How to Prepare for a Trade Show

Are you interested in attending a trade show event, but have no idea how to prepare? Success at a trade show is determined by what you do before the event and how you execute during the show. In fact, if you prepare thoroughly, you will hit the ground running from day one of the event.

There is no need to pull your hair out trying to figure out how to prepare. Take a look below for some proven strategies that top companies use to prepare for trade shows regularly. Implement the advice below and you will have a great chance of meeting your business goals at a trade show.

Research your options

The first step is to figure out what trade shows make the most sense to attend for your business. Match your products with a crowd that would be interested in buying. There are hundreds of trade shows that take place all over the country every year. For any given industry, there are various trade shows that can be attended to generate sales, improve brand awareness, and network with other companies.

Attending a trade show requires resources and investment of funds. To ensure the trade show trip is successful you must choose the right exhibition. Otherwise you run the risk of generating less in sales compared to the costs of exhibiting.

What is your budget?

There are a lot of factors that go into budgeting for a trade show. This includes renting out the space, booth structures and graphics, employee fees and accommodation, marketing, and setting up the booth. You can go to show on almost any budget, with the proper expectations. It goes without saying that the costs can increase if you want to add more value — this is recommended to compete with other exhibitors at the event. Make your exhibit count by diverting a healthy budget towards the event.

Register early

Is the trade show you are interested in a few weeks from now? Perhaps you will be better off skipping it and attending next year once you have had more time to prepare. Last minute registration can be significantly more expensive. Cheap hotels may be fully booked and flight prices at their peak. By booking far in advance you give yourself the flexibility to seek out a good deal to reduce the cost of the exhibition visit.

Registering early also gives you more time to prepare. You can line up new product launches, so the big reveal is at the expo, and execute a marketing campaign to increase your visibility at the event.

Understand the audience

Once you have chosen a trade show to attend, take a close look at the profile of the potential customers. The most effective sales techniques will target the crowd by identifying benefits they need. A generic approach will not be the most effective way of selling as the conversion rate might be poor.

You can research the audience by paying attention to what took place during previous iterations of the expo. There are some exhibitions that have been going on for decades on an annual basis. Therefore, the type of attendee that comes is clearly defined — simply ask the organizers if you are having trouble figuring it out.

Prepare your products

You might get lucky and strike some huge deals at the expo – after all that is the end goal. Orders must be shipped out fast to avoid disappointing new clients. Impress them by ensuring deliveries are executed by the time attendees get back to the office in their respective cities or countries. Therefore, you should have suficient stock ready before you attend the expo.

Prepare free samples that can be taken home by attendees. They will flock to your booth to see what is offered, and who doesn’t like free stuff, right? For example, if you operate in the food space, then you could give away some bite-sized treats for attendees to enjoy.

Create a follow-up plan

With every face-to-face interaction, the goal should be to convert the lead on the spot. Utilize the atmosphere of the expo to your advantage by closing the deal before the lead leaves the booth. However, not every attendee will be persuaded to buy right away, but that does not mean you should give up. A follow-up strategy should be established, and that is best done before the event.

Your follow-up plan should aim to gather contact details of a lead, so you can communicate with them after the event. Ideally, a telephone number and email address should be collected. You could incentivize the potential buyer to give their email address by offering a free download of value.

Hire help

There is no reason to take on the challenge of succeeding at a trade show event alone. Hire professionals like Evo Exhibits to help your trade show visit be successful. Their Discover. Create. Connect. process looks into your company to understand how best to setup your trade show booth. They’ll help you meet your exhibiting goals while staying on time and on budget.

Make time for fun

Take a look at the trade show schedule and make note of side-events that allows for socializing and fun. These events can break up the flow of the expo, so it is not all work.

The range of social activities will depend on the trade show you visit, but you can expect luncheons, award ceremonies, presentations, games, 5k running events, and much more. By taking part in these social activities, you can increase opportunities for networking and strike business deals you would have never had access to otherwise.

Conclusion

Preparing for a trade show can be a hassle if you leave everything to the last minute. Do not procrastinate — get started early. Good preparation will lead to fewer problems at the event and help you focus on converting leads. The trade show preparation strategy tips above are enough to get you started in the right direction.

Execution is key to ensure all planning does not go to waste, and that is where Evo Exhibits comes in. Their Discover. Create. Connect. process can help you overcome any unforeseen problems at the event. They provide all the support you need with experienced trade show professionals. With Evo Exhibits on your side you will have a better chance at meeting your business objectives and have fun along the way.

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