The Five P’s for Trade Show Displays

Participating in a trade show has many advantages. It allows your company to get their name out there, meet potential clients face-to-face, demonstrate your products or test out new products. While well put together trade show displays do have the potential to bring in new customers, a poorly planned exhibit can just as easily drive them away. Making a habit of using the five P’s (Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance) will ensure that your trade show exhibit goes off without a hitch. Here are a few tips that can help you be properly prepared.intro panel display with monitors missing

1. Use a checklist.

Using a checklist that is prepared well ahead of time, will allow you to make sure that you have everything you need once you get to the trade show. One company at a trade show that I recently attended had a beautiful display complete with a large screen television for playing presentations. Unfortunately, the staff had neglected to bring along the DVD that contained the presentation. So the centerpiece of their trade show display was a blank screen, not a catastrophic problem, but all of the money that was invested to produce the DVD was for nothing. If the staff had used a checklist prior to loading their equipment, that particular problem could have been avoided.

2. Know the venue.

Make sure that you are aware of the layout of the trade show venue and where your exhibit will be. If your trade show displays require power, be sure that you are located close to a power source. While most venues that are preparing for a trade show will have this already taken care of, there are places that do not. Will you need an extra extension cord? If staff must travel to get to the trade show they may need to resort to buying equipment on the road that you already have, thereby wasting funds. If it will be an outdoor exhibit, be sure to check the weather and be prepared to deal with rain, high winds or quickly changing temperatures.

3. Have enough staff.custom modular trade show display and counter

While it may be possible to send one sales rep to a trade show, it is not wise. Even if your display can be easily set-up by one person, having additional staff will ensure that your trade show displays are manned at all times. If the exhibition stand is not in operation due to the sales rep needing to eat or go to the restroom, you are losing potential clients every minute that they are away.

4. Have properly trained staff.

While it may be tempting to send several junior sales reps that are to be supervised by one well trained rep, you should be sure that every member of your staff is as knowledgeable about the products as their supervisor. If a potential client has a question about a product or service, it should be answered immediately by the rep that the customer is speaking with. A sales rep that needs to find and consult with someone else in order to answer a clients question not only makes them (and the company) look unprofessional and unprepared, but could result in a lost sale.

With all of the costs associated with attending a trade show (transportation, fees, accommodations for staff, etc.) it is essential that you are as prepared as you can possibly be so that everything runs smoothly so that your company gets the most bang for the buck. Remember the five P’s and your next trade show will not only attract potential clients, but avoid losing potential money due to problems that could have been avoided by proper preparation.

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