is your strategy?
To make life easier for yourself, the first thing you need to do is to plan out your strategy. Ask yourself these important and crucial six questions.
- What do you want to achieve from the tradeshow? Set company goals.
- What is your budget?
- Who is your target audience?
- What is your marketing plan? (This means before, during and after the tradeshow)
- How can your exhibit suit your customers needs?
- What is your theme? Consider graphics, layout, displays and all your presentational and technological needs. (Bear in mind what you want your customers to gain from your exhibit.)
Step 2: The plan of action for communicating with customers
Using your strategy as a guide, you need to decide how you are going to get your message across to your customers successfully.
- Think about booking hotel rooms in advance, make sure your attendees are not left sleeping on the floor.
- Decide what marketing materials and the literature you will need.
- Plan for your trade show giveaways – make your brand more memorable.
- Send your information to attendees – pre-show marketing impresses .Planning a trade show
Step 3- finalising preparations
Make sure that both customers and staff are excited about the trade show, this way you will keep that all important momentum going.
- Prepare your follow up material, if it’s ready before the show then you can send it straight afterwards while prospects still remember who you are.
- Plan your travel arrangements. ?
- Make sure the staff that are attending are well trained and aware of the dress code.
- Contact the event holders for any last minute information. Don’t be the last one to know!
- Plan meetings with prospects and potential customers.
- Confirm production and delivery of all marketing tools and displays are to schedule .
Step 4- Prep and Pack
Making those final adjustments and finalising the fine details are crucial and will make sure your trade show presentation runs smoothly and effectively.
- Make sure your team has a contact list of the following: other team members, the venue host and suppliers, so that nothing and no one is lost or missing.
- Compare your checklist to that of competitors. Are their strategies and ideas better than yours?
- Create cheat sheets for setup and conversation starters for staff.
- Prepare your staff by using role play to broaden their communication skills. You don’t want them getting stage fright on the day.
During the show – Give it your all!
Now that all the hard work is over, it’s time to relax and let yourself and your team enjoy yourselves, making sure of course that you are always professional.
- Be friendly and greet visitors (do not use phones – allow prospects to approach you at all times).
- Be sure to trade business cards for promotional products, this way your business will not be forgotten. While exchanging business cards talk to prospects about their needs.
- Make notes for your follow-ups, to help turn prospects into customers.
After the show- Follow up
This next stage is an imperative part. Using the notes you made during the show, compile a list of prospects making it easier to turn them into new customers. This will set your company up for success at future trade shows.
- You need to organise your leads, making sure you give 2-3 forms of response, for example send a brochure or newsletters or social media requests.
- How did the show go? What worked? What didn’t work? What can you do better next time?
- Review your budget- Did you spend too much or could you spend more?
- Continue the follow-ups to prospects/customers throughout the year. Use social media and blog posts to maintain their attention.
So, be the very best you can to ensure a wildly successful trade show for you business at the trade shows with the help of this checklist. Remember the game plan: strategy, planning, preparation and follow-ups. Use it to triumph.