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10 Tips on Planning Your Trade Show

Taking part in a trade show exhibit presents various challenges that can hinder effective marketing for any company. It seems easy, create an exhibit, ship it to the event and wait for the crowds but that’s not all that it takes to come out of a trade show with positive results. The following are 10 tips on planning your trade show that will increase your business’ prospects for generating leads.

1. Set up a landing page

The essence of trade shows participation is to capture leads. The best way to do that is by creating a special website where you direct all your visitors enabling you to capture information and evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing strategy.

2. Acquire demographic tools

Trade shows are great places for gathering marketing intelligence. To harness their full potential you need the right tools to capture the characteristics of the audience so that you have tangible data to use in evaluating your return on investment.

3. Set goals

Outline your specific goals for attending a trade shows. Develop a clear vision for what you expect from your participation so at the close of the event you can determine your success or failure.

4. Right size your event

The size of any tradeshow will have a significant influence on your success. Large shows draw large companies with deep marketing pockets and broad market appeal. Choosing a smaller trade show in a vertical market can provide you with niche market recognition and help your company grow into an industry leader in a larger marketplace.

5. Find a good supplier

Select the right exhibit company with the right approach for your trade show program. In selecting the appropriate exhibit, give consideration to transportation costs, material handling, I & D and graphic replacement costs. Take time to find an exhibit partner who will work with you to control costs and partner with you to create a successful overall tradeshow program.

6. Announce your participation

It’s not realistic to consider every attendee at the tradeshow is a potential client. However, it is quite realistic to consider a good portion of attendees will visit your exhibit if you let them know you are participating. Notify your existing customer base by inviting them to see “what’s new” and establish an active show link on the tradeshow website or floor plan if available.

7. Evaluate your exhibit location

Seniority plays an important role in your booth selection. It is understandable that not everyone can be located in the front aisle, however with knowledge of the show you can select a location that is positioned for good traffic flow. Your exhibit now needs to address the aisles best suited for your presentations, products or equipment and hospitality.

8. Evaluate the competition

Assign someone the task of evaluating the competition. Studying your competition on the show floor is as good as it gets. Not only can you compare your presence at the show but note how the competition interacts with attendees. Come home with ideas that can improve the impact of future trade shows.

9. Establish your budget

Determine your budget before you set out to even purchase the floor space. Exhibit costs, services, staffing, rooms and transportation all need to be considered within your budget. Every aspect needs to be flushed out for your business to make a determination on ROI.

10. Travel and accommodations

Book your travel arrangements early so that you are able to take advantage of discounted travel rates. Secure blocks of rooms and request discounted rates in doing so. Compare hotel accommodations based on location and determine if the added on site transportation cost to and from the hotel is a cost effective trade-off for a more distant location. Check to see if free shuttle busses are operating to your hotel.



What They Say

picture"Working with Horizon is always an easy process. As our needs change, Horizon works hand in hand with us to make sure our trade show booth reflects those changes needed. It is a pleasure to work with a company that understands us and how we do business."
Kevin Tabackman



1115 E. Locust Street
P.O. 827
DeKalb, IL 60115