How To Plan For Your Next Trade Show or Event

by May 11, 2022

You already know attending trade shows is important for your business. You get to interact with consumers face-to-face and talk to them about what interests them regarding your brand. To ensure your booth is successful, you need to start planning early. From defining your goals to finding the right shows, there are plenty of trade show planning checkpoints you should follow. Learn how to plan for your next trade show or event.

Tips on Planning for a Trade Show

  1. Decide what trade shows you want to attend. Before you even begin to think about budgets, timelines, and designs, you need to determine what trade shows you want to attend. Choose trade shows that align with your brand and your services to ensure you’re putting yourself in front of the right audience. When you exhibit at shows in your industry, you’re more likely to attract new customers and give your current customers a reason to show up. 
  2. Define your goals. After you’ve decided you’ll attend a trade show, you want to define what you hope to achieve. Do you simply want to have a presence at the event to generate brand awareness? Do you want to sell products or offer demonstrations so attendees can try out your offerings in person? Coming up with a clear goal will set the tone for the rest of your planning.
  3. Create a realistic timeline. It can take as long as a year to plan a successful trade show. In addition to choosing the shows you’ll attend and defining your goals, you also need to think about banners, graphics, display cases, and shipping your materials to the trade show. You also want there to be enough time to design the booth itself. If you rush the planning process, you’ll be sure to face complications and crises that you could have otherwise avoided. 
  4. Set your budget. When creating a budget for your trade show booth, think about the ROI you’ll get from the event. Though trade shows can be expensive, you don’t want to attend a huge event with a mediocre booth. Attendees will pass you by to check out more engaging displays. When setting your budget, you should consider spending about one-quarter to one-third of your budget on obtaining the exhibit space. Then, you can use the rest on marketing, promotional materials, staffing, booth design, and shipping. Make sure you read any exhibitors’ kits to figure out what service fees are involved with your show space. You can also see if they offer incentives or discounts for early registration. 
  5. Design your booth. Aside from designing a visually appealing display, you want to make sure the design aligns with your goals. If your goal is brand awareness, unique and eye-catching signage is vital. If you’re going to sell products, make sure attendees have the capability of making a purchase right then and there. Consider hiring a full-service marketing agency to ensure you have a trade show booth that stands out from the competition
  6. Promote your appearance. Don’t get lost in designing your trade show booth. You’ll also need to develop a plan on how you’ll promote your appearance at the trade show. It’s best to use a mix of channels to spread the word. Think social media posts, a landing page on your website, email newsletters, and paid digital ads. When you use these methods to promote your attendance, you can tease what you’re going to show and build excitement about the event. 

What You Need for a Trade Show Booth

Once you’ve come up with a plan for attending your next trade show, you’ll probably start wondering how to prepare the booth and what else you should bring on the day of the event. 

Here are some frequently asked questions about trade show booths:

What do you need for a booth?

Plain, lackluster booths will not cut it in today’s competitive market. You need visuals that wow and interactive elements that make attendees excited to be there. Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can elevate a modular booth. These days if you can incorporate virtual or augmented reality elements, go for it. You should also include interactive displays or activations so attendees can take photos and share them online. 

Don’t forget about the technical items you’ll need for your booth. Do you need to plug in electronics or lighting? Project photos or videos? Make sure you have power strips, extension cords, batteries, and other elements that power up your booth and bring it to life.

How do you organize an event booth?

It’s best to start thinking about how to organize your event booth during the design process. If you’re working with a full-service agency, they’ll be able to create 3D renderings of your booth, which helps you see what the space and setup will actually look like. You’ll know whether you need shelves to display branded items, tables and chairs for attendees to sit down and test out a product, and the best places to put your staff and promotional materials. Bring labeled bins with lids to keep excess items and equipment together and out of the way. 

What should I bring to my trade show?

Most of the items you need for your trade show booth will be shipped before the event. However, there are items not included in the actual display that you’ll want to ensure you have on hand that day. These items include swag, business cards, signage, flash drives featuring digital presentations, and refreshments. Having these elements on the day of the trade show means you’ll be able to connect with your audience beyond the show since you’re giving them something they can remember you by and take home with them.

Marketing Genome Creates Custom Trade Show Booth Designs

Planning a trade show appearance can feel overwhelming. Marketing Genome is here to help. We are a full-service marketing agency and can create everything from custom exhibits to modular trade show booths, virtual booths, and more. 

Ready to talk? One of our expert marketing consultants can provide a complimentary brainstorming and evaluation session to find out how we can help you. Contact us today

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