Between the paperwork, deadlines, designing and getting a booth, transportation, presenting, and storage… Trade shows can be complicated to prepare for. With all that preparation, where would you even start? Where would you even find the time to do all the time-consuming tasks involved in being an exhibitor? Whether you just need some tips to help you as you prep everything or whether you’d like someone else to handle the trade show management so that you can focus on your business, Pacwest Exhibits is here to help!
Here are 5 Trade Show Tips to help you with the different parts of presenting at a trade show!
Participate in Pre-Show Promotion
We’ve found that the best way to ensure you’re meeting the people you need to meet with is planned pre-show promotion. Trade shows are expensive to participate in, so you want as many qualified clients as possible to visit and interact with your booth. Rather than hoping that prospective clients will stumble across your booth during the show, planned pre-show promotion ensures that they know about you ahead of time and that they make the decision to come find you.
- Before your trade show, get a list of registered show attendees from show management and identify prospective clients.
- Send an invitation to prospective clients to visit your booth and let them know how your business can solve a problem for them or save them time/money.
- Include an offer/discount/free item with your invitation to encourage prospective clients to come meet with you.
Make Sure You Have a Good Exhibit Design
A good exhibit design is one that reflects your company’s brand and highlights the products or services that you offer. It’s eye-catching and can draw potential customers into your exhibit to ask questions and learn more. You only have 7 seconds to make your first impression on a potential client or connection, so the visual aspect of your booth has a huge impact. Your exhibit design should:
- Reflect your brand
- Highlight your products or services
- Catch attention
- Make you stand out
- Fit your needs
Arrange Your Trade Show Labor Ahead of Time
Most major exhibit halls require you to have trade show labor to install and dismantle your exhibit. Sometimes the show or convention center requires you to schedule a time and use their staff, but if you don’t need to use their staff there are companies that specialize in trade show labor that you can hire to take care of it all. If you don’t arrange your trade show labor ahead of time, you run the risk of getting a timeslot for the convention staff to help install/dismantle your exhibit that doesn’t work with your own schedule. Or you have to do a last minute scramble to find a local company that you can hire to do the work- possibly at a higher rate or lower quality of work since you’re unable to compare many options.
Pick the Right Trade Show Staff
Who should be at your booth interacting with potential clients? While there is no cut and dried answer, there are some common characteristics that make up a good staffer:
- Good communication skills
- Knowledge about your products and services
- An understanding about what your company’s goals and objectives are for the show
- Energy and enthusiasm to be there
A good staff member should also know which questions to ask to determine if a contact is a potential customer or not. If they are, they will ask questions and get as much information as they can so they can pass that on to the follow-up staff and they’ll be more knowledgeable about the needs and wishes of the customer. If they’re not, a good staffer will know how to release someone they are speaking with if that person is not a potential client.
Trade Show Coordination
When it comes to trade show coordination, the margin for error is small and budgets can be messed up quickly. Starting to coordinate things for your trade show early on, can save you a lot of headaches and prevent you from scrambling last minute and spending extra money to coordinate things on the spot. Some things you should start coordinating right away for a trade show are:
- Arranging to send your exhibit to the pre-show warehouse rather than shipping directly to the show (if they have the option available)- which can also save you a ton of money.
- If you need anything that show services has available for you (show labor, electrical service, carpeting, wastebaskets, furniture, etc.), make sure you meet the deadlines for ordering these items or the cost could easily triple to order them after the deadline.
- Make sure your Trade Show Labor arrangements are set up ahead of time and that your exhibit is ready to be dismantled and removed by the time the show requires. If for whatever reason, your exhibit is not ready to be removed from the show floor at the designated time it will become “forced”. If your exhibit becomes forced freight it will be very expensive compared to what you budgeted for return freight.
If you’d rather have someone else handle the coordination so that you can focus on your business- Pacwest Exhibits can handle show service coordination, shipping logistics and tracking, trade show booth display property repair and management, along with storage of both your booth properties and collateral.