Slow and Steady Timeline
Trade shows are a pretty big commitment. Once a spot on the floor is set you’re locked in. At what stage is the product you hope to be showing in development? Is it still in development, in production, limited quantity or overstock? If it’s not fully fleshed out what are you going to send to the trade show?
Remember, things like banners, graphics and display cases all revolve around the product(s). If you’re looking ahead several months, get a grasp on things like these. Trade show planning is like a ladder; miss a step or rush and your going to fall to the ground.
Trade Show Selection
This will inevitably lead you to the decision of which trade shows should you even be going to. The trade show you’re going to is going to impact many things: design, layout, budget, shipping, timeline, and more.
If you’re overreaching and you don’t think you will be able to have a product worth showing for a larger event you may want to either allocate resources to completing the product on time or reconsider and bring what you have to a smaller show.
Forecasting Your Budget
A third consideration and perhaps most important for trade show planning is budget. If you’re hoping to show off at an event but you can’t afford to properly house your product, that’s an issue. If you’ve got a massive display but are only willing to shell out for a 5×9 booth space at the Javits Center you might want to reconsider your budget.
Big shows usually = Big returns. So if that’s your plan, consider the ROI factor into your budget decisions.
There are several things to take into consideration for trade show planning and you’ll need to weigh each deference and a cool head. Where your product is in development, which shows will best showcase your product, and how much you can afford to spend on your trade show budget all bleed into one another. Ideally you’d be able to take your vision anywhere and everywhere but you’ve got to choose wisely (and not at the last moment).