Trade shows are unique opportunities for sales, marketing, and business connections, but planning a trade show can be a logistics nightmare. If handled improperly, you can not only lose money but also damage your company’s reputation. Advanced Tradeshow Technology is here to help you succeed with first-class registration services, provided internet cafes, and more. Call us today or read more for our top tips for planning a trade show!
You should start planning your trade show at least a year in advance. Rushing through this planning stage is a good way to end up with a bad show. This article is only the first step on a long journey to a success. There are a lot of decisions, contacts, and reservations to make. You also want to have plenty of time to market your expo, because the true test of a trade show is attendance. Give yourself time to do things the right way.
Do Your Research
If you’re starting from scratch and planning a trade show for the first time, there is a lot of information you need. Start by talking to people — ask your clients what kind of events they attend, talk to colleagues and possible sponsors, and check out trade show directories for ideas. You want to have context for your show to really refine your plans.
Choose A Date
Have you decided on a date? Throwing darts at a calendar isn’t a good way to decide. You will want to avoid other special events in the area and holiday weekends. Scheduling your trade show in conflict with another event could be an advantage or a severe disadvantage. Another more well-known exhibition can pull potential traffic away from your show. On the other hand, if you plan a very compelling show and market it well, you might be able to capitalize on the competition and draw traffic away from those other events.
Choose A Location
You also should put careful thought into the location of your trade show. Not all exhibitions need to be in Las Vegas, but you should pick a city that will attract the most people. You also don’t need to reserve space at the McCormick Place in Chicago unless you are planning a large-scale show. Smaller exhibitions work just fine in hotel conference rooms or ballrooms. The most important details you need to consider when choosing a location are:
- Convenience for both exhibitors and attendees
- Venue availability
- Transportation options
- City appeal
The sponsors you find will likely determine whether you will make or lose money on your trade show. It may seem like a daunting task to convince companies to support your expo, but remember that sponsors have a lot to gain. Trade shows benefit all the exhibitors and you can offer a sponsor exclusive exposure, whether it’s a premium spot in the floorplan for their display, advertising around the show, or other benefits unique to your event. Radio stations, newspapers, or other publications are good choices for sponsors because you will receive free advertising when they publicize their presence at the show.
Planning a trade show is a lot to handle, and there is more to trade show logistics than we could fit into a single blog post. Here we’ve only covered the first few steps; look for part two of this series to learn more. If you want to take the first steps towards a successful show, hire Advanced Tradeshow Technology to help. We’re a division of Helen Brett Enterprises, which has more than 65 years of trade show management experience, so you can expect great systems and trusted technology. Contact us today to learn how we can customize our services to your trade show!