Prepare for Your Tradeshow with this Handy Checklist

Prepare for Your Tradeshow with this Handy Checklist

If your company is planning to exhibit at a trade show, you've got a lot of planning to do. Successful events depend on careful, strategic preparation, and there's no room for procrastination in such highly competitive environments. The following tradeshow checklist will help you create a seamless event that boosts brand awareness.

6–12 Months Before: Create a Strategy

Ensure a more focused event by taking the following key steps:

  • Set goals and objectives (make sales, get leads, recruit talent, network with industry leaders).
  • Create a manageable budget.
  • Identify your target audience
  • Create a marketing plan for before, during and after the trade show
  • Choose a show that's consistent with your customer's profile.
  • Book your space.
  • Design your exhibit, including layout, displays and graphics.
  • Begin browsing for promotional products.
  • 3–6 Months Before: Start Planning

    As the big day approaches, you need to start doing your tradeshow prep:

  • Book a block of hotel rooms near the event facility.
  • Prepare your literature and marketing materials.
  • Choose relevant promotional products and order them in advance.
  • Begin your pre-show marketing: Send out your press releases.
    Send your booth info to attendees. Leverage social media to make your presence known.
  • 1–3 Months Before: Perfect Your Plan

    Now that you've built some momentum, it's time to finalize your plans:

  • Prepare follow-up materials you can send out right after the show
  • Make all of your travel arrangements
  • Train all the members of your booth staff.
  • Touch base with the event sponsor and gather any last-minute details.
  • Schedule meetings with customers, clients or prospects
  • Finalize production on booth displays and marketing materials.
  • Make sure you have enough promotional items to meet high demand.
  • 1–4 Weeks Before: Pack and Prepare

    As the big day approaches, make sure you fine-tune everything:

  • Safely package and pack all of your booth equipment.
  • Hand out a master contacts list to key members of your team.
  • Create cheat-sheets and checklists for setup and conversation starters.
  • Perform a little role-playing to get your staff prepared for interactions
  • The Day of the Trade Show: Execute your plan

    If you've got all your ducks in a row, your event should run smoothly.
    You can promote greater success by:

  • Smile and greet visitors with warm, friendly speech
  • Trade business cards or badge scans when opportunities present themselves.
  • Interact with prospects to learn about their wants and needs.
  • Make detailed notes for post-show follow-ups

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