Experienced marketers often complain about the chaos that precedes a show so it’s understandable when first time marketers say that coordinating a Trade Show is daunting and bewildering.
For all those who feel lost, here’s a list of everything you always wanted to know about coordinating Trade Shows but were afraid to ask.
- How do I choose which show to participate in?
Research short-listed Trade Shows and analyze if participation will help meet brand objectives. Ask organizers for data from past shows and work-out what percentage of the attendees actually fit your customer profile. Consider the location of the show – this will help when you work to meet budget constraints. Also, find out about competitors planning to attend. After making a decision, sign up early to get a good location for the booth.
- Where do I begin….there’s so much to do?
With so many things to remember, a check-list is mission critical and essential for success. Working with a checklist ensures you stay on track. Create specific sections in the check-list to make things easier – for example branding, staffing, marketing and so on. Check-lists must be comprehensive and should contain all the details that need to be in place before the show begins.
- How much should I budget for show expenses?
Overspending is often a common apprehension when coordinating Trade Shows. Therefore, it is vital that a detailed budget is created before committing to participation. Be sure to list even the smallest cost as this will give you a clear indication of actual expenditure. The booth usually accounts for a quarter of the total budget, excluding personnel. So plan accordingly.
- What size booth do I need?
Before making a decision, think of what you plan to do within the booth. Will you be showcasing new products and holding product demonstrations? Or is the focus more on having client meetings and handing out brochures? Some experts recommended reserving about 50 square feet per staff member as a rule of thumb, or about 30% of the overall space to allow attendees to maneuver.
- How do I make sure my display stands out?
It is easy to get carried away when designing a Trade Show booth. Every participant wants to create an exhibit that attracts attention and draws visitors. However, it is important to keep things simple. Focus on key messages and present no more than three messages in the display. Limit complexity of the booth to avoid an information overload. Use interactive displays as they are more effective in engaging attendees.
Exhibiting at a Trade Show can be tricky. The added pressure of putting together a complex event and competing for the limited attention of visitors only makes things more difficult. Hope the information above helps makes things easier. Stay tuned for the second part of the article which addresses more such questions from first time exhibitors.