Preparing for a tradeshow requires organization, creativity, and commitment. While most companies measure trade show success based on the number of leads, opportunities, and the return on investment that come from it, the sheer effort that goes into it determines the success rate. Trade shows are a huge investment in time, people, and money for a company. To get the most out of your next one, learn how to prepare for a tradeshow.
Prepare in Advance
If you have no idea how to prepare for a tradeshow, rule one is to plan well in advance. As soon as you register for the event, start planning. Line up a logistics company to get your booth and supplies to the event. Reserve hotel rooms and book flights. Plan what products you want to show, decide who will attend, and set up schedules for manning the booth. It’s never too early to start.
Get the Sales Team Ready
Communication is essential in any business. Different teams usually attend trade shows, including the sales team, marketing, and upper management. Be certain that everyone is on the same page and has the information they need. Load meetings and booth schedules onto their calendars and set up a prep call a week away from the show. Set the expectations for the event, so no one is surprised upon arrival.
Schedule Pre-Show Booth Meetings
A successful trade show is one where the sales and marketing teams work together to pre-schedule booth meetings with prospects, customers, and partners. Have a realistic goal for your team similar to the goal you had last year—then, increase it by 20%. Create a shared calendar so that the sales team knows which executives are available on the different days of the event.
Spread the Word
Start hitting social media and let your followers and customers know you will be at the show. Let them know your location at the event and invite them to see your booth. Stay on all social media platforms before, during, and after the show to keep the buzz going.
Have a Giveaway
Fun giveaways create more traffic to your booth. Put some real thought and extra money into the giveaway to attract people. Avoid the tired standard giveaways like mousepads, pens, and coffee mugs. The giveaway is there to break the ice, strike up conversations, and result in qualified leads. Whether it’s food, drink, slot machines, or couches, it doesn’t matter—just have something to get attention and keep potential customers engaged and in your booth.