Trade shows shouldn’t be viewed like Blue Light Specials. Sure, they draw a crowd of people, but they typically draw a certain type of person. Each show is oriented towards a particular industry or customer demographic, so automatically running towards the light and setting up shop can mean a significant loss of investment if you aren’t attentive.
There are 10 Questions every trade show professional should ask before saying ‘Yes’. The first 5 were covered in Part 1.
5 Questions to Ask When Preparing For a Trade Show
Here are the remaining 5 questions you should ask yourself before preparing for a trade show. You may determine it’s better to pass on this one, saving your resources for the next, better opportunity.
- Who is my target audience? Trade show planning incorporates a main goal and a few sub-goals. Who comprises the target audience that will help you achieve your goals? Once you’ve established that, you can research who typically attends a particular event, both vendors and visitors, so your team can determine whether or not that show is worth your while.
- Who are my neighbors? Selecting the right space for your booth display is integral to attracting the kind of attention you want from prospective customers. For example, a vendor known for having a huge, busy, and brightly lit booth may not be the best bet. On the flip side, if your industries are complementary, it will attract attention to your area where a simple, clean, and no-frills contrast may be doubly appealing.
- How familiar am I with the host and venue? Get familiar with the city and area where the trade show is taking place. Begin contacting the show hosts and familiarize yourself with venue rules and regulations as well as the preferred vendors and contractor requirements. These factors affect budgeting, which affects your projected ROI.
- Have I generated big enough buzz? The buzz doesn’t start when the venue doors open. Your buzz should have geared up long ago via pre-marketing and social media posting. Social media postings will keep interested parties informed and engaged before, during and after the show.
- What’s my post-show plan? Finally, have a post-show strategy in place to harness the enthusiasm generated at your booth. Your leads should be contacted within three days of your return so you don’t miss your window of opportunity. You’ll also need to prepare concise post-show reports and analysis.
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