Trade Show Planning: Pay Attention to Specific Trade Show Deadlines!

A recent post talked about how important it is to pay attention to a trade show’s exhibitor’s kit. There are specific details in the documents that are included in the kit that are important to you and the success of your exhibit. That theme continues here – read all of your documents from the show manager carefully, and pay attention to the

There are some deadlines associated with exhibiting at a trade show that are set in stone, and, if you miss them, you’ve lost an important opportunity for your organization’s exhibit. For example, there is a deadline for getting a description of your exhibit to the show manager so that it can be included in the guide for the show or on the show’s website. If you miss this deadline and lose this opportunity, then you risk being left out of the show advertising and losing potential traffic to your booth.

Many show attendees review the trade show’s guide and/or website before arriving at the show so that they can ensure they visit the booths most relevant to their needs. Many attendees don’t cruise the aisles; they are much more targeted in their approach than that. So, if your booth isn’t described in the guide or on the website, attendees who are unfamiliar with your name will not know what you’re offering and will likely overlook your booth. (And aren’t the ones who are unfamiliar with your name the very leads you’re hoping to get?!)

Another deadline that you absolutely must meet – and one you may have to scour the rules and regulations for – is the deadline for providing proof of insurance. Usually exhibitors are required to carry workers compensation insurance (as mandated by state law) and general liability insurance (covering products and operations, personal injury, etc.).Be on the lookout for this deadline as it is not always front and center. Failing to meet it, however, can prevent you from exhibiting.

In order to staff your booth, you need to make sure to register everyone who will be working within it. Some trade shows do not limit the number of exhibitor badges they’ll provide to their exhibitors. There are some shows, though, that do limit the number they’ll provide with your package and will require you to purchase any that you need above and beyond that number. Regardless of whether the badges are part of the package or whether you have to purchase some, make sure you have all of your workers registered on time, which can usually be done online.

When you need to order rental items or services from the show, beating the deadlines can save you hundreds of dollars. You should find that most exhibitors’ kits will make the ordering deadlines clear and easy to find. If you miss the deadline for discounts, you’ll still be able to order services for the regular rate. However, if you end up ordering services at the show, expect to pay a premium for waiting until the last minute.

You’ve heard the phrase, “The devil’s in the details”? Well, the dollars are there, too. Providing a description of your booth for the guide could net you more visits, more leads, and, ultimately more dollars from new customers. Ordering services from the show early can save you hundreds of dollars. Deadlines are your friends, not enemies. Don’t ignore them.

For more, check out our article on using technical services or our article on questions that you need to ask when planning.

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