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How to improve your next trade show!

Improve your next trade show!

Getting through a trade show is all about just making it through the process and coming out the other side in good shape.

Once that trade show has passed it is time to start thinking about how you can improve for your next show. Reflect on Previous Shows.

The place to start when you are trying to improve your next trade show is reflecting back on your previous show or shows. You should look back and try to pinpoint things that were a success, things that went wrong, issues that arose or certain aspects that you did not like. You should start with listing these things, so you have a reference to use once you start preparing for your next trade show.

Another thing to do when reflecting back on past shows is to think about things you saw from others that you liked. You can generate some great ideas just by looking at things others did at the show. If you remember something that really caught your eye or that seemed to be popular with people then make a note of it.

The Importance of how to plan a successful trade show starts with good planning.

You will want the notes that you have made about your past experiences and your observations of others to use during your planning process. Planning will include everything from the specifics of the show to what items you will be taking with you. Your planning will cover many things.

You will want to gather information about the trade show area.

You will need to think about your goals and plan out your display.

You will have to consider what things you will be taking to the trade show and how you will manage your area during the show and how many people will be required to man your area.

You need to have a clear idea of what you want to happen during the show and how you will pull it off.

Get Details! You want to get as much information on the trade show that you will be attending as possible. Get specifics. You may want to contact whoever is organizing the event so you can ask questions and get details that may not have been given to you when you registered. Find out what can and cannot be hung from the ceiling or adhered to the walls.

Ask whoever is organising the show if you can put an ad in the conference book that goes to everyone who displays and visitors to the show. Ask if you can leave a brochure or leaflet at the table where entrants register for entry to the show or  maybe be allowed to hang a small poster at the registration booth inviting show participants to your booth. 

Get details about the layout of the area and the types of visitors that usually attend.

You will also want to know about table sizes and wall space. Ask about electrical outlet access and about any items that are included in your space.

Get Your Stuff Together Once you have a good idea of what your area will look like at the trade show, you can begin to formulate your plan.

You should have a specific goal in mind that you wish to accomplish with the show.

Maybe you want to drum up new business, introduce a new product or expand into a new market segment. Whatever your goal or goals are, you have to be clear about them. Your goal will serve as the basis for everything that you will do throughout planning the show and then will influence exactly what will happen once you are at the trade show.

This is a good time to refer back to your list that you made about your previous experiences and observations. If you have specific things you want to avoid then create a checklist for them. If you have certain things you want to include this time then make a list of those things. You can get rid of that original list you made since you now have created two lists that are more specific to this show. When you are getting ready for a trade show it can be easy to overlook important points. You need to create a list of everything that will need to be taken to the show. This checklist will help you to be sure that you do not forget anything.

You also have to create a tasks list that outlines all the things you have to do to ensure that you are ready for the show and that you will be able to reach your goal or goals. This list is the main plan for your show display. It will include the other lists you made for things you want to avoid, ideas or items you want to include and the checklist of things you need to take to the show. This is your master plan. If you follow it then you should end up with a great trade show experience.

Final Tips. The following are some great tips that have been handed down through the years from show to show. This list gives some great ideas and will help you to make sure that this trade show is your best one yet.

- Make sure you have a theme. Having a theme makes it so much easier to coordinate supplies and helps makes your show area look professional and put together.

 - Make sure your display area is eye catching. This is where ideas you got from others at previous shows can be helpful. At the very least  have pull-up banners and colourful posters on the walls of your booth summarising who you are and what products you are offering.

- The only way to get attention at a trade show is to grab it. You want people to be drawn to your display area, so make it something that will be hard to resist.  Have competition draws from your booth for prizes, have product demonstrations if pertinent every so many hours, show videos, give foot massages, offer free glasses of wine, hand out balloons, or free icecream cones. You want to get as many visitors to your booth as possible.

- Always have something to give away that people will find valuable and that doubles as your business card. Promotional items, like pencils or t-shirts work great because people will use them and they also serve as a reminder of your business.

- Staff Training for people working on the stand is key to your success. This includes: Dress code, How to greet and encourage people to come into your group and who talks to the the media. Staff working the stand are NOT to be standing or sitting together talking! Staff have to be  proactive in bringing customers into the stand and talking with them!

- Product knowledge. If you use rent a staff for your booth, make sure that you always have at least one person who knows your products and services so they can answer questions.

- Prior to the show email invites to all clients and prospects announcing that you will be displaying at the show and invite them to come and visit you. Point out they will be the first to see new products you will be launching, etc. Hold a competition. Lure clients and prospects to come and visit you by telling them by visiting your booth and filing out a form they will come into a competition to win "a prize" that would valued by your particiular demographic of client.

- During the show you can have some of your own diplomats (Staff) roaming the show handing out flyers to participants inviting them to your booth. Depending on the theme of your booth, these diplomats can even be in costume in order to create even more interest and excitement.

- After the trade show---- FOLLOW-up with leads generated at the show! You have already done all the hard work- so make sure to follow-up. It is totally amazing at how many trade shows I have been to that a large quantity of  participants simply do not follow-up with leads generated from the show!

Making your next trade show a success is not too difficult if you just take time to plan.

You have to be committed to making the necessary changes and getting organized.

When you start coming up with new, exciting ideas, you can really make your trade show display effective.

You can reach your goals and end up with a successful show experience including new customers and increased revenue!