Create Your Own Trade Show Checklist

Happiness is a ticked-off list, or so the saying goes.

Trade shows can be complicated affairs and if you’re planning to exhibit then the to-do list can easily pile up – along with your stress levels. But as we all know, the key to achieving a big task is to break it down into manageable steps, so here’s a handy checklist to make sure you’re on track for a successful, stress-free event.


Set a realistic budget – ’nuff said.


Objectives listLay out your objectives – From the moment you decide to exhibit at a trade show you should think about your key objectives. Do you want to showcase a new product, range or service? Do you want to reinforce or shift your brand image? You could even make your goals quantifiable, for example, you could aim for X number of new leads or complete X number of product demonstrations. When planning everything else, consider how it will help you achieve your main show goals.


Design your stall – A good rule of thumb for stall layout is that a prospect should be able to tell what your business is about from a five second glance at your stall. Keep the overall design focused on your key objective and avoid the temptation to clutter the stall with your entire range.


Research other event features – Bigger trade shows are likely to afford exhibitors extra opportunities to increase their presence at the event. For example, the up-coming Promotional Product Expo (PPExpo) 2017  is offering a huge range of sponsorship opportunities and packages, including the chance to exhibit away from your stall in their New Showcase Cabinets and New Catalogue Zone. CLICK HERE to view their full sponsorship brochure.


StaffTrain your staff – Your stall-holders are the face of your business, and at such a personal and public event, it’s vital that you make a good impression. Your staff should not only be highly knowledgeable about your company and the products on display, but also welcoming, helpful and highly competent at making a pitch face-to-face. It also goes over very well if the people manning the stall are senior enough to make business decisions on the spot.


Make travel arrangements – As soon as you’ve decided which staff members will be going, there’s no reason to delay making your travel and hotel arrangements. As we all know from booking holidays, the sooner the cheaper! Make sure to enquire with the event organisers whether they recommend certain hotels, or if they are offering any reimbursement. For example, PPExpo 2017 is has a range of credit offers against hotel and travel expenses. CLICK HERE for details.


Organise giveaways – Obviously you’ll want plenty of business cards to hand out, but besides that put some thought into whether you will want to give out promotional items. Do your best to make sure they are useful, engaging and have a long shelf-life to avoid them being jettisoned by your visitors as soon as they’ve left your stand.


Create a show marketing plan – Turning up to a trade show without advertising your attendance to your customers is like hosting a party and not inviting any guests. Divide your marketing campaign into pre-show so that your customers can plan to visit you, and post-show to give you peace of mind that your follow-up campaign is organised and prepared.


EmailInvite prospects – As part of your pre-show marketing campaign, make sure your customers feel invited as much as informed of your attendance at the show. You could even organise offers for them – perhaps a coupon to be redeemed at your stall for a free gift.


Delivery confirmation – As the event time grows near, make sure you have contacted the venue, any delivery companies you have hired, and anyone else you are relying on to make sure all the equipment and merchandise you need has arrived. Don’t forget to organise return shipping for when the show is over.

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