If you're thinking about attending an upcoming trade show, there are some things you should know. Of course, the reason for going is obvious; you want to gain more leads, contacts and sales. However, the process of getting to the show, getting set up, finding those leads and closing the deal can be very overwhelming. An E2MA report showed that about 40% of those attending a trade show are doing it for the first time. You're not alone and there are ways to make it less overwhelming. Here are eight tips to help you with your first trade show.
Attend a Show Before Planning Your Booth
If you have the opportunity to actually go to a show as a patron, do so. This can help you get a feel for what other companies are doing with their trade show booth. When it comes to the planning and designing phases, the knowledge you will gain from going to one trade show (even if it's in another industry) will help tremendously.
Always Plan in Advance
You can't start planning soon enough. The further ahead you plan, the less stress you will deal with on the days of the show and leading up to the show. You want to start planning for your trade show at least six months in advance, preferably an entire year in advance. Most companies start planning for next year's show the week after this year's show, if not sooner.
Create a Timeline
With a timeline laid out perfectly, you will have something to base all of your decisions on. You will know what needs to be where, which can be a huge help. Make sure you detail the deadlines and which ones will cost you the most if you miss them. Contact a Professional Trade Show Designer, such as Nimlok NYC, and come up with a game plan for the booth itself.
Book Your Travel ASAP
Hotels, flights and rental cars all book up very fast for trade shows. You want to make sure you get these books as far in advance as possible. This will also help you get a place close to the venue and get the best price.
Stress Personal Appearance with Your Staff
You only get one shot at a trade show. The personal appearance of your staff matters quite a bit. Make sure they are not only dressed and groomed professionally, but also wearing comfortable shoes.
Plan for Long Days
Trade show days are long, even if it only seems like a six-hour day. You have to arrive early and you're often there late. In addition, you're not sleeping in your own bed. Be careful not to go out and enjoy the city too much the night before.
Create a Trade Show Kit
For every trade show, you should have a kit with a first aid kit, cleaning tools, office supplies and other items. This is your survival kit and provides things you may need last minute.
Set Goals and Go After Them
Before each show, set your goals and go into the show motivated to achieve those goals.
These are just a few of the many tips to help you be prepared for your first trade show. It's an exciting time and shouldn't be any more overwhelming than it has to be.