7 Things You Have to do Before Your Next Trade Show

Do the words “trade show” instill some fear in you? Are the thoughts of planning and attending a trade show a little overwhelming?

First of all, take a deep breath! Second of all, get ready to start planning. The more planning that you do before a trade show means the easier the actual event will go. Doing these seven things before the big day will make sure that your trade show is a huge success!

1. Determine What You Want to Accomplish

Going into a show without any kind of goals is going to be a massive waste of time. What do you want to get out of the trade show? New leads? A higher number of social media numbers? To connect with industry leaders? Have a chat with your team to determine exactly what you want to accomplish and set a high, but reasonable, goal to meet.

2. Decide How to Present Your Products/Services

Thanks to evolving technology you now have a number of ways to display and give information to attendees. Physical samples are always a great way to encourage engagement. But now you have choices like iPad stations or large, interactive displays. Remember: the more interesting your presentation, the more likely your potential customers will stay around.

3. Prepare Your Team

It’s extremely important to staff your trade show booth with employees who have these three traits: positive, knowledgeable, and actually want to be there. Make sure that your staff has volunteered for the position and also that they have a working knowledge of your products and services. Go over customer FAQs and have other employees help with a mock discussion.

4. Order Your Promotional Products

Giveaways help your potential customers remember you long after the show is over and can make great conversation starters. But there is nothing more stressful than attempting to get some promotional products in a short time frame. Leave yourself plenty of time so you can get some great giveaways without worry!

5. Promote Your Attendance on Social Media

Don’t keep your attendance a secret – make sure that your fans, followers, and customers know! Make announcements on all of your social channels and check to see if there is a conference hashtag. If there isn’t an official hashtag, then make one! Getting the word out on social media can bring tons of foot traffic to your trade show display.

6. Triple Check Your Travel Plans

With all the planning you have to do for your expo displays and giveaways, don’t forget to arrange and check over your travel plans! The further you travel the more issues that may arise with moving personnel and equipment. Make sure that you have backup plans created if your flight is delayed or something doesn’t arrive on time.

7. Visit the Trade Show Location Beforehand (If Possible)

If your trade show is local then see if it’s possible to visit early to scout out the room and your booth location if you know it. Are you near the front where you’ll have more visitors or are you going to have to draw more people to your location? Perhaps there are more options for using vertical space than you thought.

Doing all of these things before your trade show is a surefire way to make sure that your next expo goes swimmingly!

Is there anything else that you should do before heading to a trade show? Any tips to share? Leave them in the comments!

For more, check our analysis of CEIR’s report or which shows to go to in August.

Mandy Kilinskis heads up the Content and Social team at Quality Logo Products and is the editor-in-chief for their promo blog. She loves writing about trade shows, social media, and the best giveaway items for your events. Say hi @qualitylogo anytime!

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