Preparing for Attendance at a Tradeshow Part 1.

  1. Create an event calendar to suit your market

There are many events, trade fairs, conferences held every year to suit your target market and it’s essential to have in mind the biggest trade shows for your industry. Many generic industry shows capture a large audience and footfall while others are more aimed at a niche offering.

  1. Identify the objectives you wish to achieve

It’s important to establish whether you want to exhibit at a particular show or if you wish to send a member of the sales or management team to walk the show and represent your company.  Knowing why you want to exhibit is the first step to succeeding in a trade show.  If your aim is brand awareness or to launch a new product you may want to look at exhibition space or hosting an event to capture the bigger audiences. But if your aim is to meet current clients you may just want to walk the show instead, you never know who you might bump into along the way!

  1. Set a Budget

Pay attention to what type of show is most likely to give you the most bang for your buck. It’s important to have control on your finances while setting up your budget, and to include hidden costs such as flights, hotels, meals as these will add up. But don’t compromise your company’s visibility, what may seem cheap and attractive now, could have long term damages for your brand in the long run.

  1. Book in Advance

As soon as you have selected the right shows for your company, it is advised to make a booking. Event dates are set out 12 months in advance and before a current show has even closed the doors to the last attendee, so if you have your calendar set out well in advance you can avail of large discounts or early bird rates if you rebook for the next year whilst at a current show. Work as closely as you can with the trade show’s organiser to know the footfall figures, this may give you an idea of where you want to exhibit in the venue next year.

  1. Communicate your Attendance

Maximise your visibility at a show by telling people you will be there. This includes pre-show announcements and mid show communications. Let your customers know in advance that you will attend by your newsletter, placing an announcement on your social media and website and even on your email signature. Reiterate your attendance during the show by sharing Social Media updates or posting a blog on the website. There are often opportunities in booklets or on the ground marketing while at the show and these will have to be booked in advance and if budget allows it may be an opportunity to explore some of these.

  1. Choose the right team members to attend

The team you send to a show is the face of your company so choose wisely and send the team members with the most experience in that particular area. Having good sales people is crucial to the success of the show. If you are about to launch a new product or service, train all staff members attending so they are all on the same page.