There is no doubt about it, being an exhibitor at a trade show can be a very expensive proposition. When you add up the booth fees, travel costs and time away from work, the total investment can be several thousand of dollars.
However, with proper planning, exhibiting can yield your organization new leads, better brand awareness and give you a strong competitive advantage.
Follow the chronological process below to make this year your best trade show experience ever!
Trade Show Planning Checklist
First, Establish Sound Goals.
It is important that you have a clear understanding why your organization needs to exhibit at the show. Here are a few examples and ways technology can help speed up the process and maximize your goal potential.
Your goals may be:
- Gather as many leads as possible.
If this is your goal, you may need an automated process to read attendee badges. Whether it is a badge reader or a Near Field Communication (NFC) system, the ability to know who came to your booth will help with follow-up in the days after the show.
- Increase brand awareness.
A video wall rental is a clever way to get your logo and company information out to the masses without being obtrusive to passing attendees. Video walls can be seen up to 300 feet away. Short video clips about the company will draw attendees to your booth for attendees to visually learn more about your brand. Or consider renting a cell phone charging kiosk; not only can you customize your message on the kiosk, but it can increase foot traffic to your booth by providing attendees an ideal solution for recharging their mobile device.
- Network with targeted attendees.
Ask the event organizer for a list of attendees just before the trade show starts. Work with your team to “divide and conquer” the attendees you want to meet. Make sure every staff member attends all networking and educational events at the conference.
- Pitch potential investors and partners.
Perhaps you are looking for investment dollars to grow your company. Rent iPads and touch screen monitors to walk investors through your new concept. If you are looking to partner with another company on a concept, the trade show floor is the perfect place to show them your wares.
Second, Be on Target with Brand and Message.
From the shirts your staff wears to the videos you display to the business cards you give away, be consistent with logo colors, fonts, and placement. Don’t try and sell everything in your company catalog instead, focus on one product or message you want to leave with the attendee. Make sure it is consistent with your trade show goals.
Third, Meet with The Show Manager.
Once you have your goals and messaging in order, meet or video-conference with the show manager to learn more about ways you can appeal to attendees. Ask about booth size, location and any marketing tips they think will help meet your goals. Believe it or not, this is something exhibitors rarely do. Take advantage of the manager’s expertise and learn how to build a better mousetrap.
Last, Scrub Your Contact List and Message Them.
This is the perfect time to delete and categorize your contacts. Don’t send an email to attendees that reside in California to attend a New York City event. Or attendees that would never go to the trade show because it isn’t in their industry.
Don’t send a “run of the mill” email either that will get lost in the noise. Spend time developing an attention-grabbing communique that offers value to the reader and gives them a reason to visit your booth.
Hartford Technology Rental Has Trade Show Equipment
Before your next trade show, call 888-520-5667 or contact us online. We can show you how to make your next exhibition stand out from the rest and well within budget parameters. Don’t delay – contact us today!