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Pre-Show Planning Guide

Pre-Show Planning Guide

Businesses choose to attend trade shows as a way to get the word out about their company. Because the audience you reach at a trade show is highly targeted, it is the perfect opportunity to showcase the goods or services your company can provide. If you want to make the most of your trade show experience, you need to do whatever it takes to make your booth stand out from every other booth at the show. Starting about six months before your next show, you need to use the following tips.

Promotional Strategy

Think about how you will spread the word about your attendance at the trade show. There are plenty of options available to you, including sending email or printed invitations, advertising through local or industry publications, public relations, posting to your website, telemarketing, sending direct mailings or soliciting sponsorships.

On-Site Promotion Tactics

You can make use of the area at or around the trade show to make the most of your promotion budget. Some of the areas in which you can advertise include the airport, nearby hotels, public transportation, billboards or the show directory itself. Sponsorship can be another useful promotional technique at the venue.

Use the Media

The media can still be useful tool in spreading the word about your business. All you need to do is provide them with a newsworthy angle on your business. Build a press kit to distribute to the media that includes this angle. You can provide the local media outlets with these kits by mailing them out, making them available at the show and passing them out after the show.

There are basically two ways to reach the media: press releases and press conferences. Always make sure you have new information to share if you choose a press conference.

Create a Little Competition

Many people love to compete for prizes. You can take advantage of this by providing competition for prizes to entice people to visit your booth. However, it is important to make sure you keep your game in tune with your marketing goals and corporate image. For instance, a trivia contest can work well for many companies. Make sure your prizes tie into company as well.

As you plan your competition, it is important to think about what type of competition you will hold, what your prizes will be, how long it will last and how to tie it into your promotional efforts. Make sure you are aware of any trade show regulations and local rules or laws that apply to these competitions.

Give Something Away

Everyone loves to get something for free. Think about the types of things your customers would be able to use in their lives and order them in bulk imprinted with your corporate logo and contact information. This will ensure those who take one will think of you often. As you choose your corporate giveaway, make sure it ties into your company and marketing effort in some way. It should also be something unique.

Be Hospitable

Trends have changed. Trade show attendees expect to be treated as if they are a friend or family member, not a stranger. This is especially true if you are attending an international trade show. Some of the ways you can implement hospitable treatment into your trade show includes meal style events, sponsorship or a hospitality suite.

Pay Attention to Detail

In the world of business, the minor details are often important, though they are often overlooked. Therefore, you need to pay close attention to every detail to avoid losing customers who feel you are missing something important. Some of the most important “minor” details you should pay close attention to include marking your booth number clearly on your literature, keeping a large supply of extra marketing materials, making sure the information in the show guide is correct, clear and concise, and having an adequate supply of tickets to hospitality suites or other events.


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